The impact of current reforms in higher education on studies and quality of academic life of students with disabilities

Within the project ‘Improving the social dimension of the European higher education area in South East Europe’ the Association of Students with Disabilities with partner organisations from Macedonia and Montenegro is conducting a research on the impact of current reforms on studies and quality of academic life of students with disabilities.
The research will cover university centres in Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, where the higher education reforms have already started.
The aim of this research is to determine how the current process of higher education reform affects studies and quality of academic life of students with different types of disabilities. Also, the attitudes of students with disabilities will be compared to the attitudes and opinions of students without disabilities as well as those from other underrepresented groups – whether the reform process affect the selected groups in a different way. Through the research, partner organisations will also investigate if the reforms support an equal access to education and in which way the reforms reflect and affect leisure time, social life, student activism and other components of student life.
The research has two components: focus groups and student surveys.
National teams will conduct focus groups with students with disabilities, forming them on the basis of assumed main barriers they face, but also with the students without disabilities.
The other part of this research consists of the research among students from selected faculties (based on level and time frame of completed reforms – according to official national reports on the progress of the Bologna Process, data from national accreditation agency etc.). Through the questionnaire, the surveyors will collect information on students with disabilities and their level of participation in academic life, support services provided at their faculties and possibilities for participation in the programmes organised by their faculties.
On the basis of the data collected in this research, a regional report will be composed and presented to all authorities and institutional bodies involved in higher education reform in the countries covered by the research, as well as in European institutions monitoring the implementation of these reforms.

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