University Review of Provision for Disabled Students: Student Focus Groups


The University is running a series of online focus groups for current students who identify as disabled, in order to feed into the University’s ongoing review of how it approaches provision for disabled students. The purpose of the review is to understand where improvements can be made and how different parts of the collegiate University could work more effectively in providing an appropriate level of support to its students.

The University wants to hear from a diverse group of disabled university students studying at all levels of study and in different disciplines who are eager to share their insights, opinions, and experiences.


What topics will be discussed at the focus group?

These focus groups are an opportunity for disabled students to feed into the review and discuss the following topics and questions:

  • Areas of good practice in the University of Cambridge's current approach to provision for disabled students. 
  • Roles of different parts of the University in provision for disabled students, such as your College, Department and central Wellbeing and Disability services.
  • An understanding of the experience of students in getting reasonable adjustments implemented.
  • The University’s communications and information about provision for disabled students.
  • Future aspirations related to the University of Cambridge's approach to provision for disabled students.   


When and how will the focus groups take place?

There will be three online sessions taking place on:

  • Tuesday 18th June 2-3:30pm - for Undergraduate students.
  • Monday 17th June 1-2:30pm - for Postgraduate Taught / Masters’ students.
  • Wednesday 19th June 1-2:30pm - for Postgraduate Research students.  

The focus group sessions will all be held online, will last for no longer than one hour, and there is a payment of £15.00 per student participant. Attendance at the focus groups will be limited to 12 attendees per session to ensure a tailored focus and high engagement for all participants.

An outline of the types of questions that will be asked will be sent to you in advance, but please do let the organisers know if you require any additional adjustments to attend.


Who will be running the focus group?

The University has appointed higher education specialists from SUMS Consulting (a not-for-profit university member organisation) to undertake the review. The facilitator will be either Alison Oldam or Hannah Borkin from SUMS Consulting.


How can you take part?

If you are interested in taking part, please email indicating which of the sessions you wish to attend.

There are a maximum of 10 slots available per group so please do get in touch as soon as possible. By taking part in the focus group, you will help shape future provision for disabled students at the University.


Additional information for students

  • The focus group organisers do not need to know any identifying details about you, and will ask that only your first name is showing whilst in the group; they will not collect student number or surname.
  • They will ask you about what course you are studying and what year you are in. If you feel that any of this information will identify you, it’s ok not to answer. 
  • So that participants can be as relaxed as possible during the focus group, you can have cameras on or off, you can feed into the discussion via the chat or unmuting.
  • Students can leave the focus group at any point without the need to explain or ask permission.
  • SUMS’ work will be handled sensitively and unobtrusively, and results of individual discussions will remain confidential to the SUMS’ review team. The information you provide will not be shared in a way that allows participants to be personally identified, and quotes in any resulting reports or briefings will be anonymised.

Other news