INCHER Colloquium: „The German „disadvantage compensation“ as an instrument of inclusion in higher education“

Inclusive higher education in Germany relies on Disadvantage Compensation (Nachteilsausgleich) as an institutionalized tool to accommodate the needs and support students with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses. Examples of disadvantage compensation include an extension of examination time, the use of technical aids, or modification of examination formats. To receive these accommodations, students must provide proof of their disability and/or chronic illness, typically in the form of medical certificates.
To understand the extent to which the German Disadvantage Compensation is perceived as an instrument of inclusion by students, we reconstructed the study experiences of students with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities who were granted Disadvantage Compensation at the University of Kassel in Hesse, Germany. The analysis is based on more than 30 narrative interviews conducted in 2022 and 2023, and the interviews were evaluated using the Grounded Theory methodology.

The inquiry aims to contribute to existing knowledge about the study experiences of students with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities, with implications for higher education policy, teaching and learning.

INCHER – International Center for Higher Education Research

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