Equitable access to higher education for students with disabilities and students from marginalized groups in Nepal

Poverty and inequality are major challenges in Nepal. Low education level of individuals from disadvantaged groups and marginalized groups reflects to inequality. Access to and participation in education is essential requisite for equality and prosperity.

The present project develops management and practices in the higher education of Nepal to enhance equity in access to education and support during the academic careers. 


A new policy implemented in the Kathmandu University!

For the first time the Nepalese University, Kathmandu University has successfully implemented a policy on making students with disabilities and students from marginalized groups accessible to the university. Quota admission selection and recommendation committee led by Prof. Bim have recently announced the notice for the Admission of the academic year 2021/2022. The admission announcement is for the Undergraduate program of School of Engineering (SOE) and School of Science (SOS) from the reservation seats. The SOE and SOS are now designated with a total of 10 seats divided to different special needs groups. 

EATHEN Project Dissemination Meeting with the Ambassador of Finland

On 15th November 2021, Kathmandu University organized the EATHEN Project dissemination meeting with the Ambassador of Finland, His Excellency Mr. Pertti Anttinen and the officials from the Finnish Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal. More information and photos here

EATHEN presentation in iCERI2021 Conference

The EATHEN projects aims and objectives were presented at the 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (iCERi2021) in November 2021. Read the abstract here!

Project's outputs

  1. Developing strategic cooperation between the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) and the universities in Nepal to increase the support to and commitment of universities to enhance equity in enrollment and during academic careers.
    A Letter of Intent will be composed in the project.

  2. Developing organizational structure and new services for potential applicants from the above mentioned groups to enhance capacity building of the managers and teachers producing education services in Nepal, as well as to enhance capacity building of managers working in administration in universities and teachers teaching disabled students and students coming from disadvantaged or marginalized groups.
    This means that education will be organized and five properly equipped support centers with competent staff and well-planned services will be established.

  3. Improving learning environment to facilitate students coming from above mentioned groups to start their studies in higher education institutes. There will be easy access environment, learning materials and capacity to support these students in the HEIs.


The immediate impact will be the improved commitment in management of universities to enhance equity in access to and in support during the academic careers in HEIs. In addition, cooperation and contacts between universities and secondary level schools, local authorities and NGOs representing disabled and marginalized groups will be improved.

Remarkable impact is the strengthened cooperation with the MoEST.


One of the main challenges in equity of education in Nepal is based on the great diversity in terms of its geography and its people. In Nepal, over one hundred different caste/125 ethnic groups speak more than one hundred different 123 languages. Additionally there is low access to education for children with disabilities: more than 80% out-of-school children are those with disabilities (Disability and Inclusion in Nepal, Networking Report). Therefore, it is crucial to intensify efforts to strengthen equity in education as a whole. Education has strong correlation with life outcomes such as health and socioeconomic status. Education is also a key factor to reach the Millennium Development Goals, including the Sustainable Development goals 2013 and the EFA goals. Improving equality in education is a way to give access to education also for people with disabilities and people with disadvantaged background. However, by ensuring equity in education it is possible to increase participation in education, in other words enable better learning outcomes for people with disabilities and disadvantaged background.



Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Action: Capacity Building in higher education


Erasmus plus rahoittajan logo

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Nepal

Kathmandu University logo


For more information

Mäkinen Maija

Mäkinen Maija

Tuntiopettaja, Lecturer
Jatkokoulutukset, Further Education
Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu, Professional Teacher Education