Welcome to CHAGAL in ACTION!

In response to growing student mobility from an enlarged Europe and the developing countries, institutions within the European Union offer diverse types of orientation and integration measures, preparatory courses, and bridging programmes to facilitate access to higher education for disadvantaged and underrepresented adult learners from very diverse ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. However, the needs and demands of the target group are very different from those of young learners entering higher education by the traditional progression routes and having a more homogeneous background. Furthermore, the diversity of the target group also brings with it an additional intercultural dimension.

The idea for the CHAGAL project was born out of the realisation that education systems have to be responsive to the diverse backgrounds and the specific needs of the target group and to adopt effective strategies to ensure success in the students’ undertakings. CHAGAL adult learners deserve appropriate and targeted guidance and counselling to help their socio-cultural adjustment in the host country. They need innovative and effective teaching and learning methods to acquire the necessary skills to cope with the specific academic requirements. An innovative and inclusive curriculum sensitive to the students’ diversity not only promotes positive student experience and success, but also reflects the host country’s acceptance of the benefits these students have to offer.

The acronym “CHAGAL” corresponds to the project title “Curriculum Guidelines for access programmes into higher education for underrepresented adult learners”.

H   Higher Education
A   Access Programmes
A   for Underrepresented Adult
L   Learners

This publication is the result of a union between 2 projects:

12 Curriculum Guidelines describe how student-centred course curricula can be developed and implemented and illustrate how CHAGAL principles can be put into practice. In addition 22 examples of good practice from 9 European countries are presented. These focus on four areas: social and cultural learning; content-based learning; language and study skills; and student support. The ‘icing on the cake’ is the CHAGAL Recipe Book for Teachers which includes tried and tested successful student-centred approaches aimed especially at practitioners.

However, we do not intend to stop here. We hope that you will help us spread the word and seek every opportunity in your own country to:

May the impact of the CHAGAL Curriculum Guidelines grow and grow !


We would like to thank the ECML for its support of CHAGAL within the framework of its 2nd medium term programme. We are grateful that ECML had the foresight to embrace this project.

Roland Forster, Grete Kernegger, Mee Foong Lee, Imke Mohr, Kees Smit, Penka Taneva-Kafelova

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