University by University Comparison


Are you considering which university to choose?

We know that accessibility varies widely from institution to institution so we asked disabled students about their experience. On this page can compare the experience of survey respondents from your institution, with the UK-wide results and our 2033 goals.

Below you can see a snapshot of how the 11 institutions with the most respondents performed in our Annual Disabled Student Survey 2023. First we take a look at what we consider one of the most important questions in the survey – whether students feel they have enough support. After this we look at one key question concerning each of the 6 Principles of The Disabled Student Experience.

As we move closer to 2033 we want to see these tables turn green – so that no matter which university you attend you will have the same opportunities as a non-disabled student. Our goal is to include every Higher Education Provider in this mapping but we can only do that if we get enough respondents from each institution. Sign up now to be notified when it’s time to spread the 2024 survey.

The tables use the following colour code:

Colour code where results are organised in order from worst to best, “Below UK average” is orange, “Reached UK average” is beige, “Halfway to 2033 goal” is light green and “Reached 2033 goal” is dark green.

Would you like to see your university’s full results? 

This comparison is a snapshot of the Annual Disabled Student Survey results. Encourage your university to become an Access Insights Member to receive a full institution-specific report. Access Insights Membership has been recommended by the Disabled Students Commission as part of the 2023 Disabled Students’ Commitment.

Summary Question

Proportion of disabled students who feel that they have the support and adjustments they need to be able to access their studies on equal terms with non-disabled peers

2033 goal 75% agree 
University of Leicester 49% agree (29% disagree)
Bath Spa University 49% agree (35% disagree)
Heriot-Watt University 46% agree (41% disagree)
University of Manchester 43% agree (44% disagree)
University of Exeter ☆ 40% agree (40% disagree)
Canterbury Christ Church University 35% agree (45% disagree)
UK wide 35% agreed (49% disagreed)
Oxford University 33% agree (54% disagree)
Cambridge University 32% agree (49% disagree)
University College London ☆ 29% agree (62% disagree)
University of Plymouth 30% agree (46% disagree)
Royal Holloway 30% agree (46% disagree)

✩ Universities with this star are members of the Access Insights project, meaning that they are investing in understanding the situation so that they can improve the experience for their disabled students.

Principle 1: Universal Design

Proportion of disabled students who had a majority of their lectures recorded in the last year

2033 goal 80%
University of Exeter 91%
University of Leicester 82%
University of Plymouth 71%
Cambridge University 71%
University of Manchester 70%
UK wide 61%
Canterbury Christ Church University 60%
Bath Spa University 54%
Oxford University 50%
Royal Holloway 45%
University College London 42%
Heriot-Watt University 33%

Principle 2: An Inclusive Culture

Proportion of disabled students who have been made to feel unwelcome at the university by staff members due to their disability

2033 goal 5% yes
University of Leicester 9% yes
Heriot-Watt University 15% yes
Bath Spa University 16% yes
Royal Holloway 19% yes
University of Exeter 20% yes
University College London 25% yes
University of Plymouth 22% yes
Canterbury Christ Church University 26% yes
UK wide 26% yes
Oxford University 27% yes
University of Manchester 31% yes
Cambridge University 31% yes

Principle 3: A Barrier-free Path to Support

Proportion of disabled students who have been provided with enough information about different adjustments that could help them

2033 goal 75% yes
Bath Spa University 57% yes
Heriot-Watt University 53% yes
University of Leicester 51% yes
Cambridge University 49% yes
University of Manchester 48% yes
Royal Holloway 46% yes
UK wide 45% yes
University of Exeter 44% yes
Canterbury Christ Church University 42% yes
Oxford University 41% yes
University of Plymouth 39% yes
University College London 38% yes

Principle 4: Sufficient Adjustments

Proportion of disabled students who report that all of the adjustments that the university has agreed for them have been provided

2033 goal 80%
University of Leicester 57%
Royal Holloway 50%
University of Manchester 48%
University of Plymouth 45%
University of Exeter 40%
Oxford University 38%
Cambridge University 36%
Canterbury Christ Church University 36%
Heriot-Watt University 36%
UK wide 36%
Bath Spa University 32%
University College London 29%

Principle 5: Somewhere to Turn

Proportion of disabled students who feel that there is a person or system within the university that they could turn to who would be able to effectively address access barriers they may face

2033 goal 75% agree
University of Leicester 75% agree (11% disagree)
Cambridge University 66% agree (14% disagree)
Royal Holloway 64% agree (13% disagree)
Heriot-Watt University 61% agree (17% disagree)
Bath Spa University 61% agree (10% disagree)
UK wide 59% agree (17% disagree)
University of Plymouth 58% agree (17% disagree)
University of Exeter 57% agree (18% disagree)
University of Manchester 57% agree (18% disagree)
University College London 55% agree (20% disagree)
Oxford University 52% agree (23% disagree)
Canterbury Christ Church University 47% agree (24% disagree)

Principle 6: Equal Opportunities

Proportion of disabled students who feel part of a community at this university

2033 goal 65% agree
Cambridge University 58% agree (22% disagree)
Oxford University 57% agree (20% disagree)
Bath Spa University 45% agree (24% disagree)
University of Exeter 43% agree (37% disagree)
Royal Holloway 43% agree (38% disagree)
University of Plymouth 42% agree (36% disagree)
UK wide 42% agree (34% disagree)
University of Leicester 41% agree (34% disagree)
Canterbury Christ Church University 40% agree (33% disagree)
University of Manchester 40% agree (40% disagree)
University College London 39% agree (41% disagree)
Heriot-Watt University 39% agree (43% disagree)

Dissemination and sample sizes

We want to thank the Disability Services departments at the following institutions for showing their commitment to improving the experience for disabled students in the UK by sharing our survey with their students: Bath Spa University, Leicester University, Heriot-Watt University, Cambridge University, London South Bank University, Canterbury Christ Church University, Edinburgh Napier University, University of Manchester, Royal Holloway University of London.

Those who filled out the Annual Disabled Student Survey are only a sample of disabled students at the university. For any survey filled out by a sample of a population, there is a level of uncertainty regarding what the population as a whole would respond to the same questions. Based on HESA’s estimates of how many disabled students there are within each university, we can be 90% confident that the values for each university reported above are at most 6-12 percentage points away from the values we would find if the whole disabled student population at that university had completed our survey.

Sample sizes:

  • Cambridge University = 138
  • University of Manchester = 102
  • Oxford University = 86
  • University College London ☆ = 80
  • University of Exeter ☆ = 79
  • Canterbury Christ Church University = 70
  • University of Plymouth = 64
  • University of Leicester = 56
  • Bath Spa University = 49
  • Royal Holloway = 47
  • Heriot-Watt University = 46
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