22 SES 11 B, Widening Access to Higher Education for Diverse Groups: Age and Disability as Risk or Opportunity for Promoting an Inclusive University
The papers in this symposium discusses different approaches to widening access to higher education (HE) for groups is risk of disempowerment on the basis of age and disability. University Lifelong Learning (ULLL) has been emphasized as an educational policy priority across Europe and many countries have developed special programmes to promote access for specific groups. Mature adults and disabled people were recognized as significant targets of these policies, as they are typically under-represented and in risk of exclusion in higher education. The papers report experiences from Scotland (UK), Romania and Portugal where access for these groups is promoted, identifying their strong and weak points, and discussing their potential for including diverse groups and promoting access to ULLL.
The participants are members of the DIALOGUE project (2011-14), a Grundtvig Network which is seeking to bridge the gap between academic research on university lifelong learning and professional practice around adult teaching, learning and guidance within lifelong learning provision in universities. The project is seeking to create a European Space for DIALOGUE between researchers, practitioners and policy makers active in the field.
In this symposium, the experiences in the various countries will be discussed in terms of (i) their potential for access and progression to higher education, (ii) their effectiveness in the actual inclusion of mature adults and disabled people, and (iii) their capacity to stimulate a DIALOGUE between researches, practitioners and policy makers that will result in the betterment of access and progression policies and practices for diverse groups. (iv) the developing context of policies and practices for lifelong learning and for widening access to HE in Europe will also be discussed.
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