Stipendium Hungaricum conference: amelioration and internationalization of the higher education through scholarship programmes

On 7 June 2022, vice-rector for international affairs Boglárka Koller attended a round table discussion on the topic of internationalization efforts of the Hungarian Universities, representing the University of Public Service (UPS). In total, three Universities and the Tempus Public Foundation were represented: Anita Pelle from the University of Szeged (SZE), Anna Kadrova from Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) and Gábor Dobos, director of the Tempus Public Foundation (TPF).

The main topic of the round table discussion was the quality internationalization of these higher education institutions and also the education of the students of international mobility programmes. The harmonization of the Hungarian and international students' education represents the fundamental point of deepening the integration processes of exchange students and further developing the intercultural, linguistic and other global competencies of Hungarian students. The traditional, formal education consists of the in-classroom lectures and other colloquial procedures. Meanwhile, non-traditional, informal educational activities usually define exo-classroom activities. During the discussion, essential aspects, research - and their respected results -, experiences or good practices were on the table, demonstrating either formal or informal situations of the Hungarian and non-Hungarian students' cooperation.

The focal point of the questions aimed at Boglárka Koller was the Anglicization of different courses of UPS. In the past few years, the palette of available languages that can be learned in our institution was widely broadened. Also, various civil bachelor and master courses in English are constantly launched semester after semester. Making the lessons more appealing to international students is an important objective for the leadership of the University. The facilitation of the integration of the exchange students usually results in higher morale of study. Both curricular and extracurricular inclusion is considered in this aspect. Due to that, during the pandemic, the University felt obligated to maintain their students' mental health. It launched a mental hygiene programme, which has reoccurred due to the Ukrainian crisis. All students' well-being was monitored, who participated in this programme, regardless of nationality.

Various excursions were (or are still) organized, where students from different exchange programmes (Erasmus and Stipendium Hungaricum) strengthened team spirit. Also, it proved to be an efficient method of creating unforgettable experiences.

From the Hungarian side, Kitti Érsek, a master's student at the University of Public Services, delivered first-hand experiences. Kitti participated in both Erasmus and Campus Mundi exchange programmes, which resulted in diverse foreign experiences.

Text: Levente Szántó

Photo: Bernadett Antal