Round table discussion was held at State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia on October 5 aimed at development of inclusive higher professional education. The topic of the discussion was “Inclusive Teaching and Assessment”.
During the discussion the faculty of SAFAA distinguished the main issues connected to the inclusive higher education, sorted out the vulnerable groups of students having special needs, as well as discussed the ways and methods to make higher education much more affordable for everyone. The participants of the round table offered to make some institutional changes, including;
- redefinition of responsibilities,
- organization of trainings for SAFAA faculty and staff,
- reallocation of budget.
It should be noted, that SAFAA has developed documentary base connected to the inclusive higher education. In its Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 Academy mentioned the importance of inclusiveness and planned the relevant activities for the development of inclusive higher education. Besides, SAFAA has designed “Policy on Inclusive Higher Education” that will contribute to the formation and dissemination of inclusive culture at Academy.
Within the framework of INCLUSION project working groups have already started the development of National Guideline for Inclusive Education and Guideline for Inclusive Approaches to Teaching and Learning, which should be on state level.
A 4- day monitoring visit was organised within INCLUSION project in Bosnia and Herzegovina to take stock of the implementation of project. The Austrian partners together with management team visited University of Travnik and University of Tuzla in September 17-20.
During the visits the monitoring team met with two target groups, i. e. staff, both teaching and administrative, and students, including representatives from underrepresented groups, (such as students with disabilities, students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, minorities, people from marginalized areas and others). The monitoring meeting gave an opportunity for open discussions highlighting existing challenges and issues in the field of inclusive higher professional education. The monitoring team also discussed the process of project implementation and its impact on the organization of inclusive higher education at the university.
In October the monitoring team will visit Armenia to have meeting with the representatives from American University of Armenia and State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia.
During the meeting the training for staff and faculty were discussed. The consortium members had an initial approval on organizing 2-day training, the main aim of which should be the representation of inclusive methods for teaching and learning in higher education institutions.
INCLUSION project working group also discussed the activities connected to the upcoming monitoring that is to be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Armenia in September and October.
Monitoring visits are to be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Armenia during September and October.
State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia launched a series of meetings with the first- year students. The main aim of the meetings is to provide information on inclusive policy of Academy and conduct a survey among students to raise the existing problems connected to inclusive higher professional education.
During the meeting the students filled in the questionnaires, that should be summarized and taken into consideration for further improvements. The working group of INCLUSION project represented the main opportunities that Academy gives to its students, including financial support and opportunities for voluntary work.
It should be mentioned that ESPAQ students community has been established at SAFAA, so the coordinator of the community represented its main aim and functions, and also provided detailed information on how to become a member of ESPAQ.
State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia will continue the meetings with the first- year students of 8 academic programs.
Being the coordinating institution, State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia, presented the report received from EACEA office in Belgium. The consortium members discussed the weak points of the project highlighted in the report and made some suggestions for the feedback. As a leader of Work package 4, American University in Armenia had a short presentation of the WP.
SAFAA and AUA looked through the equipment to be purchased within the project. They discussed the list with representatives from UNISON and MoES to get feedback for finalization.
The Armenian partners also discussed the design of national guideline. They have decided to have inter-institutional working team who would work on guideline, and have a working group on national level composed of all Armenian partners of E+ Inclusion project, who would meet periodically and discuss the development of guideline.
WORKSHOP IN LEUVEN
A 3-day workshop was organised withing INCLUSION project in Leuven, Belgium in June 27-29. Hosted by UC Leuven- Limburg University, the consortium members discussed the ways for developing teaching and learning methodology in terms of inclusive higher professional education. The workshop was held for PCU staff to enable them to act as online coaches.
The partners had to make a short video connected to the inclusive higher education. Each partner chose 2 topics and worked on the content of the video. During the first day the hosting university represented programs (like Camtasia for editing the video, YouTube for adding subtitles) so that to help the consortium members in the process of movie- making. The university staff also represented the main principles for video making.
During the second day the partner organisations and universities worked mainly individually on their videos. Leuven university provided editing rooms and studio to the INCLUSION consortium members for making the videos.
The third day started with coordination meeting managed by SAFAA, project coordinating institution, during of which financial and technical issues were discussed. At the end of the day, the partners showed their films and received feedback from others. The consortium members also discussed the main activities to be done after the workshop, including the draft and further development of national guideline.