Significant reforms of higher education in South East Europe began in the last decade, with countries from the region entering the Bologna process. Time and manner in which these reforms are being implemented in Southeast Europe can provide a framework for quality and fully accessible higher education to underrepresented groups, including students with disabilities. Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia have implemented a variety of policies for support to certain groups of students, such as students with disabilities, but have not yet developed a national strategy for the improvement of the social dimension of the Bologna process, as has been recommended by the Working Group on the Social Dimension after a meeting of the ministers responsible for higher education in Bergen.
In the framework of the project “Advancing the social dimension of European higher education area in Southeast Europe” partner organizations explored the ways in which current trends and mechanisms of reforms that are used in the framework of the Bologna Process in Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia affect the quality of studies and academic lives of student with disabilities and students from other under-represented groups (students who are employed or/and are parents in all three countries and persons belonging to national minorities in Macedonia). Results of the research were promoted through round tables, meetings with the management of higher education institutions, the ministries responsible for education and other relevant stakeholders in each country, as well as media appearances, and support efforts of partner organizations to initiate and develop a dialogue about creating the national strategies for the development of social dimensions among the higher education stakeholders in their countries.
With EU pre-accession priorities of selected countries and commitments from Bologna Process, the project ““Advancing the social dimension of European higher education area in Southeast Europe”” is step further in the struggle for equal opportunities and advocacy of inclusive higher education in the region of South East Europe.