Konferencia 2021

The University of Pécs' "Inclusive University" Program

in collaboration with

the Hungarian Academy of Sciences' Committee of Educational Sciences


the University of Pécs' Institute of Education Sciences

is announcing a two-day online conference titled


How to Increase Academic Excellence through Diversity and Inclusion

for Enhancing Social Inclusion in Higher Education

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have."[1]

Margaret Mead

The organizing team comprised of professionals from a broad range of interdisciplinary research and development fields started its work in 2014. Senior and junior researchers have been collaborating with PhD students from the Institute of Educational Sciences and the Institute of Psychology. The first achievement of the collaboration was an English volume titled Inclusive University, which was published in 2015. The first chapter of this volume contains a theoretical contribution to the discourse of inclusion and diversity in higher education. This is followed by a chapter about best practices and a brief overview of the Hungarian context through examples from the University of Pécs. Moreover, the volume also contains a strategic chapter which establishes an Inclusive University Program Office and a university-wide Inclusive University Forum to promote Inclusive Excellence at the University of Pécs. Since then, in 2018 the Inclusive University Program Office was founded, which hosts a best practices forum periodically throughout the academic year. In 2020, the university raised the concept and strategy of the Inclusive University in its mission statement.

At the University of Pécs, the process of networking within the university and developing a national and international scientific community has begun. The aim is to bring together researchers, developers, leaders, and policymakers from different social and academic contexts. This conference will create an opportunity for dialogue among scientific professionals focusing on Inclusive Excellence in higher education. The conference will consist of two thematic units divided into two days:

Day 1: Foundations and Examples

On the first day of the conference, participants will receive an overview of the Inclusive Excellence approach's foundations through examples in a broad context of international higher education. The conference organizers are members of a growing global community focusing on implementing Inclusive Excellence in their local higher education environments. The plenary and keynote speakers will present examples from different contexts connecting them to a diverse learning and inclusive university approach, which will include the following individuals and presentation topics:

Rina M. Alluri - Henri-Michel Yéré: Moving Towards New Territory: Perspectives on Diversity and Inclusion (University of Innsbruck, Austria; University of Basel, Switzerland)

Sandra Healy: The Role of the Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion in Bridging Research and Employment Practices in the Industries (Dublin City University, Ireland)

Adi Ne'eman - Ya'ara Hermelin Fine - Ma'ayan Shalev: Diversity in Action: The story of an Academic Art Workshop for Neuro-diverse Students (working title) (Oranim College of Education, Israel)

Teresa Padilla-Carmona - José González-Monteagudo - María A. Tenorio-Rodríguez: Lights and Shadows of the Inclusion of "Invisible" Students in Spanish Universities (working title) (University of Sevilla, Spain)

Marketa Sedlakova - David Košatka: Social Inclusion in Higher Education: Culture Diversity in Teachers' Curriculum through Direct Experience (Masaryk University, Czech Republic)

Nataša Simić - Jelelna Vranješević: I fight, therefore I am: Success factors of Roma university students from Serbia (University of Belgrade, Serbia)

Clarisse Halper - Hasan Aydin - Doug Carothers: The Soaring Eagle Academy: The Inception of a Comprehensive Postsecondary Transition Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Southwest Florida (working title) (Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida, USA)

Annemarie Vaccaro: Fostering Inclusion Through Faculty Training and Development (University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island, United States)

Aranka Varga - Fanni Trendl: Roma Youth in Hungarian Higher Education (University of Pécs, Hungary)

Day 2: Connections and Dialogue

On the second day, the conference will concentrate on higher education in the Central and Eastern-European region. Our purpose is to outline an overview within a specific geographical context. We will seek answers to the following guiding questions: What connections could be revealed by different aspects of researchers from the same context? How can we connect different approaches and nurture dialogue among them?

The second day of the conference is calling for English language abstracts. Applications are welcome in the field of inclusion and organizational development with a focus on inclusion, innovations, and initiatives related to Inclusive Excellence.

Co-chairs of the conference:

  • Aranka Varga, PhD (University of Pécs)
  • Ferenc Arató, PhD (University of Pécs)

Members of the Organizing Committee from the Inclusive University Program Office:

- Renáta Anna Dezső, PhD, senior lecturer (University of Pécs)

- Bálint Fodor, assistant lecturer (University of Pécs)

- Katalin Vezdén, assistant lecturer (University of Pécs)

- Kitti Vitéz, assistant lecturer (University of Pécs)

- Zsófia Tószegi, PhD student (University of Pécs)

- Gergely Horváth, research assistant (University of Pécs)

- Tamara Németh, research assistant (University of Pécs)

[1] Keys D. (1982) The politics of consciousness. In Earth at Omega: Passage to planetization, Boston, MA: Branden Press. P. 20.

© 2019 Befogadó Egyetem, 7624 Pécs, Ifjúság útja 6. B/114
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