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INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE and INCLUSIVE UNIVERSITIES: How to Increase Academic Excellence through Diversity and Inclusion for Enhancing Social Inclusion in Higher Education

INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE and INCLUSIVE UNIVERSITIES: How to Increase Academic Excellence through Diversity and Inclusion for Enhancing Social Inclusion in Higher Education

The University of Pécs "Inclusive University" Program in collaboration with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Committee of Educational Sciences and the University of Pécs’ Institute of Education Sciences is announcing a two-day online conference


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 language 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 best practices forums 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 been initiated. 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. On the first day of the conference, the keynote speakers will present and discuss with participants examples from different contexts connecting them to a diverse learning and inclusive university approach.
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.
Date: 10 - 11 June, 2021.
Conference Location: online (Zoom)
Registration is free.
• If you would like to follow the updates, click here
• If you would like to attend the conference without presenting, click here
• If you would like to send an abstract, click here
• We are expecting abstracts of 2,500 - 3,000 characters.
• Applications should be sent here
• All accepted abstracts will be published in a Volume of Abstracts
- Application deadline: 9 May 2021.
- Notification of the authors with a result and evaluation: 20 May 2021.
- Conference days: 10-11 June 2021.


Opening ceremony (9th June 2021. 6:00-7:00 pm. GMT+1)

- Welcome speech from the Leadership of the University of Pécs
- Welcome speech from the Co-chairs of the conference (Aranka Varga, PhD – Ferenc Arató, PhD)
- General information from the Organizing Committee

Day 1: Foundations and Examples (10th June 2021.)

Each 45-minute-long segment of the conference is structured the same: a 5-minute introduction, a 20-minute presentation, a 20-minute discussion. Each segment is followed by a 15-minute break.
Segment 1: Moving Towards New Territory: Perspectives on Diversity and Inclusion (9:00 – 9:45 am.)
Presenter: Rina M. Alluri - Henri-Michel Yéré (University of Innsbruck, Austria; University of Basel, Switzerland)
Moderator: Ferenc Arató (University of Pécs, Hungary)
Segment 2: I fight, therefore I am: Success factors of Roma university students from Serbia (10:00-10:45 am.)
Presenter: Nataša Simić - Jelelna Vranješević (University of Belgrade, Serbia)
Moderator: waiting for affirmation
Segment 3: Lights and Shadows of the Inclusion of” Invisible” Students in Spanish Universities (11:00 – 11:45 am.)
Presenter: Teresa Padilla-Carmona - José González-Monteagudo - María A. Tenorio-Rodríguez (University of Sevilla, Spain)
Moderator: Ábel Bereményi (Central European University)
Segment 4: Diversity in Action: The story of an Academic Art Workshop for Neurodiverse Students (12:00 - 12:45 pm.)
Presenter: Adi Ne'eman - Ya'ara Hermelin Fine - Ma'ayan Shalev (Oranim College of Education, Israel)
Moderator: Renáta Dezső (University of Pécs, Hungary)
Lunch break (12:45 - 2:00 pm.)
Segment 5: Social Inclusion in Higher Education: Cultural Diversity in Teachers’ Curriculum through Direct Experience (2:00 - 2:45 pm.)
Presenter: Marketa Sedlakova - David Košatka (Masaryk University, Czech Republic)
Moderator: waiting for affirmation
Segment 6: Roma Youth in Hungarian Higher Education (3:00 - 3:45 pm.)
Presenter: Aranka Varga – Fanni Trendl (University of Pécs, Hungary)
Moderator: Andrea Óhidy (University of Education Freiburg, Germany)
Segment 7: The Soaring Eagle Academy: The Inception of a Comprehensive Postsecondary Transition Program for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Southwest Florida (4:00 -4:45 pm.)
Presenter: Clarisse Halper - Hasan Aydin - Doug Carothers (Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida, USA)
Moderator: Krisztián Józsa (Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Hungary)
Segment 8: Fostering Inclusion Through Faculty Training and Development (5:00 - 5:45 pm.)
Presenter: Annemarie Vaccaro (University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island, United States)
Moderator: Anikó Fehérvári (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
Segment 9: Dublin City University, Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion: Best Practice and Services (6:00 - 6:45 pm.)
Presenter: Sandra Healy (Dublin City University, Ireland)
Moderator: Sára Bigazzi (University of Pécs, Hungary)

Day 2: Connections and Dialogue (11th June 2021.)

Accepted English language proposals in the field of inclusion and organizational development with a focus on inclusion, innovations, and initiatives related to Inclusive Excellence will be presented in sections, by 20-minute-long presentations.
Co-chairs of the conference:
- Aranka Varga, Ph.D. (University of Pécs)
- Ferenc Arató, Ph.D. (University of Pécs)
Members of the Organizing Committee from the Inclusive University Program Office:
- Renáta Anna Dezső, Ph.D., 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, Ph.D. student (University of Pécs)
- Gergely Horváth, research assistant (University of Pécs)
- Tamara Németh, research assistant (University of Pécs)