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Neurodiversity Research Project

Neurodiversity and the Student Experience

This project aimed to create an inclusive good practice library for staff at the University of Warwick, by exploring neurodivergent students’ experiences at Warwick.

Project context:

  • Over the last five years, the University of Warwick has seen an increase in the proportion of students declaring a disability, with a majority declaring a cognitive or learning condition.
  • Despite this, the continuation rate of disabled students was just 89.6% in 2016/17, compared with a continuation rate of 96% for non-disabled students. Furthermore, in 2018, disabled students rated their teaching and learning experiences lower than non-disabled students.
  • This project aimed to help academics at the university to support neurodivergent students, by creating a library of inclusive practice exemplars collected from the staff community and supported by testimonies from neurodivergent students. It is hoped that this will reduce the disparity of students' experience in the future.

Project aims:

  • Improved outcomes and experiences for neurodivergent students at the University of Warwick.
  • Engaged with students and staff through surveys, interviews and focus groups to collect and compile their experiences and inclusive pedagogies.
  • Created a library of inclusive practice pedagogical recipes to equip staff with the means to better support neurodivergent students throughout their university experience.

Project impact:

Assisted staff in supporting neurodivergent students across a range of areas including:

  • Personal tutoring
  • Academic support
  • Curriculum design
  • Teaching and assessment approaches
  • Wider student experience practice
  • Provided a deeper understanding of neurodivergent students’ experiences, and ultimately improved their experiences in the future.
  • Contributed the results of the project to the development of Personal Tutor training on disability awareness and inclusivity.

Project Timeline

· April-May 2021: Recruited Student Research Assistants

· May 2021: Designed study and survey questions

· June-July 2021: Recruited of students for the survey

· July-August 2021: Carried out focus groups and interviews

· September 2021: Gathered good practice inclusive learning and teaching examples and awareness about neurodiversity from staff

  • October- December: Analyse data and create website of pedagogical recipes

Project Team

Principle Investigator/Project Lead: Dr Jagjeet Jutley-Neilson

Eleanor Hassall (Student Research Assistant)

Bethan Hewitt (Student Research Assistant)

Project Team: Dr Claire Rocks (Computer Science), Dr Isabel Fischer (WBS), Dr Carla Toro (WMG), Dr Gemma Gray (Psychology), Erika Hawkes (Careers and Skills), Jessica Humphreys (LDC), Kerry Pinny (Academic Technology), Laura Waller (Library Disability Support Officer),

Project Advisors: Dr Rebecca Freeman (Dean of Students), Despina Weber (Head of Disability Services), Sam Parr (SU Campaigns and Liberation Advisor)

If you are student at the University of Warwick and you would like to take part in the project please click here.