Hungarian Summit: SZE strengthens its relations with the US

Senior US academic, civic and organizational leaders came to Széchenyi István University on 7 June as part of the Hungarian Summit aimed at strengthening the partnership between the two countries. During their visit to Győr, the guests learned about the dynamic development of the institution.

With the aim of strengthening higher education and economic ties between Hungary and the United States, Honorary Consul Pazaurek Piros of Central Florida has launched the Hungarian Summit, which is held in a different location each year. The event was held in Florida for the first time last year, with a personal presence, due to the coronavirus outbreak, and this year Hungary hosted the event. In addition to the Budapest programme, the participants - including the mayor of Daytona Beach, known for its beach and race track, the director of NASCAR, the largest racing organization in the US, university presidents and vice presidents - were hosted for a day by Széchenyi István University in Győr, where they also visited the mayor, Dr. Csaba András Dézsi, the Audi factory and the Miklós Révai Secondary Grammar School.


Participants of the Hungarian Summit with representatives of SZE at the Széchenyi statue in front of the Management Campus (Photo: Csaba József Májer)

At the institution, Dr. Eszter Lukács, Vice President for Global Strategy, gave the guests an overview of Hungarian higher education and the University of Győr. She explained that in the last few years, 21 Hungarian universities have gone through a change of model. These institutions have been set up as foundations: their autonomy has been maintained, but they enjoy greater financial freedom. She added that among the model changers is Széchenyi István University, which is the sixth largest university in Hungary and the fifth best in the country according to the QS world ranking.

Dr. Eszter Lukács also spoke about the internationalisation process that started at Széchenyi University in 2018, and in a few years significant results have been achieved, as shown by the fact that students now represent seventy countries around the world. They are proud to be launching an English-language, double-degree, AACSB-accredited MBA programme with the University of Rhode Island in the US from 2020. The Vice President said that they attach great importance to strengthening Hungarian-American relations and are keen to welcome as many young Americans as possible. They are offered, among other things, short training programmes, such as the Audi Development Camp held every July. Dr Eszter Lukács added that Széchenyi University is in close contact with more than 3,000 companies. To further strengthen these partnerships, science and innovation parks are being established in Győr, Mosonmagyaróvár and Zalaegerszeg. The university's athletes are particularly successful in water sports and women's basketball, with rowers beating Oxford University on several occasions.

The guests also toured the Széchenyi István University Centre of the SZEnergy Team, the student team that won two gold medals and a world record in Europe's largest energy efficiency competition. (Photo by József Csaba Májer)

Tamás Kolossváry, head of the Innovation and Training Centre of Széchenyi István University in Zalaegerszeg, said that ZalaZONE, owned by the foundation of the university, is the world's most modern test track, which further strengthens the innovation and economic ecosystem of the institution. The complex is suitable for testing both conventional and special-purpose vehicles, self-driving and electric vehicles. He added: "Széchenyi University is present at ZalaZONE with training, services and R&D projects, mainly in drone technology applications and autonomous transport systems.”

The American delegation also visited the Révai Miklós Secondary Grammar School in Győr, where they were welcomed by Headmaster Péter Horváth and students of the school (Photos: Máté Dudás)

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