Vice-Rector of SZE elected to Chair of International Committee of Hungarian Rectors' Conference

The Hungarian Rectors' Conference has elected Dr Eszter Lukács, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs at Széchenyi István University, to head its International Committee, acknowledging the institution's dynamic development in the field of internationalization. The field is becoming increasingly important for Hungarian higher education because it contributes to making our universities globally competitive.

“Internationalization is a strategically important task in Hungarian higher education, as Hungarian institutions have to compete with more than 25,000 universities in the world. This competition has even intensified as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, as most sending countries have begun to vigorously develop their own higher education systems. Hungary needs to keep pace with them and with traditional universities,” said Dr Balázs Hankó, Deputy State Secretary for Higher Education at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology. He emphasized that the Hungarian Rectors' Conference (MRK) plays an important role in this as well, on the one hand by enabling the exchange of experiences between universities, and on the other hand by representing Hungarian higher education as a unified organization. The success of internationalization efforts is indicated by the fact that, in comparison with 2013, by 2020 the number of international students in Hungary had increased by almost two-thirds (to 38,422 in the 2019/2020 academic year). This year's survey also reveals that a majority of international students consider a Hungarian degree to be more valuable than that issued by higher education institutions in their own country, with a good third of them considering the two to be almost equivalent. Therefore, it is clear that there is trust in the direction of Hungarian higher education, and this must be exploited with even better and harder work, Dr Hankó stated.

Dr Eszter Lukács, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs at Széchenyi István University, was unanimously elected Chair of the International Committee of the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference during the recent renewal of officers. The significance of the office is shown by the fact that, unlike previously, its work is assisted by not one, but two co-chairs: Dr Péter Szatmári, Vice-Chancellor of Science and Development at Kodolányi János University, and Dr Boglárka Koller, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at the University of Public Service. It is indicative that the board will thus be led by a university that has undergone the model change, a private university and a public one.


Lukács Eszter (1).jpgDr Eszter Lukács (Photo: Csaba József Májer)

Dr Eszter Lukács emphasized that her election was due to Széchenyi István University’s dynamic development and significant results in the field of internationalization, based on simultaneous, extensive developments in infrastructure and education. As a result, the number of international students has doubled in five years and now exceeds six hundred, with the number of English-taught academic programmes having reached thirty-five. The student community is now composed of young people from 55 countries. Confirmation of this progress is the fact that the University is now listed by the two major higher education rankings organisations: for the first time, it features on the QS World Rankings, straight in at position 801-1000 and this year, for the second time, it is ranked among the best in the world in the Times Higher Education’s (THE) list, which judges higher education institutions against the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Széchenyi University is ranked among the top 200 HEIs in one of the SDG categories titled “Sustainable cities and Communities”.

As Chair of the International Committee, I strive for Hungarian universities to learn as much as possible from each other, also in this field. I consider it extremely important that we should represent Hungarian higher education in a uniform manner to the world, that our educational and scientific activities should be visible and effective, and that our third mission’s business, corporate and project related contacts should embed institutions in the world economy, thus ensuring their long-term sustainability. The internationalization of a university can only be successful if all areas are well managed and successful. Only in a very disciplined, united way, “flying in formation”, can spectacular results be achieved in a short time, as was the case with Széchenyi István University. The model of our institution is special because it has so far relied heavily on its third mission activities. The next step, via the creation of the Science and Innovation Park, is the further development of our business relations. We hope in this way to strengthen the two-way mobility of both academic and administrative staff. ” said Dr Lukács.

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