Presentation on theme: "Disability in higher education : a key factor for improving quality and achievement HIGHER EDUCATION TO 2030: WHAT FUTURES FOR QUALITY ACCESS IN THE ERA."— Presentation transcript:
Disability in higher education : a key factor for improving quality and achievement HIGHER EDUCATION TO 2030: WHAT FUTURES FOR QUALITY ACCESS IN THE ERA OF GLOBALISATION? Paris-8-9 December 2008 Serge Ebersold
Why look at disability in higher education (HE)?
An increasing number of SEN students in Higher Education United Kingdom : from 2% of the student population in 1994-95 to 6.5% in 2006 France : from 695 SWD registered in 1981 to 8 763 (0.4%) in the year 2006-07. Sweden : + 125% between 1993 and 1999. Germany: from 16% of total student population in 2003 to 18.9% in 2006.
A growth reflecting a diversification of students profile at higher education Inclusive education policies increased the number of SEN students eligible for HE. Democratisation of HE has increased the number of students that may be at higher risk of failure and drop out. Internationalisation of trade and career paths has increased the proportion of foreigners in HEI (+8% a year since 1998). The spread of lifelong learning opportunities increased the number of students returning to HE to maintain their employability.
A diversification reflecting the role of higher education in development of human capital Access to higher education improves access to employment –In 2003, in Norway, the employement rate of those SWD who accessed tertiary education was 7.8% higher compared with those who only completed secondary education. –In 2004, in England the employment rate of those SWD who completed their 1st degree was close to that of non- disabled students (57.4% compared to 61.2%)
Access to higher education allows for maintaining employability through mobility : –Fosters a dynamic relationship to learning –Allows for openess to lifelong learning opportunities; –Improves the ability of individuals to cope with changes and transition periods
A diversification, requiring HEIs to cope with a diversity of needs to be equitable Diversity of needs and rhythms behind diversity of profiles –Students from modest backgrounds feel less comfortable with educational and occupational choices and may require support and/or accommodations. –Foreigners may lack language skills and require accomodations or supports. –Older students may require some support and/or accommodations to combine academic requirements with family or professionnal requirements
There is an increasing access to tertiary education but there are weaknesses
Access may not reflect personal choice: -In the USA, PWD are four times less likely than non- disabled students to be admitted to long courses or enroll in institutions offering a first postgraduate course. Programmes of study have weaker links with the employment sector: - France (2006):languages or humanities (36% SWD compared to 32.3% of non disabled students)
SWD are more likely to face difficulties in achievement. – In the Netherlands, 50% of SWD fall behind in their studies, are more likely to drop out, and are twice as prone as their non-disabled peers to discontinue their undergraduate studies SWD tend to have more erratic pathways within tertiary education –In Germany : SWD disproportionately change their study programme (23% compared to 19%) or institution (18% compared to 16%) and drop out (20% compared to 13%).
Receptiveness to diversity depending on the concept of disability that is adopted
A medical approach of disability (France, Switzerland) Access to HEI of SWD is low: 0.4% of total student population in France Disability is related to an « inability » resulting from an impairment as medically certified. Needs assessment is medically or socially based : mainly made by doctors or social workers
A medical approach to disability In France, those considered as « disabled » are those having a medically certified disability. Of those with disabilities enrolled: –sensory deficiency (24.7%), physical deficiency (19.8%), –health problems (20.6%), psychological disorder (11.2%), –literacy problems (8.2%), temporary incapacity (5.3%). Diversity is constrained due to a minority of students Educational needs approached as a marginal phenomenon
A developmental approach of disability (United kingdom, Canada (Ontario) Proportion of SWD in HE is higher : 6.5% of total population in UK in 2006 and 8.9% in Ontario in 2001. Disability is viewed to a need to be met in the context of the aims followed by the curriculum
Those considered as « disabled » includes those having educational needs beyond an existing impairment –In England : dyslexia 43% of total SEN students in 2006 –In Denmark : difficulties in writing 66% of total, SEN students in 2006 –In Ontario : Learning difficulties in Ontario 47.9% of total SEN students in 2001
A developmental appoach of disability (ctd) Diversity is a key issue to be met by institutions, a means for each students success Diversity is related to the diversity of educational needs Accessibility is a means for each students success and is part of HEIs strategic plan
A relationship to disability impacting on HEIs relationship to quality and effectiveness
A developmental approach of disability fosters quality and effectiveness Includes pedagogical and social issues in accessibility Refers quality to the enabling effect of teaching methods and accommodations for all students Individualisation is a means for fostering each students success (Needs of SEN students are those of many non-disabled students)
Fosters admission strategiesto tkae needs into account and evaluation procedures allowing for identifying the diversity of needs to be met. In the UK: –The proportion of students suspected of having a disability fell from 33.9% of enrolled students in 1995 to 2.2% in 2004 –Students with learning difficulties rose in UK from 15% in 1994-1995 to 43% in 2006.
Leads HEIs to provide appropriate teaching and effective support for achievement –Proportion of SEN students attaining a first class honours degree : 5.4% in 1994 to 9.2% in 2003; –Achievement of upper second class honours : 35.6% in 1994 and 43.4% for 2003-04. – Numbers of post-graduate SEN students rose from 10.5% in 1994 to 17.2% in 2003-04.
A medical approach restricts ability to focus on quality and effectiveness Accessibility, as a means to compensate the disabilities of a few students. –Accessibility is reduced to physical access and additional time for examination. Prevents from developing appropriate supports and accommodations. –Only 7% of french universities make a formal assessment to define and implement accommodations and support.
A medical approach restricts ability to focus on quality and effectiveness Delivery of supports and accommodations can be neither individualised nor evaluated: –Accommodations and support are delivered according to a level of incapacity instead of an educational need Access to HE depends on students ability to cope with the requirements. –One HEI employee is responsible for support and accommodation and not a service and often feels left alone –SEN students have lower chances to complete undergraduate courses, especially those with a psychological or health problem or a temporary incapacity
A medical approach restricts ability to focus on quality and effectiveness Inhibits including success and transition issues in quality assessment. –No precise and reliable data on students achievement, pathways to higher education and transitions to employment. –Access to HE depend on students ability to cope with the requirements
Disability at higher education, a source of dynamism and innovation for HEIs
Enrolling SWD encourages change in HEIs Appropriate admission strategies and continuity of support require links with upper secondary education. Procedures allowing a cross-sectoral approach and complementarity between education, employment and welfare provision have to be developed to allow students to meet academic requirements.
Enrolling SWD encourages: Procedures to be developed for coordonnating general and vocational education for building appropriate pathways. The adaptation of teaching methods to individuals needs requiring HEIs to use new technologies and diversify teaching methods (distance learning, ICT). –Open University in UK
Develop links with the economic sector: –University of Toronto works with economic sector on computer accessibility –HEIs develop links with employers for facilitating access to internship Become a resource centres for the community : –University of Grenoble acts as an accessibility resource center for the city –University of Leeds develops admission strategies for students from lower socio-economic background
Enrolling SWD encourages: Breaking of the barriers between academic and non- teaching staff –Teaching staff may identify educational needs –Administrative staff identify pedagogical adaptations that may be required Rethinking teaching methods used by academic staff –The adaptation made for a SEN student may be available for all students
Beyond short term constraints, disability at higher education is an added value It reveals Higher education institutions ability to : –meet diversity issues; –focus on quality and effectiveness, –be innovative and embedded in community
Disability at higher education Leads HEIs to define themselves as learning organisations fostering innovation Leads HEIs to consider acessibility and receptiveness as a mean for quality and effectiveness Requires HEIs to include transition to tertiary education and to employment in quality assessment
Pathways for students with disabilities to tertiary education and to employment : aims Develop cost-effective inclusion policies for economic and social well-being. Promote effectiveness and quality for full and active participation. Promote best practice quality indicators for effective pathways.
10 countries participate to Pathways for students with disabilities to tertiary education and to employment Netherlands Denmark Norway Czech Republic Estonia Portugal Germany United States Ireland Franc e
Pathways for students with disabilities to tertiary education and to employment : methodology Country reports: Mapping the situation at policy level. –Quality linked with current policies and persons with disabilities situations in comparison with those of non- disabled people. Policies referred to models of inclusion ( Educational model, socio-educational model, socio economical model) Quality approached by policies ability to combine equity, effectiveness and innovation
Pathways for students with disabilities to tertiary education and to employment : methodology Longitudinal study: What works. –Quality linked with the enabling or disabling effect of policies and practices on individuals situations. Case studies: How it works. –Quality linked with educational practices and support strategies and the skills developed.
References OECD, (2003), Disability at higher education; OECD, Paris. Ebersold, S. Adapting higher education to the needs of disabled students : development, challenges and prospects in OECD (2008) Higher education to 2030, OECD, Paris. Ebersold, S, (2007). An affiliating participation for an active citizenship, Scandinavian journal of disability research, 9;3