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Objectives of the CASAM

Specific objectives of the project

Within universities of the Maghreb we notice a lack of structures of accompaniment for the students targeted by this project. Raising awareness (information exchange, trainings...) will enter into a changing process and popularizing of access by creating and implementing, within universities, a Cell of Accompaniment, Awareness, Support and Mediation (CASAM), this project aims to improve the access to universities of the Maghreb for the 3 target groups of students of special needs (related to economic precariousness, to geographical origins or to disability).

 

The specific objectives are:

- Raise the awareness of all involved groups: academic and administrative staff, presidencies, students,  …in order to create a real change of mind toward target groups ;  

- Create a trained group who will be involved during the period of this project and also after its termination;
- Elaborate  a training guide ;  
- Make a knowledge, competences and know-how transfer;  

- Improve access to these groups who are socially vulnerable and foresee an accompaniment all along their university course. For this purpose, a mission in term of inclusive teaching will be developed.  

 

Narrative description of the project:  

  Motivation

 The analyses in the three countries of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) show that the access to higher education is not that easy and has some real difficulties for target students of this project. Therefore, the number of disabled people enrolled in universities of the Maghreb doesn’t exceed 2%. The students of rural origins are represented, especially girls with very low rates (less than 6%); and a lot of foreign students face real problems of integration. Also, poverty conditions faced by students of third category slow down their progress in their university course.  Meanwhile, this report is not conforming to the efforts of public authorities of the three countries of the Maghreb in order to apply a strategy of popularizing and transparency in the access to higher education. This dysfonctioning comes from a dephasing between an expressed political will and real conditions within institutions of higher education as they are faced daily by the three categories of students. Yet, in this sense, it is important to recognize that weakness and actual practices in higher education institutions contribute to emergence of a selective teaching that sanctions these socially vulnerable groups by weakening them more and more.

 

By establishing a Cell of Accompaniment, Awareness, Support and Mediation (CASAM) in each partner university, this project aims to: 

- Make a change of mind toward these students who still face prejudices. Since awareness is risen among partner universities that society is based on knowledge, it is important to value each person, thus it is important to work on popularizing access to universities and make this change in attitude among all university population: students, academic staff, … because the future managers are trained in universities and they will contribute to a real change.

- However the exclusion of these target groups is not limited to higher education, as the level of basic instruction of target groups is very low, it is also important to involve directors of high schools in some activities of raising awareness and dissemination of results.  

- Develop a strategy and a policy of popularizing access to universities from the Maghreb.
- Make a knowledge, competences and know-how transfer from European partners to the Maghreb by training a key group of people (managers of CASAM). They will develop the strategy of inclusive teaching and will be in charge of its implementation all along the project period and even after its termination. These managers will train the future students who will help and support the target students during their university course and who will maintain the actions of raising awareness.

- In order to ensure the continuity of the project, a training guide will be written and edited, it will be used to train other managers of CASAM within universities that will follow the example of pilot universities.

All these activities are developed in order to popularize access to the Maghreb higher education.

 

Quality of partnership

 The Partner European Universities have a considerable expertise in the field of inclusive teaching.  Following national and European policies, they have developed an approach and a strategy that were used in the global approach of the university and that were expressed in form of specific rules in guides for students in term of service and guidance. These partners can transfer their experience and explain how they did to achieve the current results. They can also show that the results were achieved thanks to cooperation between central services and faculties, and also through cooperation with different organizations working in aspects related to inclusive teaching.  The same applies for other European partners: CGU, UNICA, ESN, and EAN.  Regarding universities, they are members of different networks and they have cooperated together through different European programs: Tempus, Lifelong Learning and Erasmus Mundus.  Partners from the  Maghreb have shown a real will to apply- through a pilot project- the experience of European partners in their own countries, by adapting it to the regional requirements in order to be in line with the national policies. They are also determined to cooperate in the national scale and between countries of the Maghreb, by associating different bodies concerned by the theme of the project (ministries, students’ associations …). European partners have an idea concerning the culture of the Maghreb, and the North African partners have cooperated with some European partners in the framework of Tempus program. The quality of the consortium consists of its cohesion and its will to carry the project in a successful way.   

 

Contents and methodology

As soon as the project will be launched during the first meeting, where the project managers of partner universities as well as their presidents (universities from the Maghreb) will be present, a common reflection will be started basing on propositions of the partners from the Maghreb concerning the desired profiles of the future managers of CASAM, their role and their place within universities. This will allow to hire and nominate these people as quickly as possible and thus, they could be involved in the project from the beginning. 

As a first step, each partner institution from the Maghreb will make a report which aims to:

- Gather more accurate data related to the presence of target groups in university (students of rural origins or foreign students, disabled students, students with precarious social conditions)  in order to have a better idea about presence/ absence of these groups in university. The reports will be a reference and then will help to assess the achieved changing;

- Gather testimonies of students or alumni, their experiences, their problems and the faced obstacles, the potential solutions they  could find to face all this, the help they could ask for or not. They are useful information that could help to build the rest of the project and that will be used in the awareness activities;

 - Provide documents to services that could be visited by students and ask for help.  

 

The reports will help to have a global idea on the real situation, to identify deficiencies and weaknesses, to percieve differences between institutions (at regional and national level), in the other hand they will be as a basis to better identify the specific needs.  The reports will help the European partners in preparing workshops, presentations and trainings.

 

Once these reports are established, managers of the project and the future managers of CASAMs will be invited to Brussels for a round table discussion where the results will be presented and discussed within the management committee composed of European institutions and experts of partner organizations. By the same way, meetings with other regional, Belgian and international  stakeholders (COM EU incl) will be foreseen in order to allow the partners from the Maghreb to understand the implemented strategy and policies in Europe and have an idea on national directives and realization of European policies.

 

A preliminary sketch of policy and strategy for improvement of access to universities from the Maghreb, considering the diversity, will be developed thanks to these discussions and also a description of tasks of CASAM and all this will be transformed to a road map for popularizing access to higher education in the Maghreb. This document with a summary of the reports will be published on the web site and a version will be printed (in French and Arabic) and will be distributed in faculties, libraries and central services of universities from the Maghreb and other concerned institutions: universities, ministries … 

 

Basing on the road map for popularizing access to higher education in the Maghreb, a reflection process will be launched within different institutions in order to more establish the policy and the strategy and to materialize the road map.  An exercise will be carried by the future managers of different CASAM related to consultancy with students, academic staff, presidencies, and administrative staff in order to ensure the involvement of a maximum number of people.

 

Throughout three seminars that will be organized simultaneously with this reflection, managers of CASAMs will be inspired by information, documents, testimonies and pieces of advice of European partners in order to help them in this process. The seminars will be an opportunity to share propositions derived from the reflection and carried within each institution from the Maghreb. During each seminar a forum for discussion will be created and it will allow to follow these exercises and ensure the respect of the spirit of the project and, if applicable, make some modifications.

 

The three seminars will be organized in the Maghreb according to the same formula: two days of workshop for the managers of the future CASAMs, carried by European partners, half a day for the forum of discussion about writing missions and strategies of equal access to higher education in universities from the Maghreb. Each seminar will end with a major public conference that will deal with the subject matter in order to raise awareness of the greatest number of people of the host university as well as other guests such as directors of high schools, NGOs…

 

The main goal of the seminars that will be a forum for academic discussion is to materialize the knowledge and competences transfer of European partners to the managers of CASAMs and to get in touch directly with students, professors and national organizations, learn about their concerns and take into consideration their reflections, their needs and aspirations.  

 

The first seminar will take place in Morocco and will deal with the socio-economic aspect.  EAN, VUB and ErasmusHogeschool Brussel will be in charge of the contents of this seminar. The second one will take place in Tunisia and will focus on disability. Unica, FontysHogeschool and University Comenius of Bratislava will be in charge of the contents of this seminar. The last workshop related to geographical aspects will take place in Algeria and will be followed by a meeting of the management committee. University of Montpellier and University of Santiago de Compostelle will be in charge of the contents.  

 

All documents and presentations used during the seminars will be published on the web site and at the end, a version of the road map will be written (in both languages French and Arabic), printed and distributed.   

 

After the first year of reflection and analysis, the future managers of different CASAMs will be invited to Europe for three visits « in situ » in order to deepen their knowledge and strengthen their competences, and these visits will take place in centers of excellence for each field.  

 

The objectives of these visits are various:

- Enable the future managers of the CASAMs to learn about specialized services existing in Europe;
- Create opportunities to meet the students who take profit from these services and learn about their testimony, pieces of advice and notes;
- Organize a specific training related to the topic dealt with by the European partners;  

- Complete the mission of universities in term of equal access to higher education and determine the tasks of managers of CASAMs. After that the mission will be transformed into an action plan.

 

The three visits will be:  

- ‘In situ’ visit related to disability – Bratislava/Fontys + UNICA

- ‘In situ’ visit related to socio-economic situations– Roehampton/EAN +EhB/VUB

- ‘In situ’ visit related to geographical situations – Montpellier + Santiago

 

Training of future managers of CASAM will held during these visits, it will be transformed to a training guide for further use to train other people or for creation of other CASAMs within other universities. A more global brochure will be published for awareness campaign.

During the second year, groups of work CASAM, will be created in the three countries of the Maghreb. Managers of CASAMs of the partner countries of this project will be the key people of these groups. The group of work will help them to carry on the getting in touch and the exchange of experiences. But they will commit to make all necessary efforts to convince all concerned people in order to involve them: non-participant university staff (made aware thanks to this project), representatives of local associations of students, and possibly representatives of ministries of education.  These groups of work will gather all necessary materials to the survival and sustainability of the project; they will be involved in the dissemination of the results of the project and will work for the popularizing of access to higher education for the three target groups of this project.  

The quality assurance processes that we will follow will help the partner teams to pilot this project according to standards which the basic principles are as follows:  

- Share  responsibilities between European  partner  institutions and those from the Maghreb about piloting  the project ; 
- Valorization of experiences by studying similar examples and cases that were successful in partner European universities ;  
- Efficiency of procedures and mechanisms of proposed implementations ;  
- Adequacy of resources of protocol performance and expected results from our project ;  

- Considering the risks that could influence the progress and development of the project;  

- Internal assessment of results that should be achieved through this project: a self-assessment of the consortium will be made at the end of each semester, and an assessment of an expert in management of projects will report strengths and weaknesses of the project;
- Involvement of target students in all steps of the project.  

 

Dissimination  and  perennity  

The main goal of the project is to install, within partner universities from the Maghreb, cells of accompaniment, awareness, support and mediation (CASAM). This idea and the strategies will be transmitted progressively to other universities from the Maghreb. So, it is very important that the valuing of the success of pilote project depends on dissimination actions within universities of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. During the implementation of the project, some actions will be conducted in order to inform and raise awareness of as many stakeholders as possible: web site, different publications and public information sessions.

Some publications will be directed to high school pupils and others will be directed to ministries and organizations that could participate to the implementation of inclusive teaching.  

 

The implemented strategy aims particularly to:

- Adoption of a strategy of « inclusive teaching » by presidencies;

- Ensure support for different CASAM;
- Mention the approach and the strategy in guides for students as well as for future students;  

- Distribution of guides in the partner universities;  
- Raise awareness  about training of trainers ;  
- Agreement concluded between partners of the Maghreb in order to ensure further cooperation in different CASAM;
- Cooperation agreements concluded between partners from the Maghreb and European partners in order to ensure  the perennity of collaboration through exchange of best practices, mobility of teachers and students if needed.