Developing Disability-Inclusive Higher Education Systems
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It has been 25 years since the first issue of International Higher Education was published. By coincidence, it is also 25 years since the Salamanca Statement called on the international community to endorse the approach of inclusive education, including at the tertiary level. The past quarter century has witnessed the global massification of postsecondary education, yet this explosion of facilities and enrollment has largely entrenched and exacerbated the exclusion of people with disabilities from the sector. This is particularly the case in low- and middle-income contexts, where university completion rates for students with disabilities are worryingly low compared to those of students without disabilities. Evidence from 35 low- and middle-income countries indicates that for students between 25 and 54 years old, the average university completion rate for students with disabilities is 4.5 percent, compared to 7.9 percent for those without a disability. For students aged 55 and above, evidence from 34 countries found that the completion rate of people with disabilities was 1.8 percent, compared to 3.7 percent for those without disabilities.