Inclusive higher education: problems, experience and development prospects

The Forum 'The creation of a supporting system for the higher education educational institutions activities in the implementation and development of inclusive education' started is work on October 31, 2018 in Vyatka State University, a flagship university in the Kirov Region.The media partners of the Forum are Accreditation in Education Company and Higher Education Discovery.

The Forum organized with support from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation is held in order to generalize the practices of development of inclusive higher education and implementation of the interdepartmental integrated action plan to ensure accessibility of professional education for people with disabilities and limited health capacities for 2016-2018.

Over 200 participants include representatives of regional authorities, non-governmental organizations, employers; Rectors and Vice-Rectors of universities, staff of resource training centers for people with disabilities and limited health capacities.

During the opening of the Forum the welcoming speech of Mikhail Kotyukov, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, was read out to the participants and organizers. It stated that a priority of the state policy in the field of higher education is to increase accessibility of higher education for people with disabilities, and the Forum must become a platform to develop interdepartmental interaction and social partnership in assistance with getting higher education and further employment of people with disabilities.

Artemy Rozhkov, Director of the Department of the State Policy in the Sphere of Higher Education and Youth Policy of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation drew attention to a substantial upward trend that can be observed in recent years in providing accessible higher education for people with disabilities.

'It is important for us that the work related to the provision of inclusive higher education should not be done imperatively but as part of a dialogue with non-governmental organizations of people with disabilities, with the expert community. The Forum is an important platform for such dialogue.'

In his speech Artemy Rozhkov told about the strategies of inclusive education development in Russia.

Olga Serebriannikova, Coordinator of the project to increase accessibility and improve quality of higher education for people with disabilities and limited health capacities at the Department of the State Policy in the Sphere of Higher Education and Youth Policy of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, said that 564 educational organizations are training people with disabilities at the moment. She dwelt upon the assistance for educational organizations of higher education in developing inclusive education and told about the performance of the network of resource training centers.

The speech of Valentin Pugach, Rector of Vyatka State University, was dedicated to the values of inclusive education in the modern world.

'This issue is important as the effectiveness of our joint efforts to ensure accessibility of higher education for people with disabilities is largely determined by the adoption of values of inclusive education by all its subjects.'

The foreign speakers were Moore Alan Thomas, Project Manager for Education in Dublin, Ministry of Education and Skills, and Daniel Mathieu, Professor of Practice at the Paris Institute of Political Science (France). The foreign guests of the Forum shared their experience in organizing inclusive education in European universities.

The second half of the day was spent in the format of discussion platforms. The following issues were discussed: problems of HEIs' interaction with educational organizations of secondary general education and professional education to assist in career guidance of graduates with disabilities, the mechanisms of implementation of educational activities under the conditions of inclusive higher education, the specific character of organization of socio-psychological support for people with disabilities, assistance in their employment, experience in creating and developing an accessible environment of higher education organizations.

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