Are official statistics published covering the number of persons with disabilities who graduate from university?
Please describe, if possible, how identification of such students has been made as, for example, many students with invisible disabilities choose not to self-identify at university level.

Relates to Convention Article:

  • No.24, Education
  • No.31, Statistics and data collection

In detail

Brief explanation of the question

Article 24 prescribes that “States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access general tertiary education…”

Article 31 prescribes that “States Parties undertake to collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data, to enable them to formulate and implement policies to give effect to the present Convention ”.

From the combination of these two articles, it can be concluded that official statistics should include information on the percentage of persons with disabilities among graduates of higher education programmes, since this is the only way in which the success of an inclusive education policy can be measured. Whilst the definition of a disability can play an important role in this context, by asking only whether statistics are available, the phrasing of the question makes this irrelevant. It is possible to evaluate the successful implementation of an inclusive educational policy by means of long-term analysis, regardless of the selected definitions (e.g. self-assessment by the students), as long as these definitions are not changed.

Summary of results

In general terms, the availability of data get best scores in the most developed countries, and there is not a big difference comparing the other groups of countries between them. Some respondents comment that numbers do not reflect the reality as many persons refrain from providing the information due to fear of stigmatization.
Arab countries are above the average on availability of data, although from the comments it can be seen that sometimes data is not considered accurate and in some other cases the collection is done only by NGOs.

As regards in particular the question related to the number of persons with disabilities who graduated from university is it possible to point out that is the one that obtained the worst score in the set of questions on data availability, being the third worst of all 32 questions. The situation seems to be particularly bad in Central Asia.
In addition, respondents remarked that there is a large discrepancy between the number of students who declare to have a disability and the number of students who effectively receive support (e.g. Australia). In general in the less developed countries very few people go to university. Another interesting comment stated that in the less developed countries 4 statistics are usually carried on by NGOs and not by the government (e.g. Bangladesh, Lebanon and Pakistan).

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