Disability support for International students

On this page

Definition of disability in the UK

There is no universal definition of disability so it is important to understand what UK law says about this.

Under the terms of the Equality Act 2010, a disabled person is defined as someone who has a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial, long term and adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This definition includes students with a wide range of impairments, including dyslexia, mental health difficulties, visual or hearing impairment and chronic health conditions. 

Getting support

All disabled students are encouraged to contact Disability Services as soon as possible, ideally prior to arrival, for confidential advice on the support we provide and to identify any additional support you may require to meet your individual disability-related needs.

Information you need to provide

We ask disabled students to provide supportive evidence from a suitably qualified professional that confirms the nature of their disability to enable the provision of individual support. This evidence may include, for example, a letter from a medical practitioner or a psychologist’s report. We ask that you provide such evidence in English or arrange for it to be translated into English before you arrive. All personal information is handled in line with our confidentiality policy.

Language support available

If English is not your first language, the University offers English language courses and academic writing support through the University’s Academic Skills Centre.  In addition, specialist advice on life and study in the UK is available from the University’s International Advice Service.

Dyslexia support

If you have dyslexia, additional advice can be sought from our dyslexia service.

Financial support available

Disabled students who are not ordinarily resident in the UK will not be eligible for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). However, the University of Dundee is committed to ensuring equality of access for all students, as far as reasonably possible.

If you are a disabled international or European student, please contact Disability Services as soon as possible to discuss your support needs and to find out more about the services and facilities available to you.  To help us with this, please investigate the following funding options before starting at the university:

  • If you have a sponsor, ask if they can contribute money to cover disability-related expenses. For example, some scholarships offer funding to cover disability-related costs.
  • You may be eligible for a grant from your own government, so contact your education department to ask what support they can provide.
  • You may be eligible for support from non-governmental organisations in your home country.

If funding is not available, we will work with you to arrange support as far as possible so please contact Disability Services.

We do not provide or fund support with daily living tasks, therefore you will need to think carefully about any non-academic, disability-related support requirements you may have, for example assistance with shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, or personal care.

We may be able to provide information on agencies that provide care assistants, but you need to be aware that you will probably have to meet the costs of this type of support yourself, as UK government welfare benefits are not available to international students. You can find out more about funding for international students from the British Council.

You can also get further information from Advance HE.