Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Research Student: Armineh Soorenian

A qualitative study of the experiences of disabled international students in four English universities

Photo of Armineh Soorenian

This study will comment on the relevance of inclusive educational theories and policies within English universities with reference to disabled international students' experiences.

The project is both timely and appropriate as there is an acute shortage of documentation on the application of policies for the inclusion of disabled students, and disabled international students in particular, in English universities.

The methodology is essentially qualitative but will, where possible, adhere to emancipatory principles. Data collection strategies include content analysis of relevant literature and policy statements, and field studies involving focus groups and semi-structured interviews with disabled international students in four English (two 'old' and two 'new') universities.

The study aims to provide an up-to-date snapshot of disabled international students' experiences in English universities in order to facilitate meaningful theoretical and policy insights.

Key terms

  • International Disabled Students
  • Experiences
  • English Universities
  • Policies
  • Services

Research Questions

  • What do the universities' policies and literature state about the services they provide for disabled international students?
  • What are disabled international students' experiences regarding the information and services they receive in their universities?


  • Critically analysing the policies for, and the extent and kind of support available to disabled international students in the selected universities.
  • Documenting, comparing and evaluating disabled international students' experiences in the universities identified.
  • Commenting on the applicability of inclusive education theories within the university context.


  • Reviewing the existing literature on disability in education.
  • Identifying university locations for study and examining their policy and practice documents.
  • Identifying samples of students for a field study. Carrying out focus groups and semi-structured interviews with students.
  • Analysing the data - comparing students' experiences in identified institutions with university literature on services.
  • Critically evaluating the practicality of inclusive educational practices within the university environment.

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