Mr Azwitamisi Milton Gadisi, Library Liaison Officer, Disability Student Unit and Dr Livhuwani Gladys Nkondo, Senior Lecturer in Business Management, Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law visited the Kauno Kolegija University of Applied Sciences (KUAS), Lithuania from 06 to 16 March 2022. Their visit coincided with the KUAS international week which took place from 07 March to 12 March 2022.
The University of Venda (UNIVEN) was among the Forty delegates that were invited from international institutions of higher learning across the globe. Dr Nkondo and Mr Gadisi visited KUAS as part of an international programme called ERASMUS plus. The project provided for staff mobility to enable teaching and training in partner countries. The intention was for the staff members to share their experience, learn from the receving institution and serve as a source of inspiration to others. During her stay Dr Nkondo lectured KUAS students in various International Business Management topics. Mr Gadisi, took the opportunity to learn how KUAS implements its disability programmes. In this regard, Mr Gadisi noted that KUAS admission criteria was similar to that of UNIVEN, indicating that KUAS only admits a disabled student upon receipt of a certified medical report from the hospital. However, they have a rating whereby a student will be considered disabled if he/she is less than 45% in their ratings. A student with more than 45% are provided with mentors to support them when they need help.
In terms of their admission profile, KUAS has 5000 students of which 20 are registered to the Disability Centre. Students are afraid of registering their disabilities to the centre because fear of being discriminated. The Lithuanian state funds students with disabilities with grants of 168 Euros per month, an example of best practice which we can learn from! Mr Gadisi also highlighted that even in Europe, issues of discrimination and judgement were still prevalent, these issues among others caused Lithuanians to not divulge their disabilities even with the available government grants. Mr Gadisi and Dr Nkondo expressed their gratitude for the opportunity and promised to implement and pass on what they have learnt to students and staff across the UNIVEN campus and beyond.
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Date: 20 April 2022