Higher education

Higher education often refers to studying at university from the age of 18.

When you go to university, your educational health care (EHC) plan stops. However, there are a variety of funding options and support available to you.


A university course usually takes 3 years to complete, and can lead to a qualification. They are often located in major towns and cities. To attend you can:

  • move to the town where the university is located
  • stay at home
  • attend an online university.

Find a university outside of Kent and Medway.

Local universities

If you choose to stay at home, you can attend a local university:

Online universities

If you want to attend an online university the Open University may be best for you. It allows you to study full time and part time, which means your studying can fit around your life.

Before you apply

To find out if university is the right path for you, you should:

  • discuss your options with your teacher
  • speak with your careers advisor
  • visit the university's website to find out more about them
  • attend an open day to see the campus and ask any questions you may have. If you cannot attend an open day, check to see if they have a virtual tour on their website. Or you may be able to to arrange a visit on another date.

Every university has a disability team that can help you get the support you need. They're usually called student support, wellbeing team, or disability team. Visit UCAS's disabled students support page to learn more.

Before you apply can visit the:

Or read a guide written by students with SEND which explains what support is available at university. To request a printed version of the guide email SENDPP@kent.ac.uk or KMPF@canterbury.ac.uk.

Apply to university

To apply complete your application via UCAS.

By applying you can let your chosen university know of your needs. This information can help:

  • to put support in place before you arrive
  • any access needs for interviews
  • any requirements needed for open days.

Asking for support on your application

It's best to share information about the support you need right away, or as soon as you can. By doing this, they can make reasonable adjustments and give you the support you deserve.

It's against the law for the university to discriminate against you. If you're worried it'll affect your application or you'll be treated differently, don't be.

If you let your chosen university know what kind of support you need for your UCAS application, they'll send you an info pack.

Find out more about the process on the UCAS website.

After you have accepted your offer

After you accept the offer, contact the university to set up support. In addition to telling you about services and resources available to you, they can answer any questions you have.

Support with transition

To help the move from school or college to university, you may be able to attend a summer school or complete summer courses. The summer activities can help you if you find settling into new environments uneasy. Ask your university or college to check if they can help you.

For support with your transition visit the Student Minds website.

Financial support

Visit the government website to find out how you can get a student loan to pay your university fees and living expenses.

If you have an educational health care (EHC) plan, your EHC plan will stop. To help you during your time at university you may be eligible for:

For more funding support, read the Disability Rights UK factsheet.