A workshop was held on 15th April, 2015 on the results of the Campus Hungary higher education mobility programme and on the topic of internalization and country image. Gergely Phrőle, deputy state secretary in charge of international and EU affairs also took part in the meeting.
How many people have participated in the Campus Hungary programme since Autumn 2012? What role do foreign students play in the popularization of Hungarian higher education and the improvement of country image? What are the experiences of The University of Szeged in the field of student mobility? What are the significances of alumni systems constructed in the frame of scholarship programmes? Amongst others these were the questions that were answered on 15th April, 2015 in the event organized in the central building of the University of Szeged.
The target is the increasing of the larger accessibility of the Hungarian higher education
„Hungarian culture and the scientific and university world have greatly contributed to the fact that Hungary rose out of the greyness of socialist countries”- said Gergely Prőhle. The judging of a country is never a one-way street, said the deputy state secretary in charge of international and EU affairs of the Ministry of Human Resources, referring to the fact those travelling out of the country actually give a personal invitation to those receiving them. ”The delegated student and instructor represent the Hungarian higher education through setting an impression, their effort and the way they fit into the foreign environment. With the help of this a certain kind of interaction takes place between the country and the foreign scientific world.” – said Gergely Prőhle. He added: mobility has a further impact on Hungarian foreign politics because it is evident that the young generation of Hungarian intellectuals are oriented towards the Anglo-Saxon, German world; in the meantime a strong Central-European affinity can also be observed. The deputy state secretary emphasized: the most important thing for the Hungarian Government is the increasing of the level of Hungarian higher education and its international accessibility.
„It is our plan that the ratio of foreign students be 20%. This number currently mean 10,000 students, 10.5%. That is why such network needs building that those who come here to study, will be received in the most appropriate way by the institutions. The decision of the government serves the goal that the universities can delegate themselves to this network. Thus a certain kind of competition will be formed with respect to their offer of foreign language education.” – said he.
Results of the Campus Hungary programme
The Campus Hungary programme is an opportunity inspiring two-directional mobility, i.e mobility out of and into the country, which supports both intenationalization and the systems of alumni as well. 8 calls for application have been reported since the start of the intensive programme in 2012. Thanks to the programme coordinated by the Balassi Institute and executed in consortium with the Tempus Public Fund as many as 8,663 students and 1,722 higher education employees could get to 92 countries in the world – reported Ágnes Simon. Chief senior executive of the Campus Hungary Programme added: more than 2,3 billion forints have been allocated in the applications, among the applicants, the ratio of PhD students is more than 30%.
The most popular target destinations are Germany, Romania and the UK, but among the top 10 target countries are Austria, Italy, the USA, Spain, France, Slovakia and Poland. The top goal of the programme, besides giving out scholarships, is to attract more foreign students to Hungary and to help the intentions for internationalization of the Hungarian higher education. For the sake of this, with the support of the programme, in cooperation with 25 Hungarian higher education institutions, the Hungarian higher education institutions were present at international education fairs, roadshows and workshops in more than 20 countries. To list a few, Hungarian institutions introduced themselves in Turkey, India, Vietnam and Japan. The programme is going to continue for certain; however, preparations are still under way.-said Ágnes Simon.
The Hungarian and English language website of Campus Hungary provides those interested with useful information on which applicants may search English and other language programmes available in Hungary. Information is also provided on the bilingual Facebook site of Campus Hungary and the general information booklets for students from abroad.
One becomes different by travelling abroad
” Our experience is that a different person returns home from abroad. No matter how much time they have spent abroad, they see the world from a different perspective, works with a different perspective and for certain this can have major advantages on the workforce market.”- said Zsolt Szabó. The coordination senior executive of the Balassi Institute added: students and instructors of today find it natural to get a scholarship abroad, which is important from the point of view of country image since those travelling abroad represent our country.
Advantage of Campus Hungary programme is that – contrary to other scholarships – gives a choice to the applicant. Students themselves may decide and find the opportunities concerning where and what they want to study. Apart from this, financial conditions are also better than other programmes because more than 70% of all costs could be covered by those travelling abroad – said Zsolt Szabó. However, many students are afraid of being abroad and unknown places. This was bridged over by the opportunities of group study tours. – he added.
The goals for internationalization of the University of Szeged
„”The fact that the University of Szeged hosts this event might mean that the University of Szeged that joined the process of internalization a long time ago is open to the reception of new opportunities. " – said Katalin Nagy. The Rector’s Commissioner in charge of international relations of the University of Szeged emphasized: foreign language education at the faculties of medicine of the University of Szeged goes back to 30 years but before that foreign students were around in Szeged. ”The philosophy of the management of the university by the bank of Tisza river is that short mobilities determine future long-term mobilities bringing tuition fee incomes, which has a gigantic benefit from the point of view of national economy. Study trip abroad is the foundation of further career opportunities for life and determines the future opportunities for improvement.” – said Katalin Nagy who also asserted that one of the internationalization plans of the University of Szeged is to extend foreign language education opportunities to all 12 faculties of the university.
|Meeting on the significance of internalization and alumni systems at the University of Szeged-gallery|
Alumni relations in the internationalization process of the University of Szeged
”Today’s event is of utmost importance because two such things (alumni movement and internationalization) are joined which are very important for the management of the University of Szeged. Alumni are a great source of strength and they are also measurement of value for the university since it is important what reputation the former students take with them on the university.”-said Gábor Szabó at the opening ceremony of the Alumni Meeting and Scholarship Forum. The Rector of the University of Szeged added: internationalization is also such factor that is a top strategic goal of the institution. ”Nowadays it is important that young students get access to the opportunity to gain experience abroad; it is fundamental that students gain international experience and at the same time their commitment to the nation will be stable.”- said the Rector of the University of Szeged.
The old student organization of SZTE has been functioning since December 2005. The Alma Mater office has created a database involving 11,000 individuals which comprises former students and instructors – said Tímea Schwimmer-Tóth.
The head of the Alma Mater office added: the goal of the organization is to drain back the knowledge, experience of former students into the university system with an international perspective. For the sake of this a three-step model has been developed with which former students will be gradually involved in the life of the university.
With respect to internationalization, a new database has been developed, especially at the medical faculty of the University of Szeged, for international students bearing the name: Szeged University Medical Alumni. The central alma mater office runs the Alumni of the University of Szeged Facebook profile, informs the former SZTE students speaking foreign languages on its own English language website. In September 2015 foreign students are expected to come to a weekend event on the occasion 30th anniversary of medical foreign language education.
The event took place as a result of a cooperation among Campus Hungary Program (TÁMOP-4.2.4.B/2), National Excellence in the Convergence Region (TÁMOP-4.2.4.A/2), and the University of Szeged – TÁMOP 4.1.1.C-12/1/KONV-2012-0004 International Sub-project.