Experiences and Lessons Learned from an International Master Program on Universal Design of ICT

Weiqin Chen, Siri Kessel, Norun C. Sanderson, and G. Anthony Giannoumis

Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway


The development and widespread adoption of ICT has, brought great benefits to the society. However, it has also resulted in new inequalities as digital divides have emerged among groups of ICT users. This trend has produced social, political, and technical movements aimed at ensuring equal opportunities for everyone through the universal design of ICT. In Norway and many other countries, it is becoming a legal requirement that ICT systems and services should be accessible by anyone, anywhere, at anytime, and through any media and device, so that all citizens can take an active part in social activities, education and employment. This poses great challenges for competent ICT professionals and society’s ICT infrastructure and services.

Despite of the great effort in promoting universal design of ICT at different levels including legal, institutional and technical, there are still many ICT systems and services that are not accessible. We believe that education is the key to increase awareness and provide knowledge and competence to current and future ICT professionals.

The International Master’s program in Universal Design of ICT (MAUU) aims to meet the growing need of society for knowledge and expertise in universal design of ICT solutions such as desktop, web and mobile applications, and self-service machines. In this paper, we will share our experiences and lessons learned from establishing, implementing, and managing the program, especially in recruitment, program structure, pedagogical method, collaboration with other relevant organisations and educational institutions.