Széchenyi István University is among the best in QS higher education ranking

Széchenyi István University has significantly improved its position in QS's latest list of higher education institutions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The result shows that the institution is performing even better in the areas of education, research, internationalization and collaboration with industry. Further progress is already facilitated by the model change.

At the end of each year, QS, one of the world's two largest university ranking organizations, publishes its five regional lists, with Hungarian universities featuring in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) rankings. The latest list, bearing the year 2021 in its title, but  based on 2020 data, was published on Wednesday, with Széchenyi István University (SZE) standing in position 173. The institution was first featured in the listing two years ago, placed at that time in the 201–250 band, compared to last year’s advancement to band 201-210.  The current result thus represents an improvement of another 28 places.


Széchenyi István University, Győr

When preparing the rankings lists, QS takes into account several aspects, such as how employers and partner universities view a particular university, what the student-teacher  ratio is, and what proportion of members of the teaching staff have an academic degree. The number of publications and citations, participation in international research networks, the number of international professors and students, and the institution's online presence in English also count.

In answer to our question, Dr Eszter Lukács, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs, said that, compared to a year earlier, apart from the evaluation by academics and the student-teacher ratio, the category in which the university had most improved was "evaluation by employers", showing that companies value the fact that Széchenyi students receive a world-class education which conforms to labour market requirements. The institution has excelled in several other areas, notably the high number of international guest lecturers.

Dr Eszter Lukács, Vice Rector for Educational Affairs

Dr Lukács emphasized that - in line with the government's strategy entitled “Acceleration in Higher Education” - one of the important elements of the university's policy up to 2030 is internationalization, and the current QS result is positive feedback that they are on the right track. “Being maintained by a Foundation, Széchenyi István University has, since August, been operating as a private higher education institution. The more efficient, more flexible, more market oriented environment achieved via this renewal will further facilitate our progress and the enhancement of our global visibility in the future. Our goal by the end of the next decade is to become one of the the top ten European universities offering automotive education and one of the world’s top two hundred universities in engineering sciences. The model change also contributes to the further strengthening of our industrial and corporate partnerships, to be boosted in the future by the construction on the site of the former biscuit factory of the forthcoming Science and Innovation Park where, in an international academic environment, startups and spinoff companies, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises alike will be incorporated”, she said. "The university's internationalization efforts thus go far beyond education and research: they directly contribute to the integration of the small and medium-sized enterprises sector, backbone of the Hungarian economy, into global value chains with high value-added activities."

These efforts are specifically encouraged and supported by the controlling authority, as exemplified by the new scholarship announced with the support of the Széchenyi István University Foundation’s Board of Trustees, providing additional motivation for lecturers and researchers to produce international publications and participate in international research networks. The amount of this new scholarship, together with previous grant funding which is still available, is close to HUF 100 million.

Dr. Eszter Lukács added: more than 25 thousand higher education institutions in the world compete with each other for students, and in this respect the University’s position in the QS rankings is also extremely important. Széchenyi István University wants to attract young people primarily from East, South-East and South Asia, and according to surveys, in that region whether the given institution features on this list is a very important aspect of the students’ higher education choices.

This year, the University of Győr has for that matter also achieved another similar noteworthy success: it has been included in the list of the other major rankings organization, the Times Higher Education, which ranks higher education institutions on the basis of their economic and social impact and responsibility. Here, SZE’s best performance was in the categories of fair job creation, promoting development-oriented policies to support entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, stimulating the creation and growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as in quality education.

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