Under the auspices of the Austrian Embassy to Hungary and with the support of Advantage Austria, the official Foreign Trade promotion body, the Austrian Business Circle organized a workshop held on 28. September at the Danubius Hotel Helia, Budapest, on the theme Recommendations for training and in-service training programmes to ensure the supply of specialists to Austrian subsidiary companies operating in Hungary.

Széchenyi István University was pleased to accept the kind invitation of Mr Jürgen Schreder, Commercial Counsellor, on behalf of the Austrian Embassy to Hungary, to participate in the event. Thanks to his efforts, the workshop proved to be very successful. After Mr Schreder’s welcoming speech, in the first session speakers included Ms Melinda Schneider, representing the Department of Educational Policy of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and Mr Josef Hochwald, Deputy Head of the Department of Technical Training in the Ministry of Digitalization and Industrial Locations.

Following the break there was a panel discussion on the topic of Dual Higher Education Programmes – the Skills Shortage and Cases of Best Practice. Presenters and participants in the discussion included Ms Annamária Pölöskei, Deputy Secretary of State at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Mr Tamás Bihall, Vice-President of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce responsible for Educational and Vocational Training, Dr Eszter Lukács, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs at Széchenyi István University, Mr Christian Kallinger, Chief Financial Officer at VNT Metal Hungary Kft. and Ms Éva Hajdú, Director of Human Policy, Porsche Inter Auto Hungaria Kft.

In her presentation on the theme of Dual Education at tertiary level, Dr Lukács gave a comprehensive description and rationale for the Programmes on offer at Széchenyi István University. When initially introducing this form of education at SZE, the University considered it important to produce specialists who, by means of the high number of practical sessions contained in the curriculum, would enjoy a distinct advantage on the labour market. In collaboration with the Audi Hungária Company, Dual Education began in academic year 2015/2016 with the Vehicle Engineering and Electrical Engineering Bachelor’s programmes. The Vice-Rector explained that the palette of Dual Education programmes has since been extended to five subject areas to include Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science Engineering and Agricultural Engineering and then went on to list the 11 companies with which the University has a collaboration agreement for Dual Education programmes.

Dr Lukács added that as from the beginning of this Academic year, 37 students are participating in Dual Education programmes at the University, and it is aimed to extend this number to between 60 and 70. She further highlighted the significance of a new partnership with E.ON Észak-dunantúli Áramhálozati geschlossene AG which commences in this current academic year. The Vice-Rector went on to expound in some detail on the advantages of Dual Education for the partner companies, later mentioning the advantages of the scheme for both participating students and for the University.

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