EU Projects: Autism in Higher Education: Widening Access Project

The "Autism in Higher Education: Widening Access" Project is a European funded project which will research, design, build and evaluate materials, including an interactive software application, to help people with autism access, and succeed in, Higher Education (HE).

Take our survey We want to find out what aspirations for Higher Education young people on the autism spectrum have, and how they are currently supported. Your experience and knowledge can help us understand the challenges of entering and succeeding in higher education. Please complete the questionnaire that is most relevant to you. Each questionnaire should take no longer than 20 minutes.

People with autism are capable of success at HE level but are grossly under-represented. Further, concerning the few students with autism who do enter HE, evidence suggests that they may be prone to drop out, as a result of the inflexible learning environments available. It is these issues that the project will address.

The outputs of this project will be a series of course scenarios, an interactive application to “run” the scenarios with user documentation; a Best Practice Policy Guide and evaluation reports that will be made widely available via the Internet. Both the application and the guide will be made available in Partners' languages and available to all universities and students, thus contributing towards addressing the issue on a European basis.

The application will be built using appropriate source tools, and hence can be customised and expanded as necessary by users. The project, then, addresses the autism community and the HE community. It addresses the former by making people with autism more aware of the HE possibilities and by offering support as they apply for and enter into HE.

It addresses the HE community by helping them fulfil their legal and ethical responsibilities to support anyone with the potential to succeed at HE. The use of technological tools to support the learning of people with autism has been found to be a highly effective pedagogical approach, reducing the social and sensory information overload which often significantly reduces learning capacity in socially mediated teaching contexts. Such tools, however, have thus far not been developed in relation to HE contexts.

This project will address this omission. Although the application is primarily aimed at people on the autistic spectrum, it will also be available to, and may be useful for, any student.

TFEI is the Project Coordinator/Compliance Partner.
Start Date - October 2013 - Duration 30 months

Programme: LLP Erasmus Multilateral Project




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