Innovative Practice 2020 on Inclusive Education and ICT

Admission quotas and support services for university enrollment

The Centre for Disability Studies and Services (CDSS) at Universitas Brawijaya, based in Malang City, Indonesia, runs an affirmative admission programme for students with various disabilities, which includes an admissions quota complemented by student support services. The Centre also raises awareness about disabilities at the university and advocates inclusive higher education at the national level. As of 2019, there are 165 students with disabilities (70 per cent of whom are deaf or hearing impaired) enrolled at Universitas Brawijaya.

“The Center for Disability Studies and Services and their programmes are terrific. They gave me the services that I need for my study.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Affirmative Admission for Students with Disabilities
Organisation:Centre for Disability Studies and Services, Universitas Brawijaya
of Implementation
Indonesia/ Malang City
Start Year2012


  • Each year 20 students with various disabilities are admitted.
  • Since 2016, 56 students have graduated.


Only 0.9 per cent of the approximately 25 million people with disabilities in Indonesia access higher education due to poverty, scarcity of opportunity, lack of support services, and low levels of disability awareness.


Through its affirmative admission programme, CDSS has established a quota for 20 students per year with various disabilities to be admitted to Universitas Brawijaya.

CDSS also provides services to support learning and inclusion. There are sign language interpreters for deaf and hard of hearing students during lectures, and peer supporters to take notes or assist otherwise. Reasonable accommodation is also practiced, and tutorials support students in addition to regular lectures. Tests and exams are made accessible, taking into account a variety of disabilities such as hearing and sight impairment, mobility issues, cerebral palsy, and autism. To attract peer supporters, CDSS offers trainings four times a year, teaching sign language and other support skills. In addition, disability awareness training is given to all academics at the university.

The practice started in 2012 by Slamet Thohari, a polio survivor and lecturer at the university. That year, the first 15 students with disabilities were enrolled; and as of 2019, 56 students have graduated.

While a teacher is explaining sign language to the class, students in the back dance their interpretation of it.

Sign language interpreters and peer supporters at work in the classroom.


The entire programme costs $2,500 per year, which is provided by Universitas Brawijaya. This covers the cost for peer support services, tutors, and accessibility measures.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Higher Education incorporated CDSS’s affirmative admission practice as a model of Inclusive Education into a 2017 law on special education and services in higher education. All Indonesian universities are now thereby obliged to admit students with disabilities and to provide them with necessary assistance.

As of 2019, two state universities have successfully adapted the model: the State University of Surabaya and Universitas Airlangga, also in Surabaya.

CDSS plans to further optimize its disability support services by offering career assistance to graduates (through partnerships with employers), and to incorporate Inclusive Education practices in its university curriculum and teaching methods.



Download factsheet as accessible word