Disabled international students

The University welcomes and supports disabled international students. Our Disability team can support you to make the most of your time in Leeds.

There's a range of support available for you, and we can help to ensure you're able to access all the relevant and appropriate sources of assistance.  


Unlike "home disabled students", international disabled students are not entitled to government funding for academic support.

In addition to academic support, you'll need to think about the informal support you usually receive from friends and family, and about who will provide this for you when you come to Leeds. It's not appropriate to expect friends on your course or your housemates to provide regular disability support, so it might be a good idea to employ a personal assistant.

The Disability team can help you get all the support you need for your time in Leeds. The more information you share with them, the better they can assist you. It’s possible that they might need to discuss your disability-related requirements with other people and organisations on a limited basis. If you don’t want them to do so, you must tell them.

If you have received an offer, please complete the sign up form as soon as possible to enable us to understand what support you may require. Please be assured that this information will not prejudice your application.

Academic support


There are many types of academic support services we can offer you, some of which we can provide for free or at minimal cost, such as:

  • an assessment of your academic support needs
  • disabled students' early induction programme
  • handouts and lecture presentations in advance, if available
  • access to campus-based computers with assistive technology (including text-to-speech, mind-mapping and magnification software)
  • equipment loan, if available
  • adapted accommodation, if available, at the usual rental rates
  • modified exam arrangements, where appropriate
  • extended library loans
  • information and support from the Disability team.

Non-medical helpers

There are different types of non-medical helpers who can assist you, including:

  • personal assistants
  • note-takers
  • readers
  • one-to-one learning supporters
  • specialist mentors
  • disability strategy tutors
  • sign language interpreters
  • experts at the Transcription Service (braille, large print, audio or e-text).

Non-medical helpers normally come at a cost. We can discuss the cost of this with your sponsors. If you don’t have a sponsor or other form of financial help, then we can talk about financial assistance, although alternative sources of funding are likely to be limited.

Non-medical helper service charges

These are the current costs as of September 2020: 

Personal assistance: £15.00 per hour
Note-taker: £17.50 per hour
Specialist mentor: £48.95 per hour
One to One Study Skills Support: £48.95 per hour

Support with day-to-day living 

We’re unable to provide support with daily living tasks so think carefully about any non-academic, disability-related support needs you may have, such as:

  • shopping
  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • laundry
  • personal care.

We can give you information about agencies that provide care assistants but you will probably have to pay for this type of support yourself. Support with day-to-day living can be very expensive.

Medical care

You may qualify for NHS treatment if your course lasts more than six months.

If you're on a course which is shorter than six months, then unless your country has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with England, you will be seen as a private fee-paying patient.

Leeds Student Medical Practice is accessible to disabled people and offers key documents in:

  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Greek
  • Arabic
  • Spanish.

Financial help

Other sources of funding available for you as an international disabled student are:

Likely costs

As a guideline for you and your sponsors to work out the amount of disability-related financial assistance, the approximate government allowances for undergraduate UK disabled students are:

  • equipment per course: £5,000
  • non-medical helpers per year: £20,000
  • general allowance per year: £1,700.

Campus accessibility

There is a network of accessible routes and facilities around the campus.