Middlesex University Dubai’s Centre for Academic Success (CAS) hosted the ‘Colloquium on Inclusivity in Higher Education in the UAE’ which took place at the Campus on 13 March 2018. The event brought together student support and counselling professionals from 15 different UAE universities to share their experiences and good practice for promoting inclusivity within Higher Education.
Dr Sean Pavitt, Senior Inspector for Inclusive Education at KHDA, shared the government’s vision, including the new Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework. He encouraged educationists to see the value in supporting the student rather than focusing on the disability, and the importance of ensuring an inclusive culture within all educational institutions. This was followed by Dr Christina Gitsaki from Zayed University who reflected on how learning in a foreign language can affect study and shared multi-sensory strategies to promote inclusivity in the classroom.
Ms Toleen Badawi, Executive Master Coach and NLP Practitioner, outlined her work in supporting people with mental health issues and how they can be helped to manage the stresses of university study through inclusive approaches. Finally, Ms Siobhan McNiff, Learning Support Counselor at Middlesex University Dubai shared her expertise in specific learning disabilities and provided an overview on steps that Higher Education institutions can take to promote inclusivity.
Participants reflected on how universities can work to become fully inclusive by encouraging disclosure and avoiding discrimination. The networking event provided invaluable insight into the challenges faced by students of determination as well as steps that Higher Education institutions should take to remove the barriers to inclusivity.
Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, Director of Middlesex University Dubai said “Middlesex fully supports the Dubai Government and KHDA’s Inclusive Education policy framework. The Centre for Academic Success at Middlesex leads our initiatives and provides the support and raises awareness to ensure that our students from different backgrounds and different abilities learn together in an inclusive environment.”