The conference on Inclusive Education in Higher Education on 23 and 24 September 2016, was organised by the University of Patras in collaboration with the Region of Western Greece, under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and the participation of the Agency.
The aim of the conference was to present the European and international framework and key principles of inclusive education, with a focus on discussing best practices in inclusive higher education at European and national level. Participants examined ways to welcome and facilitate the learning of students with special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities in higher education.
Representatives of ten national and European universities presented their work and exchanged ideas on promoting a disability-friendly learning environment in higher education. The conference brought together a variety of stakeholders, such as Ministry representatives, academic and research personnel, university students, representatives of the local and regional authorities, primary and secondary special and general education teachers, as well as representatives of organisations of students with SEN/disabilities.
Agency Director Cor J.W. Meijer talked about inclusion as a necessary systemic change in a European framework, emphasising that legislation and policy must ensure every learner’s right to inclusive and equitable educational opportunities. Per Gunnvall, Agency Chair, stated that the ability to access relevant information for and about education is a crucial prerequisite for learning, therefore all educational organisations have a duty to make their information accessible for everyone.
Speakers at the conference concluded that the effective implementation of inclusive education systems is the shared responsibility of all educators, leaders and decision-makers. By gathering a wide range of stakeholders, this conference is a step towards a more inclusive system with a greater focus on accessibility and closer collaboration between universities in this field.
The conference programme is available for download.