Inclusion of people living with impairments is a major challenge for societies and higher education worldwide. The international Paralympic movement has become increasingly concerned with the role of education in promoting inclusion and creating opportunity. This is a main feature of the legacy sought from successive Games. For HEIs, this has prompted both a focus on teacher training for inclusive physical education and a much wider focus on the inclusive character of HEIs’ own programmes and physical facilities.

This session is a passionate and challenging exposition for an inclusive approach, highlighting how global connections inspire local action. Panellists discuss how these connections are informing and transforming higher education and society more broadly in three Paralympic host countries – China, Japan and the United Kingdom. All three countries have been deeply concerned with legacy of wider societal impact.

Questions explored include:

  • What is the global scale of the challenge and what are the economic as well as the social benefits of inclusive practice and investment in this area?
  • In many countries there are quotas which are not met – e.g. in India 3% of university places are reserved for those with disabilities but only 0.56% are taken up. What practical ideas are there to encourage students with disabilities to take up HEI quotas?
  • How can we design inclusive sports facilities for student and wider community use?
  • How do tertiary intuitions introduce inclusive physical education as part of the teacher education curriculum?


  • Professor David Green, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Worcester, UK (Chair)
  • Leverne Barber, Deputy Head of Institute of Sport and Exercise Science and National Teaching Fellow, University of Worcester, UK
  • Dr Nobuko Tanaka, Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of Worcester – Toin University of Yokohama, Japan
  • Professor Lu Yan, Vice Director of the China Research Centre for Sport and Persons with Disability, Beijing Sport University, China