A two- day monitoring visits have been conducted within INCLUSION project in State Academy of Fine Arts of Armenia and American University of Armenia on October 23-24. Partners from Austrian World University Service visited Armenia to monitor the process of INCLUSION project implementation in both universities.
The main aim of the monitoring was to understand how the project has influenced the university’s understanding of inclusiveness and inclusive higher education, and what changes has been made since its implementation. Partners from Austrian organization together with management team, conducted meetings with 3 target groups, i.e. teaching staff, administration and students, including those from underrepresented groups, such as parentless, foreign students and students having children.
The monitoring team noted that their visit should not be considered as a process for control, but as a process for improvements. The visit provided a platform for productive discussions with target groups to understand the process of project implementation and the existing challenges that the universities face. During the meeting with SAFAA representatives, it was mentioned that the staff and students of the Academy has already had clear understanding of inclusive higher education. Lecturers provided examples on how they deal with foreign students who do not speak Armenian, or with deaf and dump students. They use different methodologies to integrate them into teaching and learning process. SAFAA working group has organized a series of meetings with first year students to disseminate the notion of inclusiveness and understand their needs. Besides, SAFAA has already developed Policy on Inclusive Higher Education”, which should be used inside the Academy and contribute to the dissemination of inclusiveness and development of inclusive higher education.
It should be noted that in November a training will be conducted by British partners in Armenia. So, several topics has been distinguished by SAFAA staff, which should be discussed during the upcoming training.