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Asthma friendly Universities


I've not posted on this site for a very long time heelo to any old posters/campers it's MAY!

Anway in the next few months i'm going to have to start think/decided which unis id like to go to and i was wondering if any posters could recommend good unis that are good for brittle asthma.

E.g. not too hilly, friendly disability office, good halls-not too many stairs or damp...

Thanx i know this is a slightly odd thread!!

May x

14 Replies

Hi May

What are you going to be studying at uni as a lot will depend on whether a university runs your course.

Hope I can help you further




Im considering studying something such as politics/international relations/sociology. I am also hoping to go to a top 20 university if i can hopefully get the grades.



Hello May, welcome back. In your position I would have thought it worth looking at the Uni's you fancy and then actually asking them about how they would deal with your asthma. You could then come on here and ask for specific info about the area the local hospitals etc before submitting your UCAS form.

Good luck and glad to hear from you again.



Exeter is very good- a bit hilly depending on where your lectures are and where you live but the disablity office is very helpful and can arrange to let people drive onto and around campus etc......also not alot of pollution- my asthma is much better there than at home. Local hossie also not too bad altho havent had that much experience of it luckily.



I have a friend who did international relations at Keele Uni. It seemed quite flat but it is a way out of stoke (can't remember how far though). Her disability services seemed ok at the time but she graduated six years ago now.

U agree with Bex, best to decide on some and go and look round. Ask to meet the disability people. That's what I did for my first uni and it was the best thing I did (it wasn't for my asthma just for being VI). It changed my mind about which uni I wanted to go to! I went to Hull and the disability people were very friendly and welcoming and did everything they could. I'd gone to look round some others who were really unhelpful or the lecturers seemed very negative about my disability which probably would have meant not getting the support I needed. I'm starting at Teesside in a couple of weeks and the disability people have been fantastic so far. I chose it because of the course and because it is near to where my boyfriend lives. I didn't get involved with the disability people until after I had got accepted onto the course. They have really done everything they can and managed to get my DSA released early so I should have my equipment only a few weeks into my course (when it took months for my first degree). They have sorted all sorts of things for me and even asked me about my asthma during my assesment. I think I'm getting referred to an asthma specialist at the hospital there too but I can't remember his name!


hi may, i have just applied to uni's and like others have said firstly i have seen whether they actualy do my course, to do this you can use a wicked website push.com/co.uk not quiet sure and yu can enter all you wiches etc from uni and they leave you with a list of the ones best suited to you. But as i found out you definately ave to visit the uni as they are VERY different from the prospectus etc and it realy is a personal choice, nottingham uni was my top coice according o thewebsite but after vistbg it i found it was not right for me course wise and as asthma wise just to many hills/too far to walk etc etc

From the asthma point of view i oo have had to take this into consideration and have found actually going to the place and seeing what its like the factites and actually talking to the staff there is a DEFINATE and it maybe expensive to travel to etc but i i am sooo glad i have done it!!

I ended up applying for physio at: cardiff, brunel, brightion, UWE and birmingham and think that these are the best ones that suit ALL my needs becasue like you i tend to struggle with my asthma but when it came to uni i made a choice not to let asthma take over my decision to not live to far from home etc but chose places that i liked the course was good the halls were nice and new with good access and thenlooked at if they were suitable for my asthma i know its hard decision and i havent decided where i am actually going yet!!

but its hard casue its always at the back of your mind what if? where wil i go ? ill not be at home? docs? but dont let this cloud you judgemnet as i have found that ALL the nis i went to where very accomidating and said they could do a lot for me as long as you declare it on your UCAS formand dont hide the asthma then they are great, they have also been sooo helpful with my dyslexia as well and i am actually looking forward to going in spetember :D !!

i hope this is of some help ... need anymore qu's etc then eel free to pm me

katie xxx


Hellooo May!

I would decide which uni YOU want to go to and get them to meet Your needs!

Sussex Uni is good for Sociology, living ok campus would be OK as it is all at the top of a hill, though Brighton is at the bottom of a large hill.

All Uni buildings will (should) be DDA complient (Lift access) and you should be able to get assistance with mobility if needed. eg extra money for buses or Taxis.

Sunderland is fairly flat, Aberystwyth is at to top of a huge hill, Bangor is very hilly (But I liked it there)

Go for newer halls if poss, also consider where you may have to live in your 2nd etc year as you may have to apply specially for good accomodation early on.

Go for what you want and not what your asthma dictates. Disabilty services weren't that good when I was at university but I got through with sheer determination.

Good luck and let us know where you apply and there may me an Alumni here to help!




Hi May,

Welcome back (I haven't posted for ages either but u might remeber me!)

I agree that u want to find six or so uni's that offer ur course etc that you like (I think UCAS site has a search thing) and then go and visit them and see what they are like, talk to the helth centres if they have them on campus and the disability ppl and see what they can say to help. I would def advice going to visit the places as they are often very different to how they look in the prospectus.

Exeter is lovely (so much so I want to stay after I graduate!), but very hilly (as i learnt!) and the halls that you would be in 1st yr aren't always very near departments as the campus is very spread out, (there are some really nice halls though). I used to have a 25min walk in my first yr to lectures. The health centre are lovely on campus though but that is even further away from my halls in first yr!

Good luck with uni hunting and just ask if u want any more help.

mouse x x x


Hi May,

I can't give you much advice on universities as I'm studying with the Open University and therefore do it from home. I can however say that Newcastle is a great place to live and generally isn't too hilly. Both unis have their main campuses in the city centre and both have good academic reputations, as far as I'm aware. I can also vouch for the high standard of specialist care for brittle asthmatics at Newcastle's Freeman hospital.

As KateM said, Sunderland is pretty flat, though personally I'm not a great fan of the city, but that's got nothing to do with universities (or the people, or even the football as I don't follow the football), but more to do with character of the city.

Durham Uni has a great reputation, but I really don't advise it as a place for brittle asthmatics simply because it is one hill after another. It is beautiful and worth a visit, but ever so hilly.

That's my rundown of the main university cities in the North East.

I hope that helps a little and that you manage to find suitable places. Again, as KateM says, apply to the places you *want* to go to and have them work around you and your needs, not the other way around.

Good luck.



Im at uni just now and had problems etc but you may want to consider applying to the dla for supprt when you get to uni if you need help with travel and getting to and from ubni or scribes etc. they ahve been really good a supplied funsing for me to help me continue to study.



Hi May, hope you are OK tonight.

Location, location, location is a good start re the practical issues associated with asthma. ( Kirsty Alsopp knows a thing or two about this subject - location I mean !)

As importantly you only have five course choices in, as you say, aiming for a ‘top twenty university’ So you need to be very sure about all aspects of your subject Checking second year modules both compulsory and optional can save a lot of time, although it’s often possible to change courses within the same faculty at the end of the first year. Also some students ( any many parents) are influenced more by overall rankings rather than individual subject rankings,

I can’t emphasise enough the importance of attending open days and getting to chat to the various academic and support folks who can make or break your time spent away from all you know including, friends, family, support medical services and so on. If it wasn’t for the support of my tutor at Nottingham uni, about a billion light years ago now -or so it seems, - I would never have been able to return to undergraduate and subsequent post graduate study after having to drop out of the first year because of asthma problems. (Lived in appropriately named Florence Nightingale Hall during first year!)

Three or four years is a long time! BUT, on the other hand it can be positively liberating to be away from all familiar stresses.

I used to advise all my ‘A’ level students that I spent at least three months researching main holiday destination…. and that was only for three weeks or thereabouts. Not being a statistician but applying the same maths for the next three years requires far more time than the usual logon to view stage managed photos, descriptions of campus and social life as well as similarly written prospectuses, not to mention biased views from…you guessed it, family, friends and the odd person in Starbucks you just happen to get chatting to.

Infrastructure is important. Some campus based universities are out on a limb re the importance of mainline trains , buses, trams and motorways. Other city based campuses, - especially the larger unis – can seem lonely if you don’t quickly develop a circle of supportive relationships.

With only having five course choices you have to be even more careful. Some of the ‘newer’ universities such as Hull, Nottingham Trent, De Montfort, and Oxford Brookes have developed outstanding student support services including all those related to health problems in an effort to meet student satisfaction scores and subsequent enhanced HEFCE funding

Concerning asthma problems…hmmm, again would always go for the individual and gut feeling, ‘yes I like that university and the tutors’ after open day visiting.

I work in the most sports science based institution in the UK. (Loughborough) Despite suffering from severe asthma and past - it has to be now said competitive sports background - I can’t help but feel uplifted by all the emphasis upon, not only health and fitness, but also a very strong research background into health problems and health in general.( I’m reminded of this fitness daily, when trying to circumnavigate kamikazi cyclists and runners (Yay!)

An obvious example is our own Paula Ratcliffe and her asthma plus associated research into ways in which she will try to overcome horrendous air pollution in Beijing via dietary means as well as obvious medications. There is also lots of world class research going on into all types of asthma via local difficult asthma and lung inflammation clinics. Both Leicester and Loughborough unis have exceptionally close and well co-ordinated links with the hospitals, walk-in centres and local population. My HE, EU and international students have always benefited from this sort of support as well as yours truly.

Good luck with your course and university choices. You have an exciting time ahead of you! ( I'm sure you'll get those grades)


(Just remembered I’m up to my eyeballs in UCAS apply applications and with the promise of ‘a few more’ to read post 15 Jan. 2008. Aaaagh!)


Bumped up for KatieLou



Sorry to bring this up again but am in a real pickle as to what to do over university and am just looking for some reassurance to be honest.

At the moment, I have brilliant frienvds who are very understanding of my condition and I am not looking forward to having to explain why I can't go out every night and living in halls when my asthma isn't good enough. My asthma does not react well to little sleep and stress and to be honest University has always been a dream but now I am not sure if I will be able to cope with it.

Anything reassuring would be brilliant,

May x


form filling in

can i just ask if anyone has had any dealingd with the disability form filling in in order to recieve disability allowences? its just a bit complicated and any advice or info would be great!!

on that subject anyone done the student finace loan one either ... boy i hate forms and this is 28 pgs long!!!


katie x


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