The past period has been difficult, but you did not give up, you worked hard and you have completed your studies. Now Győr will always be your second home,” – with these words Dr Péter Földesi, Rector of Széchenyi István University, greeted the newly graduated international students at a ceremony in their honour.

In the spring semester, 36 international students graduated from Széchenyi István University. The majority of them were able to study in Győr within the framework of the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme, while three were self-funded students. Looking at the breakdown by subject, the largest number obtained an MSc degree in Supply Chain Management, but many also completed the Masters in Marketing – the remaining students receiving degrees in Vehicle Engineering (MSc), Infrastructural Engineering (MSc) and International Relations (BA).

For several years now the increase in the number of students arriving from other countries has been a trend at Széchenyi István University. It is partly in line with the government's national strategy and partly the result of a conscious institutional policy. Growth in the last few semesters has been particularly spectacular: in 2016, there were only two English-taught programmes on offer at the university, today the number is 35. At the same time, the size of the international student community in Győr has multiplied – today there are several hundred. Next year, as the first larger cohorts will be graduating, a more spacious room may have to be located for this traditional final reception, during which, in an intimate setting, the University says goodbye to its international students

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the farewell ceremony took place with precautionary measures - face masks and social distancing.

One of the graduating students browses the participants’ group photo before the event.

“If one day you tell your grandchildren what their University years were like, you will surely remember that you graduated in 2020, at the time of the great pandemic,” said the Rector, referring in his speech to the situation in the Spring due to the COVID-19 virus and emphasizing that though the recent period was especially difficult for international students at the University, far from their homeland and loved ones, they managed to concentrate on their studies, and successfully completed their degrees. "Thank you for your patience," he added.

He then talked about the fact that the university has an ever-widening international alumni community who, like ambassadors, take our reputation around the world. Their careers were just beginning.

“There’s a big difference between graduating and obtaining a degree. Graduation means that the person is ready, with nothing further to do. But this is not true. This is not the end, but the beginning. Many will continue their studies on a Masters or doctoral programme, as well as in workplaces where they will have to find solutions to the major technological, economic and social challenges of the world,” said Dr Földesi.

Rector Földesi thanked the foreign students for culturally enriching the University community.


On behalf of the students, Khalende Titus Mukhati said goodbye to the institution. In his emotional speech, the young Kenyan man thanked the University for all the support given to the international community during the epidemic. “Everyone knew we were safe in Hungary. Our thanks for this!" he said, conveying the gratitude of the international students, who appreciated the continued attention and care shown by the institution. “If anything happens in Central Europe, our countries are open to Hungarians. You were with us when we needed it, we owe you,” he emphasized. The audience rewarded this gesture with applause.

Turning to his companions, he explained: he sees many well-prepared, highly dedicated people in the room. “You are the presidents, ministers, ambassadors of the future. Some of you may return to Hungary”, he said. He recalled how, on his first day, he saw the faces who were now sitting opposite him in the hall in a completely different way. At the time they were still afraid of the new environment, he explained, but now they are leaving the university proud and spiritually armed.

Khalende Titus Mukhati gave an unplanned, spontaneous speech to those present.

Titus graduated in International Relations and wants to be a diplomat. He really enjoyed his years in Győr, but he revealed to our portal that he wanted to build a career in his homeland. “I don’t plan to go abroad. Kenya is a good country, for me the nicest place in the world. I want to use the knowledge I have gained here for the benefit of my community,” he explained. Optimistic about the future, he feels that with his degree from Széchenyi István he can achieve his dreams. “The ambassador of Kenya to Hungary would be the summit for me. I don't want to serve in Canada, nor in Germany, but specifically in Hungary. I have fallen in love with this country,” he said.

Zou Chunpei from China also considers her diploma valuable. Having obtained her Master's degree in Marketing, she believes that in Hungary education is more comprehensive and practical than in China, so - returning to her homeland – she will get a good start on the labour market there. She expects to be able to easily get a position at a major company – primarily she is interested in the area of customer behaviour. She has fond memories of her education in Győr, and especially liked the fact that there are many similarities between Hungarian and Chinese culture. “The family is very important for Hungarians, its role and significance is similar to ours. I also liked the fact that surnames come before Christian names. In addition, there are similarities in eating habits. Hungarians eat more pork than any other European nation, which is reminiscent of China,” she noted.

Rector Dr Péter Földesi and Zou Chunpei.

As the closing note of the reception, Dr Földesi personally congratulated all the participants, following which pictures were taken together with the Rector.

H-9026 Győr, Egyetem tér 1. 


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