Supporting Students Who Stammer in Higher Education

Project report

STAMMA/Stammerers Through University Consultancy/London South Bank University (2021). Supporting Students Who Stammer in Higher Education. London South Bank University.
AuthorsSTAMMA/Stammerers Through University Consultancy/London South Bank University
TypeProject report

This guide has been produced to assist higher education (HE) professionals when they are supporting students who stammer to achieve a positive and inclusive HE experience. While 1-3% of the adult population are known to stammer, this might suggest that there were between 24,000 and 71,000 students who stammer in the UK (based on data for 2018/19). However, many HE professionals often have limited experience to draw upon to inform their practice.

This resource is written for the following staff in higher education: Leaders of teaching and learning; Course directors; Disability advisors; and Study skills advisors. To compile a picture of the experience of those who stammer across the student journey, the report uses evidence from published secondary research, from the findings of student focus groups run by the Stammerers Through University Consultancy and from the issues experienced by those who approach STAMMA (the British Stammering Association).

The impact of stammering on a student’s journey is complex due to the significant differences in the way that stammering affects individuals, and many people who stammer (PWS) are likely to have a very positive experience of university. However, there is also considerable evidence that stammering can affect: the decision to go to university or the course chosen; the marks a student receives and their engagement; and the long term career impact of a degree.

This report is intended to help HE staff to ensure that students who stammer have the support they need to be able to access, remain and succeed within and progress from HE. It suggests ways that higher education providers (HEPs) can implement as a minimum the ‘reasonable steps’ required under the Equality Act 2010 to make sure that students who stammer are not treated less favourably than other students.

Overall, the report recommends that HEPs should:
• have inclusive environments that allow flexibility in assessment and engagement from the moment of design
• be proactive, rather than reactive, in identifying issues and barriers to success
• listen to students and work in partnership
• help with the students’ transition into employment, to ensure that university study is truly transformative
• advertise stammering support, as it has been found that, if universities advertise their support for PWS, disclosure numbers increase.

PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
File Access Level
Publication dates
OnlineJun 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Jun 2021
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