University of Leicester eBulletin

University to Pioneer Accessible Skills Curriculum

March 2003
No 91

The University of Leicester has won funding for a flagship initiative to improve employability opportunities for students with disabilities.

The University’s Educational Development and Support Centre (EDSC) has received a £100,000 grant from the Higher Education Funding Council, England, (HEFCE) to fund an innovative project to develop key employability skills.

The Employability Skills within an Accessible Curriculum (ESAC) project, which runs for two years, has been selected as one of 23 second round projects funded under HEFCE’s ‘Improving Provision for Disabled Students’ initiative.

The ESAC project is inclusive and aims to develop a key skills curriculum that will benefit all students in terms of their future employment, but especially disabled students and students with specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. It uses an innovative approach to skills building that is grounded in academic content.

The core of the project will be a suite of teaching resources for staff based around the key employability skills, such as oral communication, problem solving and group work. The resources will offer practical examples of inclusive skills teaching that draw on subject literature and academic skills, and will be supported by student guides aimed at helping students develop their own key skills awareness.

The project is designed to support staff in meeting the government initiatives in widening participation, graduate employability and the recent application of the Disability Discrimination Act to higher education (SENDA). 

As a result of these initiatives the sector is expected to change markedly over the coming years and it is hoped that the ESAC project will help to put the University of Leicester at the forefront of these developments.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Further information is available from Dr Michael Reynier, Educational Development and Support Centre, University of Leicester, tel 0116 252 5040, fax 0116 252 5111, email

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Last updated: March 2003
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