Travnik, 10 and 11 May 2018
The two-day Erasmus+ Dissemination Conference “INCLUSION” has gone through the general satisfaction of the project partner with the working environment and hospitality of the University of Travnik, as well as the general conclusions related to the current work and the continuation of the project.
In the beautiful ambiance of the mountain Vlasic, on first day PCU’s presented their Institutional Master Plans, two partners University of the Republic of Armenia (American University and State Academy of Fine Arts) and two partners Universities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (University of Travnik and University of Tuzla). What is particularly important after the idea of Master Plans, which is also one of the important project activities, is to point to possible advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the directions of action and the work of inclusive teaching and learning under these plans. Master Plans are part of the Work Package 2 of the “Inclusion” project led by partners from the United Kingdom (Roehampton University) and Belgium (UCLL University, Louven). Otherwise, EU partners in this project greatly contribute with their experience, ideas, knowledge and the provision of the necessary tools to enable certain mechanisms to be implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Armenia. To recall, the issue of inclusive education is not something new in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the introduction of Inclusive Education in the field of higher education requires the definition of preparation, measure, regulation, culture and institutional maturity on that path of change.
The general conclusion of the first day is that all the plans so far have been made in a special and specific way depending on the Institution, which is commendable, and that the prepared work versions have to be further examined, made corrections and officially announced with the beginning of the new academic year.
The second day of the conference, May 11th, was orientated in the introduction to the “Dissemination event” dedicated to potential stakeholders. The representatives of ministries, representatives of the education sector, the NGO sector, organizations of importance for youth and education, etc., were invited, because the importance of this kind of themes is essential for all of us, encourages the right to education, teaches us equal opportunities for all, and the knowledge of how to adapt education to everyone who has the same right to it. Representatives of the University of Travnik, along with partners from Austria (WUS) and the United Kingdom, briefly outlined the idea and essence of the project in terms of focusing on understanding and defining the vulnerable groups, and understanding of existing functions and current initiatives at partner Universities , participation and completion of studies for students from these groups, as well as the mobilization and implementation of the SD strategy through the transfer of knowledge. The University of Travnik, as host, presented its Master Plan, followed by an open discussion hosted by Sarajevo Meeting of Culture (SMOC). In general, according to the opinions and attitudes of the present, inclusive education at all levels in BiH requires a change in legal regulations, a change in awareness of this segment and ultimately the most important preparation and possible training of staff for work and provision of necessary resources for implementation.
After a session on the second day of the conference, project partners enjoyed the Campus of the University of Travnik (Faculty of Education and Faculty of Technical Studies). Afterwards, the continuation of work was based on what is important for further development of the project. Partners from Armenia presented the next work package. The conclusion was to prepare and provide the necessary resources to spread the awareness of inclusive education in secondary schools.
The partners from UK opened discussion for the next visit to Belgium, Leuven, June 2018, which is particularly important as it will include training for inclusive education, learning and teaching processes. The outcome of a visit to Belgium should be a joint guidelines of inclusive learning and teaching that will cover important issues for this topic so that all partner universities are already in the process of preparing it.
The University of Travnik, along with the American university, is the leader of the Work package 6 – dissemination, and we will need to prepare for an annual report that will be presented in June in Belgium as well.
Finally, the coordinators closed conference meeting with discussions on important financial aspects of the project and reporting forms.
After completing the two-day conference in Travnik, before leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina, partners from 5 countries had a chance to enjoy Sarajevo, and the general picture of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s beauties that we have and the hospitality of our mentality left a deeply positive impact on them.