Inclusive learning

A world where everyone is welcome

 At the heart of any ULLL initiative are the principles of inclusion, accessibility and equity. Historically, universities have been the preserves of elites, and even if this has changed significantly over the past decades, with a record number of students enrolling in higher education, certain learners, including those with low qualifications, from minority groups, with disabilities, or with caring responsibilities, remain underrepresented at higher education institutions. Universities need to be proactive not only in recruiting learners from these populations, but also in making sure that they are provided with the opportunities and support they need to flourish during their time at university, and to become active members of the university community.

Diversity in HE

Although significant progress has been made in this area, most universities have not sufficiently adapted to the hugely diverse needs of learners in their communities and should proactively address the multi-faceted challenges that learners from non-traditional backgrounds face.

Social rights

HEIs should embrace their role as champions of social rights, not only in terms of the right to lifelong learning for their students, but also the right to fair pay and an equitable workplace for their academic and non-academic staff.


Mediation can play a crucial role in negotiating the various needs and interests that result from the diversification of the student body and staff in universities. It is a bottom-up approach which empowers individuals to find fair solutions collaboratively.

Equal opportunities and access

Creating equal learning opportunities does not mean providing a one-size-fits-all learning offer or simply removing entry requirements. Rather, it involves constantly evaluating the needs of learners and offering learning solutions that are relevant, appealing, and accessible to them.

Removing barriers for learning

The factors preventing learners from participating in HE and ULLL are variable and often invisible. Identifying and removing them requires a strong understanding of learners and constantly re-evaluating the challenges they face.


ULLL can empower learners to become active agents in their professional, civic and personal lives. Learner-centred provision, which allows individuals to take an active role in their learning, is the first step on this journey of empowerment.


Participation in ULLL is not enough: universities should be committed to the success (whether academically or through the acquisition of more transversal skills and competencies) of each individual learner, with learning goals that are relevant beyond the university walls.

Teachers' and learners' wellbeing

In our fast-paced, outcome-oriented societies, wellbeing is rarely prioritised - this is also the case in universities. Taking wellbeing seriously means treating every teacher and learner as an individual rather than a number, and placing people above profit.


Given the high degree of unpredictability and precarity in today’s crisis-ridden societies, universities need to become more resilient as institutions, whilst also fostering this quality in their staff and students.

Some projects exploring Inclusive Learning

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