EATHEN in Nepal – Supporting the Nepalese universities in their development towards inclusive management and practices

Kathmandu city view with mountains by sunset

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

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

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.


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.

The final EATHEN seminar! 

The seminar was held on the 30th and 31st August, 2022, in Sidhhartha Cottage, Dhobighat, Kathmandu. Read more on Activities

Current activities in the EATHEN project

In autumn 2022 many activities are in full swing or have been completed. The final seminar and project reflection are coming soon! Read more: 

Activities in EATHEN project

Find out what is happening in the EATHEN project at the moment!

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.

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



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

For more information

Maija Mäkinen

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


Project partners in the EATHEN -project

Establishing the Support Centers

The Nepalese partners have been working hard in establishing Support Centers in their universities.