This paper looks at academic and welfare support for students in higher education, and in particular what makes that support effective. It draws on data from a research project which explored networks of support for disabled and non-disabled students. Part of the research focused on the nature and sources of support that were identified as important by students, as well as the kinds of support that were available within the higher education institution (HEI). What emerged was the question, ‘What do we mean by support?’ Drawing mainly on the voices and experiences of the students, perceptions of support were explored and the effects of support on the students’ experience of higher education were considered. Through a focus on more generic support structures as well as support which was specific to individual (disabled) students, the research aimed to understand ‘support’ and its importance from the student perspective.