June 24, 2019: Visit to the University of Copenhagen

University of Copenhagen: Presentation about Special Educational Support (SPS)

The presenter: Tanja Lillelund. Download Tanja’s presentation on our Resources page.

The agenda: Talked about structure of the organisation, what SPS is, who can receive it, the requirements to get it and who gives SPS etc.

Organisation chart shows the board, directors, deans, the 6 faculties and 38 departments.

About SPS: It is compensatory support for students with physical or psychological disabilities, it targets a broad spectrum of disabilities such as hearing, writing and physical disabilities etc. It supports the student by either assigning a secretary that can take notes for them or a support teacher, who has t be above a master’s degree – These help students spot faults and improve how they structure their work and time. Exemption for who can receive SPS is people with dyslexia, because they get support from the school of people with dyslexia in Copenhagen.

Requirement for SPS: The student with disability must take a full degree and their disability must be documented.

Suppliers of technical aid to students with disabilities:

  • The School of Disability of Copenhagen – The student counselling that meets with the students.
  • MOTA – produces material
  • VITEC – responsible for IT aid
  • IBOD – finds out what aids they need according to their disability
  • Center for Rehabilitation of Brain Injury
  • Autism Center – They have quite a few students from here.
  • Exemption: Apply to study Board

Tanja told that they last year had 342 interviews and she even showed the amount on screen.

Questions and answers:

Q: Are there limits to the funding of SPS?
A: University of Copenhagen must apply for funding from the Danish Ministry of Education, and they try to stay in the area of what they applied for, but the times where they did apply for more, if generally does not get rejected.

Q: Any collegial tendencies?
A: There are tendencies in some courses with students in psychology, science and humanities. Also, the students with Autism tend to favour subjects such as Math, Science, data and Japanese since it is a structured language.

Q: Do you have any experience with students with intellectual disabilities?
A: No, because the students must get an average of 6 to get into the University, and they mainly must follow the same program as their peers.

Q: Could you tell us a bit more about how support teachers help students, and if all student with disability has one?
A: Not all students get a support teacher, since we have about 70 teachers in total, but their work is not teaching in the traditional sense, since students must follow the course, so they instead teach them about how to have structure e.g. reading plan and how to have room for a social life

Q: Are you responsible informing teachers?
A: I am not responsible, the one who is responsible is a contact person on faculty level, since this is a huge organisation, there are a lot of people that do not interact.

Q: What is the profile of a support teacher?
A: They only must be over a master’s degree.

Q: How do you find support teachers?
A: We do not have many criteria, but we try to find teachers that are in the same course as the student. A support teacher is paid extra, because they work extra hours – recently there has been trouble with finding teachers due to cut-down and finding extra hours is difficult.

Q: Are you informed about Moodle and how do they access?
A: I am not sure, but I am quite sure they have no issues with Absalon College (Professional BA).

Summarised by Hüseyin Koc
Photos (mainly) by Asta Slapikaitė