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Higher and further education

The symptoms of M.E. can make studying challenging. Students may find it hard to concentrate for long periods of time and may need to take frequent breaks.

Your support and understanding will be invaluable in helping your students manage the limitations imposed by this complex condition.

The 2010 Equality Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against students of any age with a disability, including a long-term condition such as M.E. This means that reasonable adjustments should be made to accommodate students with M.E. in all education provision, from learning and assessment to student support.

Your institutions Disability Office or Student Support Service should be able to provide information and advice about your obligations.

Amy, who has M.E., studied for a full-time MSc in Health Psychology at the University of Nottingham. She told us: “My university have been incredibly supportive. I have a special disability liaison tutor and they have arranged for me to have a parking permit as I have been living off campus since my first year.

“When I have been really bad they have offered a minibus service around campus which will take me from where I park to where my lecture is.

“When I had a bad relapse in my second year, the university provided me with a note-taker to sit in on my lectures until I was better. All I had to do was listen and do the work afterwards In addition, I was given an extension on a piece of coursework.”

James was diagnosed with M.E. in his third year of a chemistry degree at Bristol University. 

“Initially, I felt that I might be asking too much from the university and didn’t ask for everything that could have helped me, making things harder for myself In reality, I found that university staff were more than happy to listen to me and help me with my requirements and limitations."
“I think they were probably grateful when I was clear about what I wanted as this helped them do their job properly and meant that they didn’t have to guess what it was I needed.”