On November 26, 2018, an international scientific-practical conference “Strategic lines for the development of inclusive higher education at the present stage” was held at Minin University. The conference was organized by the Resource Educational and Methodological Center (RUMC) for training disabled people and people with disabilities at Minin University.

The conference summarized Russian and foreign experience, and also demonstrated the results of a scientific search for solutions to topical problems of inclusive higher education and their public and professional discussion.

The conference “Strategic lines for the development of inclusive higher education at the present stage” is part of the RUMC networking events, which are held to discuss the main problems and ways to solve them in the development of an inclusive higher education system, to consider issues of effective interconnection between the subjects of implementing the principles of inclusion at all educational levels.

The thesis of the conference comprised key areas of inclusive higher education. The main forms of the conference are:

  • Plenary session on topical issues of inclusive higher education in Russia and abroad;
  • Workshops providing for public discussion of the pre-university training of people with disabilities, vocational guidance in universities, employment and promotion of professional and career development of people with disabilities;
  • Round tables to discuss the positive practices of the implementation of the educational process in the system of inclusive higher education, adaptation technologies in the system of support for people with disabilities and disabilities, social partnership in the development of inclusive higher education and the socio-cultural space of an inclusive university.

The conference was greeted by Alexander Alexandrovich Fedorov, Rector of Minin University, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor and NING YUAN, Deputy Head of the Education Department of Shaanxi Province (China), Tatyana Krasnopevtseva, Director of the RUMC at Minin University.

RUMC of Minin University is only one year old. This conference has become one of the key stages in the development of this center. Alexander Fedorov, commenting on the activities of the RUMC at Minin University, notes that this project is entering a new level of its development. At the moment, the RMTC of the Minin University is one of 21 RUMC of the RF.
“There are things that society can do only in consolidation: this is the attitude to have towards people with disabilities, and their involvement in work, and expanding the range of opportunities for people with all types of nosologies. The conference will allow us to come up with the idea of a convention. Among the participants of the conference are representatives of partner universities from Russia, as well as our colleagues from China, Germany, Finland, the USA, the Republic of Belarus and Kazakhstan, who own inclusive technologies. 

NING YUAN, deputy head of the education department of Shaanxi Province (PRC), head of the Chinese delegation stated:

“At the moment, China is developing inclusive education. Shaanxi Province is one of the first provinces in China, that has begun to work in this area. Now there is a very large number of educational institutions adapted for people with disabilities and disabled children. There are various foundations supporting such students. In our delegation, we have representatives from various universities in the province. Among them - the largest pedagogical university and the University of Fine Arts. In the latter, inclusive education is most developed - there are many students with disabilities. In China, there is a plan for the development of inclusive education. Two aspects are important: the availability of human resources and the availability of infrastructure. We are interested in how the issue of inclusive education is being considered in Russia and other countries. We, in turn, are ready to share the features of inclusive education in China. ”

Tatyana Krasnopevtseva, Director of the Center for Information Management at Minin University added,

“We are a young structure, but during this year of intensive work we have gained a lot of experience, which we are ready to share at this conference. We achieved the result thanks to close cooperation with the RUMC network, partner universities within the territory assigned to us, public organizations, and executive authorities. ”

Representatives of 11 partner universities of Minin University’s RUMC network from the Penza region, Perm region, Samara region, Ulyanovsk region, Republic of Mordovia, Saratov region, 9 universities of foreign countries, and 4 regional public organizations of people with disabilities made presentations in the plenary part of the conference and discussion platforms. Colleagues included people from RUMC of Crimean Federal University and Vernadsky and RUMC of Novosibirsk State Technical University, education authorities, representatives of the Main Bureau of medical and social expertise in the Nizhny Novgorod region, and the organization of secondary vocational education.

TIMO Unto Ala-Vähälä, Managing Director, Researcher at Jyväskylä Southern University (Jyväskylä, Finland), touched upon the legal aspects of the issue of inclusive education, mentioned decisions taken at the national level, touched upon the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, non-discrimination act. Separately, the speaker highlighted the importance of the availability of all materials for students with disabilities and HIA. “They should be offered adaptive methods, training should be consistent with these principles. We are committed to transparency and an accessible environment. Physical and psychological accessibility is important. ”

Olga Serebryannikova, Counselor of the Department of State Policy in the Field of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (Moscow), also spoke about legal documents in the field of inclusive education, the portal “Inclusive Education. RF”, the activities of the RUMC network, and the integrated training model and maintenance students with disabilities.

The formulated problems, voiced at the panel discussion, were discussed at the discussion platforms.

In total, the conference was attended by over 120 people from 11 cities within the Russian Federation (Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Penza, Perm, Samara, Tolyatti, Ulyanovsk, Saransk, Saratov, Yalta, Novosibirsk) and 13 representatives from 6 foreign countries: China, Germany, Finland , the USA, Republic of Belarus, Kazakhstan.
More than 15 of Minin University’s partner universities from the Penza Region, the Perm Territory, the Samara Region, the Ulyanovsk Region, the Republic of Mordovia and the Saratov Region took part remotely.

The conference participants noted the high level of organization of the conference, the relevance and practical importance of the issues discussed.
Roman Ponomarenko, Head of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Public Organization of the Disabled "Kovcheg" noted:
How cool it is to be in a team with businessmen. Who create space for change. The space of inclusion and amazing features. Opportunities without limits. And yet, I cannot help being amazed at the space where they bring up such students. With eyes of bold freedom and the desire to achieve.

Inclusive higher education at the present stage determines the development of a strategy aimed at solving the tasks facing it, with the aim of increasing its accessibility and quality based on meeting the current and future needs of the individual, society and the state. A successful solution of strategic tasks is possible only if they are reasonably distributed over time and the necessary resource and management support is available.