On the 21-22 September 2020 took place the first Peer-Learning Activity on Inclusive Mobility, as part of the PLAR-4-SIMP project. Hosted by the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training together with the Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO), this first PLA gathered 30 participants representing 14 Ministries of Education of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and their respective National Agency for Erasmus+ or National Erasmus+ Office.
The discussions revolved around the barriers and challenges of organising mobility in an inclusive way for all types of disadvantaged students, but discussions were solution-oriented and participants have had the chance to receive plenty of inputs from other countries and experts. In particular, on the first day, participants took part in a panel where the Flemish and Austrian ministries highlighted their national strategy and policy plan on how they try to make mobility more inclusive in their respective countries. Two experts from University UK international (UUKi) and the European University Association (EUA) also shared insight into their respective research reports on the topic.
Through intense online preparatory work and interactive workshops, participants have been able to share challenges, obstacles but also good practices and solutions. A background paper has been published stating the current status of Inclusive Mobility around the EHEA. A virtual gallery walk offered a first glimpse at each country’s situation, strategy and current challenges faced. The preliminary results of the EPFIME project were also shared with participants, giving them valuable inputs on the situation of inclusion in mobility programmes for students with disabilities specifically.
On the second day, a session with a representative from the European Commission took place and was centered onto the inclusion aspects in the next Erasmus programme 2021-2027 and how the European Commission and the EHEA can cooperate more on the topic of inclusion. Participants also expressed their needs and expectations towards the communication package and training package that will be later developed throughout the project.