2 min

Experiencing Inclusion First-Hand

Action Week on Inclusion at Campus St. Pölten

Experiencing Inclusion First-Hand

For the second time, the Campus St. Pölten’s students and staff members initiated ideas for more inclusion in higher education. The Action Week on Inclusion, which was held on the occasion of the European Independent Living Day, offered a programme that was interactive, diverse, practical, critical and creative all at the same time.

On 2 and 3 May, visitors, in particular people who have various experiences with disability and discrimination could join workshops, exhibitions, and lectures to get informed on and actively contribute to discussing topics and dimensions of inclusion, disability, and diversity. The Action Week on Inclusion was held by the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences and the Bertha von Suttner Private University in cooperation with the Diversity Office of the city of St. Pölten.

The Campus St. Pölten is not only a place for teaching and learning, it is also a place for encounter that is open to everybody. It is already the second time that the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences and the Bertha von Suttner Private University in cooperation with the Diversity Office of the city of St. Pölten turn a spotlight on the topic of inclusion during the Action Week. A wide range of workshops and lectures reflect upon various topics and dimensions of inclusion, disability, working, and studying.

Disability Ombudsperson Christine Steger opened the event on 2 May: “I am very happy that I was invited to this event. Education is an important contributor to social inclusion by forming the foundation of access to the labour market. In addition, education is a human right that cannot be taken for granted as it is still not universally accessible, in particular to people with disability.”

Programme Highlights

The programme’s highlights included the sign language course for beginners and the interactive exhibition “Hands Up“ that allowed visitors to embark on an exciting journey into the world of silence. Participants of the programme item “Living Books” could listen to stories of “living books” who told their range of experiences with psychosocial health.

Coming Together to Take a Stance

“Higher education institutions are part of a very heterogeneous society whose diversity is, however, not represented at these institutions. The St. Pölten UAS assumes its own responsibility for promoting equal opportunities. This is only possible through active engagement with society and the Action Week on Inclusion is a format designed to foster this exchange”, says Katharina Nöstlinger, the St. Pölten UAS’ Gender and Diversity Officer.

“The BSU offers study programmes that equip students with the skills to organise inclusion: for example, in companies, in educational institutions outside of schools, or in association. We want to act upon what we teach. This is why we want our university to become more and more inclusive. During the Action Week, we could showcase and discuss some new ideas and good practices”, says Tim Brunöhler, Senior Scientist and member of the Bertha von Suttner Private University St. Pölten’s planning team.

“Many people want to live in a particularly liveable, vivid, and attractive city. By striving to improve the life quality of all people, municipalities automatically promote inclusion. Inclusion, in turn, brings about new perspectives and ideas to many aspects of our everyday lives and leads to improvement in areas we initially have not even thought about”, emphasises Martina Eigelsreiter, head of the Diversity Office of the city of St. Pölten.

Diversity Day Inspires Young People

The Diversity Day on 2 May, which attracted many young people, was a particular highlight. Roughly 100 school students got very practical insights into the topic of inclusion. The participation numbers demonstrated that inclusion is an important and relevant topic for school classes from St. Pölten, Eggenburg, and Krems.

The Action Week on Inclusion was supported by AK Lower Austria, Sparkasse Niederösterreich Mitte West, EVN, and the company Gugler.

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FH-Prof. Mag. Dr. Moser Michaela

FH-Prof. Mag. Dr. Michaela Moser

Lecturer Department of Social Sciences
Mag. Nöstlinger Katharina Maria, MA

Mag. Katharina Maria Nöstlinger , MA

Gender & Diversity
Service and Competence Centre for Higher Education Development and Quality Management
Lagler Sandra, BA, MA

Sandra Lagler , BA, MA

Expert Video Production und Corporate Communications
Marketing and Communications