Regional University Network launched with Széchenyi István University on board

One of the strategic goals of Széchenyi István University is internationalization, and now this process is being given new impetus by the fact that the institution, together with seven European partners, has successfully participated in the tender announced by the European Commission within the framework of the European Universities Initiative. Over the next three years, there will be exchanges, joint training courses and R&D projects.

In 2017, the European Council of Leaders of the Member States set out to implement a number of initiatives, one of which is the creation of "European Universities" consisting of networks of different universities. On the one hand, they offer students the opportunity to obtain a degree by combining studies in different countries, and on the other hand, they contribute to improving the international competitiveness of institutions. This year's competition was won by 24 start-up university consortia, including the Regional University Network - European University (RUN-EU), which also includes Széchenyi István University. Other members of the network are the Polytechnic of Leiria, the Polytechnic of Cavado and Ave (both from Portugal), the Athlone Institute of Technology, the Limerick Institute of Technology (both from  Ireland), NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), HAMK University (Finnish) and Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (Austria).

Manuel Heitor - Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal

Rui Pedrosa – President of the Polyechnic of Leiria, Portugal

RUN-EU held its inaugural meeting in late November, at which Rui Pedrosa, President of the University of Leiria, presented the work plan of the network. It was announced that over the next three years, an extensive mobility programme for students, academics, researchers and staff will be advertised. In addition, more than 80 international in-service training courses are being organized and 24 joint undergraduate, master's and doctoral training courses launched. Plans include support for international research and development projects via the RUN-EU Discovery programme. International Student Weeks will be held annually, with 120 students from partner universities expected.

At the opening ceremony, Manuel Heitor, Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, spoke about the role of RUN-EU in the development of the associated regions. “Participating institutions have the opportunity to try out and experiment with new initiatives and new forms of learning. This is a particularly important network for Europe, which today faces a number of challenges in the field of education, namely the need to make higher education accessible to all, ” said the Minister.

At the online event, Dr Eszter Lukács, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs at Széchenyi István University, called the participation of regional and national associate partners in the programme crucial. "In this context, the involvement of Audi Hungaria in the project represents an excellent opportunity for many of RUN-EU's activities," she emphasized.

In her speech, Dr Laura Sinóros-Szabó, Head of the Department of Higher Education, Strategy and Institutional Development at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, highlighted the contribution of RUN-EU to increasing the international competitiveness of Hungarian higher education institutions. "Above all, this facilitates the integration of Hungarian higher education not only into European higher education, but also into European research and innovation," said Dr Sinóros-Szabó.

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