On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, the Conférence des grandes écoles presented its exploratory study on the international mobility of students with disabilities at the second award ceremony for the incentive grants awarded to 10 winning students thanks to the support of TotalEnergies. This study is in response to the mission letter sent to the CGE by the Ministries of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Overseas France and the Secretary of State for the Disabled in November 2020.
The 79 proposals formulated aim to remove the obstacles to the international mobility of students with disabilities, so that everyone can express their potential and benefit from the openness to the world, to others, which is essential for those who will make the companies of tomorrow.
The ceremony was held at the Quai d'Orsay, under the patronage of Jean-Yves le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, in the presence of Franck Riester, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Sophie Cluzel, Secretary of State to the Prime Minister in charge of the disabled. The CGE was represented by Laurent Champaney, its President, and Vincenzo Vinzi, President of the Diversity Commission.
Scholarships to alleviate the additional costs of disability-related mobility borne by students and their families
Around the world, student mobility continues to increase. Campus France thus reveals that student mobility has increased by 4% in a single year, from 2017 to 2018, to reach 5.6 million students. A 31% increase in five years is noted. Access to international mobility remains very difficult for students with disabilities, yet it is an integral part of the training pathway for students at grandes écoles. This is why, in 2019, the CGE included support for the international mobility of students with disabilities among the four priority objectives of its second Disability Charter.
This objective is also in line with the advocacy for the creation of an international status for students with disabilities (SIESH), which the CGE has been promoting for several years with national and international authorities, along with the associations la fédération 100% handynamique and Unirh-Thransition. For this second edition, the scholarships are financed thanks to the support of TotalEnergies in accordance with the partnership agreement signed in March 2020 for a total amount of €30,000. This year, 10 students from engineering schools, management schools and other specialties, who are or will be going on a mobility program, have been awarded a scholarship according to their needs and the additional costs they have to cover.
Maud Chatelais, a student engineer in Environmental Engineering, was present at the ceremony, which took place this Tuesday, July 6 at the Quai d'Orsay. She is one of the two Lasallian students who received, along with Margaux Gambier, a grant to encourage international mobility for students with disabilities.
An exploratory study to facilitate the international mobility of students with disabilities
Based on several surveys of students and parents of students with disabilities, higher education institutions worldwide and companies hosting international interns, as well as hearings of more than 80 experts, this study has identified several major and transversal obstacles. Among them, the lack of continuity of access to care, treatment and support, difficulties related to air transport of equipment and treatment or access to local transport and social and cultural life, as well as numerous administrative and financial barriers.
The authors of the study, Xavier Quernin and Mélanie De Sousa, from UniLaSalle, a Grande école member of the CGE, have formulated 79 solutions to improve and facilitate the international mobility of students with disabilities, and thus encourage them to leave. Among them, the establishment of a disability referent in embassies as a point of contact to inform and support students, the creation of a booster for private insurance financed by the Ministry of Higher Education in order to encourage private insurance to cover all of the students' health care, or the creation of a "cabin medical bag" for transporting treatments or medical devices that are not used during the flight.
Xavier Quernin and Mélanie de Sousa presented the exploratory study on the international mobility of students with disabilities to Sophie Cluzel, Secretary of State for People with Disabilities, and Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Attractiveness
photos Jonathan SARAGO - Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs