Inclusive Higher Education in Cross-cultural Settings

Call for papers for: International Journal of Educational Management

Call for Papers

Inclusive Higher Education in Cross-cultural Settings

A special issue of

International Journal of Educational Management

Guest Editors:

Dr Anugamini P Srivastava;

Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Symbiosis International Deemed University Pune, India  

Dr Sucheta Agarwal; GLA University, Mathura, India

Dr Malini Ganapathy; Universiti Sains Malaysia 

The special issue of International Journal of Education Management will focus on inclusivity and cross-cultural contexts specifically regarding higher education.

Aims of the special issue

1) To know the factors that affect inclusivity in higher education institutions.

2) To understand the possible impact of various predictors on inclusive practices in Higher education institutions

We welcome submissions to this special issue in the following areas - topics covered include (but are not limited to):

• Leadership and inclusive practices

• Multilevel studies on inclusive practices

• Teacher attitude and inclusive practices

• Socio economic status, optimism and inclusive practices

• Financial aspect on inclusive practices

• Management dilemmas in managing inclusive practices

• Operational issue in handling inclusive classroom

• Economy and inclusive practices

• Technology and inclusive practices

• Inclusive practices and sustainability


Inclusive higher education explains a systematic improvement process towards removing the walls that limit the learning process of students with special needs (Moriña, 2017). The main purpose of inclusive practices in HEIs is to include all students into regular classroom education without any discrimination. The essence is to provide the same conditions to all, surpassing their individual differences and induce lifelong learning (Miller, DiSandro, Harrington, & Johnson, 2016). Grounded on the social model, inclusive practices postulate the right to full involvement and guaranteed quality education to all university student (Moriña, & Carballo, 2017). Inclusive higher education not only aims to support students but also ensures smoother participation of special education needed students with other students. It further aims at developing higher efficacy among students, setting achievable goals for different kinds of students and designing programs to help them learn and attain their goals with full potential. The system of inclusive learning targets to make them more confident. Soodak (2003, 328) stated that in a philosophical and pragmatic manner, the inclusive classroom is all about ‘belonging, membership, and acceptance'. It allows children to learn, be regular in classrooms, and participate in educational programs, and extracurricular activities. Further, such motive also enables development of cooperation and collaboration among parents, schools, and community. 

With special emphasis from UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (UNESCO n.d.) to address and collaborate diversity, educational institutions are required to take measures to inclusiveness. This is much required now as students from different socio-economic backgrounds are joining schools as per the right to education for all. To this, a few institutions emphasized on developing inclusive environments. Where some established offices to support the educational needs of disabled students, some incorporated novel technologies to implement inclusive education practices. European Union and other governments also intervened and emphasized towards inclusive education with support plans and services ensuring educational inclusion. However, the mere existence of such policies and guarantee to diverse student’s access to education cannot ensure inclusivity in education without discrimination in HEIs. There is a need to develop the changed outlook of other students towards diverse students. This is important as students who are socially excluded are often found to be educationally excluded in the later stages of their lives. Such students are at greater risk of prematurely dropping out of institutions (Lombardi, Murray, and Kowitt 2016). Additionally, lack of proper strategy to encourage inclusiveness makes such children less popular in social groups thus causing fewer relationships, lesser participation and less social interaction as a member of a sub-group of children with special education needs (Pijl, Frostad, and Flem 2008). Teachers and the faculty team are the ones responsible for implementing inclusive practices and establishing an inclusive environment (Meyer, & Keenan, 2018). A class consists of students differing in terms of socioeconomic background, belief system, physical and mental competency and the like (Srivastava and Dhar 2016). Managing such varied combinations in each classroom is challenging for the institution’s administration. Increasing the learning tendencies of students requires more involvement of teachers. However, it is easier said than done. When students’ differences are extreme and each student requires major attention, an inclusive mindset is required (Lambe, & Bones, 2006; Soodak 2003). Development of inclusive classroom calls for rigorous efforts on the part of teachers (Haines et al., 2013). While the onus of making children learns lies in teachers, they also have this additional responsibility to manage diversity among them. 

To justify the practices, teachers need to adapt to learning and teaching strategies to deal with increasingly diverse students. They are needed to adopt more transformative pedagogies and broadened approaches to engage all students with "difference" (Westwood, 2018). Their intentions and attitude provide new opportunities for widening participation and improvement in learning outcomes of students from different backgrounds. Arnaiz, (2003) showed that teachers are required to tolerant, flexible and able to deal with the encounters connected to a democratic and plural society. Such an attitude can develop competencies and tools among teachers to develop inclusive education in their classrooms. Similarly, Wood, (2014) also emphasized on incorporating accessibility, usability, personalization and transformative pedagogies. This would enable a better understanding of diversity and personal differences among individuals and proper implementation of inclusive practices at institutional, program and individual student level. Along with this, Haines et al., (2015) through a thematic analysis provided strong leadership, positive inclusive culture, attributes of trusting partnerships between parents and faculties, and sufficient opportunity for reciprocal partnerships between then as key themes supporting inclusive practices in HEIs. Sharma et al., (2019) also stated that inadequate teacher preparation, humiliation and negative attitudes towards people with different abilities, and limited engagement with the local leaders and key stakeholders are key barriers towards inclusive practices in HEI. Considering students and classmates’ involvement in this process, Thomazet, (2009) emphasized to develop values of equality, compassion, collaboration, and respect for cultural diversity and basic human rights. Such values can enhance their view towards diversity and develop their positive vision towards inclusivity. Therefore, higher education must restructure the educational experience so that all the students can participate. 


With the advancement in access to education, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of student’s enrolment in higher education institutions (HEIs) (Macfarlane, & Burg, 2017). Students from a different section, status and geography are joining the force to learn and achieve (Baik, Naylor, Arkoudis, & Dabrowski, 2017). This has led to a tremendous increase in diversity among educational institutions. Diversity management in higher education institution is more important as these institutions are broad and higher in every context (King, Measham, & O'Brien, 2019). To manage the students from differential backgrounds, the focus on inclusive practices in HEIs has also seen a dramatic shift. (Boelens, Voet, & De Wever, 2018). HEIs are progressively emphasizing inclusivity in order to respond to the needs and requirements of all students to enable their participation in a fair and positive way.

Deadline and Submission Details

The submission deadline for all papers is 25th February 2020

To submit your research, please visit ScholarOne manuscripts portal.

To view the author guidelines for this journal, please visit the journal's page.

Contact the Guest Editors:

Dr. Anugamini P Srivastava;

Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Symbiosis International Deemed University Pune, India

[email protected]

Dr Sucheta Agarwal;

GLA University, Mathura, India

[email protected]

Dr Malini Ganapathy;

Universiti Sains Malaysia

[email protected]