What is inclusive university?

2021.06.23

Based on the concept, scientific work and empirical studies of a project conducted between 2014 and 2015 titled "Development of Education-Training Assisting Networks in the Southern Transdanubian Region", an umbrella organization was established following both the approach and the strategy of the Inclusive University. The Inclusive University has been operating as an institutional improvement strategy at the University of Pécs (UP) since 2018.

Our aim is to develop academic excellence through promoting and enhancing diversity, improving accessibility and providing educational services for groups which are underrepresented in higher education in Hungary. These groups involve underprivileged students, Roma students, disabled and foreign students.

The first step aims to create structural guarantee for strategic efforts. First, a Coordinaton Office was established for administrative and operational colleagues and strategic experts. Then the management and the top of the leadership members' engagement was ensured by creating an Inclusive Excellence (IE) Coordination Team. The next step was to conduct a survey which then would reveal successful institutional examples for "good practices", colleges, scholarships, programs and partnerships which ensure inclusiveness in practice at different faculties of the University of Pécs. The survey was carried out by the Inclusive University Office and was sent by the Vice Rector to the Deans of each faculties. We were interested in how and to what extent their faculties support the focus groups. A community space was created, which is also our coordination office. It will function in the future as a trans-gradual and trans-disciplinary workplace for research, development, training and practice, alongside operational tasks.

In the long term, Inclusive University helps us to establish equal access and participation for students; increase their numbers; decrease dropout rates and ensure successful labour market entry, by concentrating on the evaluation and visibility for existing good practices. Our overall aim is to extend the scope of enrollment and create visibility for inclusiveness in the future.