The Social Dimension of Higher Education in Europe

Issues, Strategies and Good Practices for Inclusion


The social dimension of higher education emphasises the need to create more flexible learning and participation pathways within higher education for all students. In recent years, several projects have been developed and research groups created that have allowed considerable progress in the promotion and monitoring of more inclusive policies in this field. However, designing and implementing programmes providing attention to vulnerable groups remains a challenge for universities. Including the most significant contributions of the European project ACCESS4ALL, the book presents conceptual aspects related to the inclusive university, such as the quality and transitions linked to the treatment of diversity, good inclusion practices in six European countries, and a set of tools to identify dysfunctions and promote inclusion in higher education.

Contributors are: Kati Clements, Fabio Dovigo, Joaquín Gairín, Romiță Iucu, Miguel Jerónimo, Lisa Lucas, Tiina Mäkelä, Elena Marin, Saana Mehtälä, Fernanda Paula Pinheiro, David Rodríguez-Gómez, Cecilia Inés Suárez, Mihaela Stîngu and Sue Timmis.

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  • Introduction
Joaquín Gairín is Professor of Didactics and school organization at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He is leading projects on social and educational development, educational change processes, leadership, evaluation of programmes and institutions, ICT in training and impact evaluation. He is the leader of EDO Research Group (

David Rodríguez-Gómez (Ph.D., Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2009) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Pedagogy (UAB). His research interests include innovation, change management, organisational learning and university dropout.

Fabio Dovigo (PhD, University of Padua) is Professor for Psychology of Education at Aarhus University, Denmark. He edited Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Practices (Sense Publishers, 2016) and Challenges and Opportunities in Education for Refugees in Europe (Brill | Sense, 2018).
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

Joaquín Gairín, David Rodríguez-Gómez and Fabio Dovigo

PART 1: Conceptual Framework

1 Quality and Equity in Higher Education
Joaquín Gairín
2 Diversity, Access, and Success in Higher Education: A Transnational Overview
Fabio Dovigo

PART 2: Fostering Good Practices for Inclusion

3 Good Practices and Experiences for Inclusion in Finland
Saana Mehtälä, Kati Clements and Tiina Mäkelä
4 Fostering Good Practices for Vulnerable Students in Higher Education: Suggestions from Italy
Fabio Dovigo
5 Good Practices and Experiences for Inclusion in Portugal
Miguel Jerónimo and Fernanda Paula Pinheiro
6 Good Practices and Experiences for Inclusion in Higher Education in Romania
Elena Marin, Miaela Stîngu and Romiță Iucu
7 Good Practices and Experiences for Inclusion in Spain
Cecilia Inés Suárez
8 Policies and Strategies on Widening Access and Experiences of Inclusive Practices in Higher Education in England
Lisa Lucas and Sue Timmis

PART 3: Promoting Strategic Change for Inclusion in Higher Education

9 Developing Strategic Change Moving towards Inclusion of Underrepresented Students in Higher Education
Fabio Dovigo
10 The ACCESS4ALL Toolkit for Promoting Inclusion in Higher Education
David Rodríguez-Gómez

Researchers, teachers and administrators working in higher education institutions, whose activity is connected to promoting diversity of learners’ population and fostering the inclusion of disadvantaged students.