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NCSEHE Focus: Successful outcomes for students with disability in Australian higher education

This evidence-based resource is the first in a new series, collating NCSEHE funded research to inform policy and practice and improve outcomes for equity students in Australian higher education.

Further resources will be distributed directly to NCSEHE subscribers. If you would like to receive these reports directly, please join our mailing list here on the website, or contact us.

Review by Trevor Allan B.A. Dip. Ed. ATEND Life Member

“This latest publication from the NCSEHE provides a valuable outline of existing research and recommendations for future research and suggested changes to policy and strategy for both government and the higher education sector relevant to a large and rapidly increasing cohort of students.


Current research outlined in this paper includes a focus on sub-groups of students with a disability, such as Indigenous students and students on the Autism Spectrum, which not only deals with issues facing these particular groups, but which reinforces the variety, range and individuality of students with a disability.

On a broader scale, the research into Inherent Requirement Statements, retention and success of students with a disability, resilience and online access and barriers not only provide valuable insights into significant aspects of higher education and issues associated with these areas, but also identified issues requiring further research and potential implications for practice, policy and strategy for government and higher education institutions. The statistical invisibility of mental illness, one of the largest and most rapidly increasing cohorts of students with a disability, is of particular concern. Additionally, the need for a clear, consistent and transparent approach to articulating Inherent Requirement Statements across all universities was identified as a major issue requiring further research and application.

This body of research covers many more areas that provide information, understanding and insights into practice, policies, strategies and issues relevant to a group of students that now comprise over six per cent of Australian higher education students. It also provides insight into strategies for enhancing the successful experience and outcomes of students with a disability, a very important investment in the future of individuals, and also our society and economy. For people with a disability, education is frequently the key to enhanced employment outcomes and improved participation and engagement in our society.

As a practitioner in this sector who has long lamented the lack of research and substantial data on the experience, outcomes and issues faced by students with a disability in higher education, it is very encouraging to see the NCSEHE taking a productive, positive and proactive role in this important area and I take great pleasure in commending this paper and the associated research to you.”

Access NCSEHE Focus: Successful outcomes for students with disability in Australian higher education below:

National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education. 2017. NCSEHE Focus: Successful outcomes for students with disability in Australian higher education. National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), Perth: Curtin University.

Posted 16 May 2017 Posted in Culturally and linguistically diverse, Disability, General, Indigenous, Low SES, Regional, rural and remote