- administrative staff
- community representatives
The University of Zagreb organized a UNIC Superdiversity School "Inclusive Higher Education: Research, Teaching and Student Support" from May 10 to 12, 2023, with a focus on responding to challenges and finding best practices in conducting (engaged) research and supporting students with disabilities.
Faculty of Law University of Zagreb Trg Republike Hrvatske 3 Zagreb Croatia
The University of Zagreb organized a face-to-face UNIC Superdiversity School from May 10 to 12, 2023, with a focus on responding to challenges and finding best practices in conducting (engaged) research and supporting students with disabilities. The event was intended for academics, students and administrative staff with the aim of creating practices and guidelines to make their university more community-engaged, inclusive and superdiversity-ready. The first day of the Superdiversity School addressed the main methodological challenges in designing and conducting hard-to-reach and hard-to-research populations and strategies to address them that researchers should consider when conducting research involving children. Participants were mainly academics and PhD students. The first day began with a welcoming note by assoc. prof. Goranka Lalić Novak and with a brief presentation of the Unic alliance of ten European universities, including the University of Zagreb, whose main goal is to create a new European university that will enable a significant increase in student mobility and contribute to the creation of an exemplary model of inclusive education aimed at solving the problems of post-industrial cities and increasingly diverse European society. Along with the presentation of the project, she also thanked all the organizers and wished those present a successful first working day of the UNIC Superdiversity School. The introductory presentation was continued by assoc. prof. Teo Giljevic who gave a brief description of all the days of the conference and all the topics that will be covered in the following days. He also invited all participants to present their potential ideas for improving inclusion in higher education and thereby participate in determining a wide range of concrete practices how to prepare universities for the present and the future of superdiversity. After the introduction, the professor gave the floor to assoc. prof. Drago Župarić-Iljić from the Faculty of of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. The topic was the methodology of researching hard-to-reach populations and vulnerable groups, and the focus was on the main methodological challenges and obstacles that everyone faces when dealing with such a topic. The following lecture was given by assoc. prof. Miroslav Rajter, Research Office of the University of Zagreb, who focused on the ethics of research with children and how to build a code of ethics. He also emphasized that every research involves certain risks that have a chance of happening and researchers must do everything they can to reduce it to the smallest possible extent and then react. One thing is to plan the exposure and another thing is to react when that risk materializes. This was followed by a workshop on Conducting Research Respecting Ethical Standards. The participants were divided into groups and, through exercises, discussed various topics in the field of ethical standards in the implementation of research with vulnerable groups. The second day of UNIC Superdiversity School addressed study experiences and research results related to the challenges of students with disabilities. Participants of this session were students and academics. The second day started again with a brief presentation of the UNIC Alliance by assoc. prof. Goranka Lalić Novak which was followed by the presentation of Good practices in the Education of People with Disabilities in the City of Zagreb held by Maja Liković, mag.act.soc, Association for Persons with Disabilities of Karlovac County. The presenter also showed a video aimed at educating and raising the awareness of the public, but also of people with disabilities and multiple sclerosis, about the possibilities for education and employment. The topics of the next two presentations by students of the Faculty of Law in Zagreb were Challenges of Studying with Disabilities held by Katarina Strunjak, and the Appropriate Support and Adaptation in Classes for Students with Disabilities held by Iva Rašić. The presentations attracted a lot of attention from the audience, so an interesting discussion followed, which mainly concerned the experience of students with disabilities and possible solutions to existing challenges. Following presentations concerned Appropriate Support and Adaptation in Classes for Students with Disabilities, held by Martina Sopta, mag.act.soc., Center for Rehabilitation Zagreb and Ana Smodlaka, mag.act.soc., Institute for Social Work, Regional Office Split, and Work during Studies – Experiences of People with Disabilities held by the Lea Ečimović and Viktorija Hadari from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, both students. This was followed by work in discussion groups on selected topics that emerged from the research presented by the students in the previous presentation. The third day of UNIC Superdiversity School addressed legal issues and requirements for support and adaptation of the study process for students with disabilities. The workshop focused on case studies where participants identified good practices and malpractice. Participants of this session were administrative staff members, students and academics. The third day began with an introductory presentation by assist. prof. Koraljka Modić Stanke and a greeting to all participants. Three consecutive presentations were on the topic of administrative support for students with disabilities, with an emphasis on legal requirements and practical experience. Presentations were held by prof. Kristina Urbanc, prof. Irena Majstorović and assoc. prof. Teo Giljevic from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb. They emphasized that the right to adapt the teaching process for every student with a disability stems from the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Anti-Discrimination Act. They further pointed out that the University of Zagreb has adopted a procedure for making a recommendation for adapting the teaching process and taking exams, which regulates the way the Office for Students with Disabilities of the University of Zagreb when it receives a request for making a recommendation for adapting the teaching process and taking exams. The school continued with the presentation of the results of research on the experience of students with disabilities with support and adaptations in classes at the Social Work Study Center of the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb. The presentation ended with a discussion on the mentioned topic. After that, the participants received materials for a group work. After that, the participants received materials for working in groups in which they had to discuss five situations in which students with disabilities can find themselves while studying. After the group work, the participants presented their conclusions, followed by a discussion. Three-day UNIC Superdiversity school ended with the highlights and main conclusions.
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