RUN-EU: SZE organises successful international short programme with four partners

Within the framework of the Regional University Network-European University (RUN-EU), Széchenyi István University has participated in the development and delivery of a short study programme on intercultural communication and skills development. The presence part of the programme, organised jointly with Portuguese, Irish, Austrian and Finnish partners, was held at the University of Leiria in Portugal, and next year the University of Győr will host the event.

In addition to Széchenyi István University, the RUN-EU consortium, established in 2020, includes two Portuguese universities, as well as one each from the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland and Finland. It aims to innovate and shape the higher education of the future, to promote physical and virtual exchanges and to develop intensive cooperation between partners. One of the key elements of this is the promotion of a new form of student mobility, the organisation of Short Advanced Programmes (SAPs). These courses, which last between 1 and 8 weeks and are predominantly hybrid (i.e. online and face-to-face), focus on developing the skills students will need in the future.

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As part of the cultural programme, participants also visited the medieval town of Óbidos.

Széchenyi István University was involved in the development and implementation of such a short training programme in October-November. The short training programme "Who are we? - Mapping the identity of the RUN-EU-er", a cross-cultural communication and skills-building short study programme, was conducted by the staff of the Department of International Studies and Communication, Dr Júlia Szőke, Associate Professor, as well as Dr Helen Sherwin and Dr Anikó Makkos, Associate Professors, together with Portuguese, Irish, Austrian and Finnish partners. Following an enormous interest among students, Széchenyi István University was represented by seven students from a range of disciplines, making Győr the largest "delegation" among the partner universities. 

Dr Júlia Szőke, representative of the RUN-EU short courses work package, explained that the relevance and popularity of such courses is due to the new type of shorter student mobilities, the practice-oriented courses, working in an international team and the need for the latest and most marketable competences and skills.

"A big advantage is that students can more easily integrate these into their curriculum and coordinate them with their other commitments. Their popularity is also enhanced by the cultural programmes, which are a compulsory element of all short programmes organised under RUN-EU, with the aim of learning about each other's cultures, broadening horizons and cultural sensitisation."

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Participants - including students from Széchenyi István University - working in a team.

Thanks to this new type of mobility, the first five weeks of the six-week programme were conducted online, while the last week of the programme, which included physical mobility, took place at the University of Leiria’s Peniche campus in Portugal.

Feedback from students has been very positive, highlighting the importance of the skills developed and their future utility in practice.

Dr Helen Sherwin, representing RUN-EU's working package on pedagogical methods, added that the positive feedback is also due to the fact that this new type of mobility requires new pedagogical methods, which are already included in this programme. "The 21st century labour market is more dynamic than ever, thanks to globalisation, digitalisation and artificial intelligence. So universities need to develop high-level skills in their students that will prepare them for the future. These skills include intercultural communication, critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and digital skills," she said.

In view of the great interest and oversubscription, the programme will be announced again in spring 2023, and this time Széchenyi István University will organise the week of in-person attendance.

To follow the currently announced SAPs and to apply, please visit https://run-eu.eu/study-programmes/ and to apply for the SAP-related scholarship, please visit https://admissions.sze.hu/run-eu.

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Participants in the online part of the programme.

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