IMG_8001.JPGEnikő Varga relates how Széchenyi István University’s English-taught Doctoral Programme in Business Administration Sciences (SzEEDSM) brought her not only valuable knowledge but also formidable mentor-lecturers, vision forming ideas and maximum support. The talented professional was the first in the world to model the process of Internet-based learning from a transdisciplinary approach.

"I hope my research results can contribute useful knowledge to the benefit of society," said Enikő Varga, referring to her doctoral dissertation. Several weeks ago, coming to the end of her intellectual adventure – as she calls it – she defended her doctoral thesis. As one of the first applicants to the transdisciplinary PhD programme in Business Administration Sciences (SzEEDSM) established at Széchenyi István University with the support of the Central Bank of Hungary (MNB), she chose career change and the process of Internet-based learning as her thesis topic. Within this, she examined how the knowledge needed for traditional farming can be acquired through purely digital tools, blogs and social media, also analyzing the challenges faced by today’s organic farms. In her thesis there is realized a fusion of agricultural sciences and information technology. The two paths on which Enikő Varga embarked on her journey came together at the doctoral school in Győr.


Enikő Varga: I am proud that, from a transdisciplinary point of view, I was the first in the world to succeed in modelling the learning process that more and more people are going through today in the digital age, during their career change: they educate themselves by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the internet.

(Photo: Széchenyi Alumni Magazine, János Könczöl)


Her research can help decision makers

Enikő Varga worked for 25 years as an IT manager at GE Lighting, one of the largest companies in the world, in the meantime also successfully completing an eight-month posting to USA to do an MBA.

Are you saying that few people reach this point in their careers? At the top, however, I reached that second curve of Handy's... I changed my lifestyle, my career, I craved silence. My family and I moved to a farm on the Hungarian Alföld (Great Plain) and started farming. The most exciting thing of all  is that everything that is necessary for the operation of our farm and guest house we learn with the help of the Internet,” said Ms Varga, sketching the details of the change and pointing to the reasons for her choice of research topic.

“I am proud to be the first in the world to model in a transdisciplinary way the process that more and more people, like me, are going through today in the digital era, during their career change: they are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the internet to educate themselves. The basis of their learning experience is from web reports and video blogs. Having examined them, I have created the concept of “experience miner”. Scientific modelling of their way of thinking and learning methods can also contribute to the efficiency of artificial intelligence-based web search engines, and can also help users and decision-makers. My study has brought a new perspective on the approach to the selection of visualized learning content,” she replied.


Bölcs Vár (Sage Castle), the Budapest premises of the SzEEDSM Doctoral Programme in Transdisciplinary Management and Organizational Sciences.

The world has unfolded

Enikő Varga did not deny that she had worked hard for the last four years. After a working day and her duties as a mother, it was mostly at nighttime she had to work on tasks to complete the doctoral school. The sincere and maximum support of her family was essential for success, but as she said, the result was worth the effort.

“I had the opportunity to learn from renowned foreign professors like Basarab Nicolescu or management guru Charles Handy, a social and organizational philosopher and one of the greatest contemporary thinkers of our time. The flexible attitude conveyed by the programme left its mark on my thinking and work. I definitely feel it shaped me. After defending my doctoral dissertation, I relaxed for only a few days, and I am already wondering how I can continue this journey which started in education, ” said the graduating PhD student looking ahead. 


The doctoral programme

In September 2016, the English-taught Doctoral Programme in Business Administration Sciences (SzEEDSM) was launched at Széchenyi István University with the aim of providing Hungarian higher education wiith a world-class doctoral programme in a transdisciplinary perspective by involving foreign experts and following internationally dominant scientific trends. Learning from the situation created by the pandemic, the leaders of the doctoral programme will implement new forms of promotion for publications and from 2021 onwards will enhance the workshop-level operation of the programme. They support all forms of scientific collaboration via online means and, where possible, more and more personal interactions.

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