Széchenyi University among the world’s best in Times Higher Education rankings

Széchenyi István University has been counted among the best on the latest list of the Times Higher Education (THE), which ranks higher education institutions according to their economic and social impact and their responsibility. In one category the university has been ranked in the top 200.

This year likewise, THE has drawn up a ranking which evaluates the world's higher education institutions on the basis of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Széchenyi István University is one of a total of six Hungarian universities which have been added to the latest list, including the University of Szeged, the University of Debrecen, the University of Pécs, Eötvös Loránd University and Semmelweis University.

The Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs, Dr Eszter Lukács, emphasized that a few years ago, Széchenyi István University set itself the goal of being included on the lists of the two largest university rankings organizations. One of these is QS, which basically prepares its annual rankings on the basis of research and scientific results, with Széchenyi University being listed both in 2019 and again this year. The other is THE, which, in addition to its traditional list, for the second time this year has compiled an equally important one to measure how each institution contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a common denominator for all countries in the world. "We consider it as the top result of our internationalization activities so far," said the Vice-Rector, "that we have succeeded in being included on this list. From Hungary, apart from our institution, it features only the largest university in Budapest, as well as institutions with a medical faculty and those which have been admitting foreign students in large numbers since the mid-1980s."

Students can study at one of the best universities in the country in Győr. Photo: Májer Csaba József

In addition to university education, the authors of the compilation examined related research findings, good practices in institutional operation, and all other such activities that have a value-creating effect in the narrower and wider environment of the university community, from the dissemination of knowledge to the carrying out of professional work for the government. Széchenyi University performed best in the category of “decent work and economic growth”, which focusses on fair job creation, promoting development-oriented policies that support entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation and encouraging the creation and growth of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises. In this category, Széchenyi István was ranked between positions 101 and 200, comparable to the Universities of Tokyo, Osaka, South Australia, Toronto, Montreal, Lausanne, Westminster, Kyoto, Nagoya, Manchester, Aberdeen, Sao Paolo and Arizona State University, among others. Here universities’ employment practices, job security and their impact on the economy in general were examined.

In the category of quality education - in line with the Universities of Brescia, Calabria, Kyoto, Monterrey, Montevideo, Nagoya, Semmelweis and Tilburg - SZE was ranked between places 401-600. It was considered as a positive point that, with the help of the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme, our University admits foreign students from developing countries to study on 21 of its international degree programmes. In addition, the number of students the institution provides for lifelong learning opportunities was taken into account; but also assessed as advantageous were the education of first-generation graduates and the number of students graduating with a teaching qualification.

Likewise, Széchenyi István University was also ranked in the top 600 in the “industry, innovation and infrastructure” category. This is linked to the UN sub-goal of modernizing infrastructure and renewing industrial sectors by improving resource efficiency through greater use of clean and environmentally friendly technologies and industrial processes. SZE contributes to this via its governmental and industrial relations. The authors of the list also looked at industrial (tender) revenues and the number of spin-off companies initiated by the institution. Széchenyi István was ranked 601+ in the “Partnership to Achieve Goals” category in the illustrious company of such universities as Calabria, Kumamoto, Montana State, Missouri, Monterrey, North Carolina, Osaka, South China or Tokyo Metropolitan University. This category includes relations with non-governmental organizations, city and county councils and central government, the organization of UN-related programmes as well as education in topics related to sustainable development goals.

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