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Home » Coventry University leads UK-Indonesia initiative to increase disability inclusion in higher education

Coventry University leads UK-Indonesia initiative to increase disability inclusion in higher education

by Leah Llano

A new initiative led by Coventry University is pioneering solutions to address the challenges faced by disabled students in Indonesian universities.

Coventry University has been awarded the UK-Indonesia Disability Inclusion Partnerships Grant by the British Council to facilitate the establishment of the Indonesia HE Disability Union (I-HEDU), which seeks to address the diverse needs of disabled students, promote inclusivity and build pathways to higher education.

The end goal is to establish a replicable model for disability-inclusive higher education, providing benefits not only to Indonesia but potentially extending to other Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) countries and the UK.

Led by Sylvester Arnab, award-winning Professor of Game Science at the Research Centre for Postdigital Cultures and supported by Professor Katherine Wimpenny from the Research Centre for Global Learning, this collaborative initiative also involves Dr Muhibbudin Fadhli from the Universitas Negeri Malang, Dr Rochmat Aldy Purnomo from Universitas Muhamadiyah Ponorogo and Dr Dominic Mahon from the University of Surrey.

I-HEDU will leverage collective expertise by engaging with disabled people and volunteers to employ playful co-creative approaches for knowledge exchange and grassroots initiatives.

Building on the successes of previous community-centred educational initiatives, such as the ACES project, the aim of I-HEDU is to inform higher education policy through a participatory approach, ensuring equal access and future career opportunities for disabled people in higher education.

The project aligns with several United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, including quality education, reduced inequalities and decent work and economic growth.

Key benefits of the initiative include fostering international research collaboration and promoting inclusive higher education practices, with success measured through data collection, analysis and success stories from the experiences of disabled people involved in the project.

Professor Sylvester Arnab said: “The UK-Indonesia Disability Grant provides a platform to create long-lasting change in the landscape of higher education for disabled people.

“Through collaborative efforts and innovative approaches, we aspire to set a precedent for disability inclusion that goes beyond borders.”

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