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A problem of their own making...

A student I mentor at one of the country’s leading universities had been struggling with a timetable clash and asked me for help. I contacted her tutor. I explained that they had been overwhelmed with the return to university after the holidays and had not managed to submit time choices for some of their modules. This was not caused by a deliberate act of laziness or absent mindedness. This was a burnout and overwhelm.

Nothing could have prepared me for the response of the tutor. The first paragraph was an explanation of how busy they were. The second started with the line "this problem is of X's own making". I was incandesent and there was steam coming off of my keyboard as I composed a reply intended to both educate and inform them that they had broken the 2010 equality act.

Needless to say they didn't reply directly to me but they did rectify the timetable clash!

I adore the work I do with university students, but sadly I have noticed that the understanding of the needs of neurodivergent students is worse in universities than in the school and college sector.

Thankfully we managed to rectify this problem but with views like this from the course director I'm sure it wont be the only email I shall be writing over the next four years.

If you're a university student and experience problems like this, seek advice from your students union academic advice team. They're there to represent you and your needs and can signpost you to other services, such as support departments for those with disabilities.

Don't think just because you're older, you should be able to cope. We all have periods of time when the world is too much, no matter how old we are.

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