Progression of Accessibility Centres in higher Education for Students with disabilities in North Africa

Project: Research

Project Details


The primary aim of the PACES project was to improve the experience of students with disabilities (SwD) in higher education in Egypt (EG) and Morocco (MA), and to provide them with support towards entering employment after graduation. To achieve this aim, the project had 5 objectives:

1. Transfer of good practice across the EU and North Africa (NA): researching the ‘state of the art’ regarding the provision of support to SwD in the partner institutions, and building on partners’ experiences in previous projects.

2. Build and progress Accessibility Centres (ACs) in each NA partner university: three partners had created ACs in earlier projects: these were progressed/improved. The remaining five partners created new ACs within PACES. Additionally, mobile/pop-up ACs were created in each NA country to widen awareness of assistive technology and support available for SwDs in local universities.

3. Design a training handbook in order to facilitate training for students (with and without disabilities), university staff, and employers: building on partners’ previous experience and existing good practices, and involving SwD in the design and delivery.

4. Establish a network of HEIs and employers in each Partner Country: enabling employers to access training and awareness of how to support people with disabilities (PwD) in the workplace, and providing SwD with placements and other work experience to assist them into employment after graduation.

5. Develop new Peer-to-Peer Student Support Schemes within each university, allowing students (with and without disabilities) to volunteer to support their peers: an online space was created by each university for the use of the volunteers and SwD.

Each of these objectives was achieved and, in some cases, exceeded.

Layman's description

A collaboration between EU and North African universities, working to improve the experience of students with disabilities in Egypt and Morocco. The project enabled the development of new accessibility centres in the partner universities, training of staff and peers in understanding and supporting students with disabilities, and improved access to employment and further education for those students.

Key findings

New and improved accessibility centres in all North African partner universities;
Staff training cascaded within all partner universities;
Peer-to-peer support training among student populations;
New networks developed between universities and employers;
Involvement of policy makers including government ministers in PACES events.
Short titlePACES
Effective start/end date15/10/1714/04/21

Collaborative partners

  • Coventry University (lead)
  • Universidad de Alicante
  • University of Macedonia
  • University of Maribor
  • Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport
  • Ain Shams University
  • Fayoum University
  • Mansoura University
  • Abdelmalek Essaâdi University
  • Ibn Tofail University
  • Universite Mohammed V
  • Université Moulay Ismail


  • Disability
  • Higher education
  • equality


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