Almost half of higher education institutions continue to have buildings that are not adapted for students with Special Educational Needs, warned the Lisbon Academic Federation (FAL) today, defending the urgency of correcting these cases that promote social exclusion.
After a year of presenting the ‘Black Book of Higher Education’, FAL today launched the ‘Green Paper’, in which it assesses the problems experienced by students of higher education, dedicating a chapter to students with special educational needs ( SEN).
There are described the main difficulties faced by students with SEN on a daily basis, in particular, the lack of infrastructure and transport that guarantee access to higher education institutions.
The 2017/2018 Survey on Special Educational Needs in Higher Education, prepared by the Directorate General of Education and Science Statistics (DGEEC), identified 1,644 students attending 112 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
Most HEIs (56.3%) guarantee total accessibility to their buildings, with 36.6% of institutions admitting to having only some of the accessible buildings, and in the other cases, the institutions do not have any accessible building.
The Green Paper, therefore, calls for the creation of conditions allowing full access to all areas of all institutions. Not only in terms of infrastructure but also transport.
Another problem is the adapted public transport service: Almost half of the institutions (47.32%) recognize that there are no public transports that guarantee access to classes or services.
For FAL this is a “worrying situation“, with a negative highlight for the Autonomous Region of the Azores, “which does not have any adapted public transportation that offers access to HEI“.
However, most Higher Education establishments regularly organize transport adapted for specific routes (49%) or for regular situations (31%). One in five institutions does not organize any type of transport route suitable for students with SEN.
The adaptation of infrastructures and transport should also allow students to practice sports.
“The situation of the inclusion of students with SEN is deteriorated when it comes to the practice of sport“, with only 13 HEIs to provide adapted infrastructures, read in the report published today, which points the Algarve and the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira as the most worrying cases.
Only in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon is it possible to carry out an adapted sport provided by a Higher Education establishment.
Most institutions (63) have some type of regulation for students with SEN, but only 35 have specific statutes or regulations for these students.
Most institutions do not have support services for students with SEN: Only 45.5% of HEIs claim to have these structures.
The “Green Paper on Higher Education” examines various topics that affect students’ lives, from institutional funding to social action support, to students studying away from home or with SEN.
The Green Paper also focuses on the relationship between the student and quality assurance in Higher Education, and it is argued that the student should also have the task of monitoring and evaluating teaching.
“To introduce surveys of satisfaction with academic life in the internal evaluation and self-evaluation of Higher Education Institutions, which monitor students in relation to teaching, learning, infrastructures, socialization, methods and processes of pedagogical evaluation of students, organization and functioning of the cycle of studies, occupational, housing, logistics, transportation and expenditure on school materials “is one of the recommendations.
The manual presented today in Lisbon also argues that an online platform should be created where it would be possible to know the Portuguese Higher Education training offer, integrating indicators of satisfaction of the graduates in relation to the Higher Education Establishment, employability and salary expectation.