Deborah Johnston joins new national Disabled Students Panel

11 April 2024

Professor Deborah Johnston, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Framework), London South Bank University (LSBU) has been confirmed as a member of the new Office for Students (OfS) Disability in HE Advisory Panel which will:

  • Provide expert advice on enhancing disabled students’ experiences in higher education
  • Review how universities and colleges currently support disabled students
  • Make recommendations on how to support disabled students.

The OfS Disability in HE Advisory Panel is a committee of the OfS Board.

In January 2024 Professor Johnston’s work to make higher education more accessible for students who stammer was recognised with the award of an MBE in the 2024 New Years Honours List. The award was for her work whilst Deputy Vice-Chancellor at London South Bank University (LSBU) and Pro-Director (Learning and Teaching) at SOAS, University of London.

Professor Johnston has worked hard to increase awareness of and support for students in higher education that stammer, as well as disabled students generally. She was a commissioner in the Office for Students Disabled Students Commission, is chair of the national body supporting the Disabled Student Commitment and interim Vice Chair of the British Stammering Association (STAMMA). Professor Johnston is a regular contributor to Wonkhe and has written a number of articles on disability in higher education.

Professor Deborah Johnston, LSBU Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said, “I can’t wait to start my work as member of the OfS Disability in HE Advisory Panel to review how universities and colleges support disabled students and make recommendations on how to support them. Disabled students should be able to fully enjoy and benefit from all the life changing opportunities that higher education has to offer. I am proud that LSBU always champions inclusion and has signed up to the Disabled Student Commitment which aims to secure an enhanced and improved experience for disabled students within higher education. I will seek to bring what I have learnt here and as chair of the national body to support the Disabled Student Commitment to ensure all disabled students get the support they need.”