...one of my goals is to try and involve students more in the support they are being given and tailor the support according to their needs.
From the age of 16, Snehal Sidhu-Patrick was determined to study at Cambridge. Despite the significant challenges she faced, including being a wheelchair user, she was not deterred. In 2001, Snehal moved from her home in Calcutta, India, to study natural sciences at Churchill College, specialising in Microbiology. She graduated in 2004, went on to do a Masters at Warwick University, and worked for the University of Cambridge's Disability Resource Centre (DRC) for 3 years.
During her years as a student and staff member at Cambridge, Snehal inspired and assisted many students and colleagues, both by helping to drive forward her personal principles and by promoting policies to further accessibility and support at the University of Cambridge. In her own words on her Cambridge experience:
‘I've come away with a sense that what I got was an extraordinary opportunity: I had the luck to have an extremely positive admissions tutor and an extremely helpful College; I had the support of my family; and I had financial support from various scholarships. I realise that this opportunity isn't open to a lot of people. It has changed me so significantly that a lot of my work now is to try and encourage people to come to Cambridge.’
Sadly, Snehal passed away in July 2012 just weeks before she received her law qualifications from the highly acclaimed BPP Law School in London. The Snehal Sidhu-Patrick Memorial Fund was established in her memory in an effort to keep alive her dedication to expanding opportunities for disabled students at Cambridge. The fund is used specifically for international disabled students.
Eligible offer holders and students of the University of Cambridge are able to benefit from the fund to meet the costs of academic-related disability support which is not covered by other funding streams (such as the International Disabled Students' Fund).
The Snehal Sidhu-Patrick Memorial Fund can help meet the costs of support not covered by other funding streams, including (but not limited to):
- Specialist equipment you need for studying, for example computer software or a digital voice recorder
- Non-medical help, such as a note-taker or specialist 1:1 study skills
- Extra travel costs you have to pay because of your disability
In order to be eligible for the Snehal Sidhu-Patrick Memorial Fund, applicants must:
- Have applied for funding through the International Disabled Students' Fund (IDS Fund)
- Be a current registered student or a confirmed offer holder at the University of Cambridge, and be classed as an ‘international student’ (EU/Overseas) for fees purposes
- Be ineligible for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
- Be able to provide documentation of a diagnosed disability according to the Equality Act (2010)1, for example, a medical letter or specialist report
Agree to undergo an independent Needs Assessment, if required
- The Snehal Sidhu-Patrick Memorial Fund Panel, consisting of the Head of the DRC, at least one Trustee of the Snehal Sidhu-Patrick Memorial Fund, and the student's Disability Adviser, will meet on a rolling basis to consider awards as required.
- Awards will be considered only for those students whose support costs exceed the funding available via the IDS Fund.
- The Snehal Sidhu-Patrick Memorial Fund Panel will review all available specialist evidence and assess whether recommended support can be funded by the Snehal Sidhu-Patrick Memorial Fund.
- The decision will then be communicated by email to the applicant by the Head of the DRC. The applicant's Disability Adviser will provide the applicant with details of how their support will be established.
- A translation of your supporting evidence or additional evidence may be requested by the Snehal Sidhu-Patrick Memorial Fund Panel.
- Information about other sources of funding approached may be requested as this information will assist the Trustees of the Snehal Sidhu-Patrick Memorial Fund in allocating funds appropriately.
- The Trustees of the Snehal Sidhu-Patrick Memorial Fund will meet annually to review awards and available funds.
1The Equality Act (2010) defines a ‘disabled person’ as ‘someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term (over 12 months) adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’