The State University Of Zanzibar


The BERT project (Breaking Education Barriers: Inclusion, Rehabilitation, and Technology) is a three-year project (2023-2026) supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The main objective of the project is to enhance the capabilities of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in East Africa, thereby promoting the inclusion of People with Disabilities (PWDs) in both the education system and the society at large.

This objective will be achieved through the collaboration between JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Tampere University, State University of Zanzibar, and the University of Rwanda.

The project aims to achieve two main outcomes, each consisting of three outputs. The first outcome is focused on strengthening the capacity of partner HEIs to support the inclusion of students with disabilities, through promoting multidisciplinary rehabilitation, accessibility (including digital), and assistive technology in the education system. The second outcome focuses on improving the partner institutes' educational quality and capacity to develop and create innovative solutions to barrier-free learning environments.

Expected Output

The following outputs have been designed to reach these outcomes:
  • Output 1.1: Improved interdisciplinary knowledge and skills of teachers in creating a barrier-free learning environment.
  • Output 1.2: Strengthened educational capacity, including renewed degree programs and individual courses.
  • Output 1.3: Ensuring the availability of accessible resources and materials (open access) needed to support barrier-free education and society.
  • Output 2.1: Improved pedagogical methods and new innovative solutions created for teaching and learning.
  • Output 2.2: Enhanced capacity of HEI partners, Rwanda, and Tanzania (Zanzibar), to engage with regional dialogue in their areas of expertise in East Africa.
  • Output 2.3: Improved access to higher education for students with disabilities.

The project utilizes the twin-track and Community-Based Inclusive Development (CBID) approaches to promote inclusive education for students with disabilities at all education levels. This includes supporting teachers and the education system in addressing students needs related to multidisciplinary rehabilitation, assistive technology, and accessibility, including digital access. Effective implementation of these approaches relies on collaboration among stakeholders, such as higher education institutions, disability organizations, government agencies, other educational institutions, technology companies, and business sectors.


The partner institutions involved in the project are:
  • JAMK University of Applied Sciences, including the Institute of Rehabilitation and the Global Digital Rehabilitation Initiative.
  • Tampere University, including TACCU - Tampere Accessibility Unit.
  • The State University of Zanzibar (SUZA).
  • University of Rwanda (UR).
  • The Regional Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Engineering and eHealth (CEBE).


The project members at SUZA are:
  • Dr Said K. Juma (School of Education)
  • Dr Shehe A. Mohammed (School of Education)
  • Ms Mwanamrisho G. Haji (School of Education)
  • Ms/Mr (To be recruited)