Internationalisation has been in the focus of the institution’s development strategies since its establishment, building on the existing partner network of the predecessor institutions. While the first years of the National University of Public Service brought a significant increase in the level of inbound and outbound student and staff mobility or in other forms of international cooperation, a new direction of developments has begun with the launch of the Institutional Development Plan (IDP) for 2015-2020.
NUPS, with the motto of being a University of Cooperation, integrated international dimension into its general model of operation and activities.
The Institutional Development Plan defines the international strategy of NUPS around three dimensions:
- regional dimension (Central and Eastern Europe);
- European dimension;
- global dimension.
The most intensive are the regional level co-operations of NUPS, including numerous bilateral and multilateral partnerships and activities under different frameworks, such as IMAF, Fourlog, NISPAcee, CeeGOV, Erasmus+, Twinning or EuropeAid. One of the most important and most successful regional co-operation is achieved in the field of military sciences, in which the International Military Forum (IMAF) and the Erasmus KA2 Strategic Partnership project aims to strengthen regional cooperation, including the elaboration of a common international module.
At a European level an intensifying presence of NUPS could be seen, with an increased number of partners, deepening co-operations, new projects and new organisational memberships, e.g. EGPA or the Horizon 2020 programmes. The University takes part in several EU projects and exploits the opportunities offered by the European Union, e.g. the launch of a Jean Monnet Module. Besides there are some successful initiatives, such as the Global Minority Rights Summer School that is organised annually since 2013 in co-operation with the Middlesex University form the United Kingdom and the Tom Lantos Institute from Hungary. Nevertheless, NUPS is committed to take part in the formulation of policies and dialogues through various international organisations, such as the European University Association (EUA) or the European Group for Administration (EGPA).
Global dimension was a territory within NUPS's internationalisation not completely exploited in the beginnings, thus new partnerships, the extension of the Erasmus+ programme to non-European countries and the launch of the Stipendium Hungaricum governmental scholarship programme gave a new impetus in the field. At first Chinese, Russian and African institutions became key partners of NUPS, reflecting the Hungarian government’s foreign policies, “Opening to the East” and “Opening to the South”. The scope of partners broadened significantly due to the different mobility programmes, the institution was successfully awarded Erasmus+ grants to conduct exchange programmes with Israeli, Kazakhstani, Azeri, Egyptian or South-African partner institutions along with the existing Russian and Chinese partners. The student body of NUPS was enriched due to the Good Governance and Stipendium Hungaricum governmental scholarships, students from Georgia, Cambodia, Iraq, Moldova, China, Mongolia, Palestine and other Asian and African countries enrolled to conduct master or doctoral studies.
Strategic goals of internationalisation
Besides the dimensions that define the international presence of NUPS, there are strategic goals set by the IDP regardless of geographical considerations. These goals can be categorized as:
- development of courses along with partial and full degree training programmes taught in English;
- increasing the number of foreign students studying at NUPS and the number of international students awarded a degree at NUPS;
- increasing the number of inbound and outbound student mobility, thus the development of the traditional Erasmus+ programme and the Erasmus+ international credit mobility expanded to non-European countries, as well as the Stipendium Hungaricum and other scholarship programmes;
- increasing the number of international staff mobility (both incoming and outgoing) and the ratio of international teaching staff employed by NUPS;
- facilitating and increasing the participation of NUPS’s PhD students and lecturers at international conferences and the number of foreign scientific publications written by the colleagues of NUPS;
- the qualitative expansion of the international partner network of NUPS in each dimension;
- increasing the participation of NUPS in international projects, with an emphasis on Erasmus+ KA2 strategic partnerships and in other capacity building or knowledge transfer co-operations, focusing on the Central and Eastern European Region;
- exploiting the opportunities offered by the Public Administration and Development Operative Programme (KÖFOP), governmental fund derived from the European Union.
The National University of Public Service (NUPS) is a special higher education institution, which – in the spirit of lifelong learning – provides BA, MA and PhD programmes for students aiming at a career in the public service as well as in-service training and executive leadership training for public servants. The mission of NUPS is to act as a link between the government, higher education institutions, research institutes and for-profit and non-profit organisations in order to facilitate national and international knowledge transfer. This innovative education and research cooperation includes participating in international networks as well as student, academic and staff mobility, which are given priority in the institutional development plan.
The existing international network of NUPS is based on relationships initiated by its legal predecessors as well as memberships in international organisations, which are also important elements of the foreign affairs policy of the ministries. NUPS endevours to develop multidimensional international relationships that support programme development, student, academic and staff mobility as well as knowledge transfer and research capacity development. New partners will be selected and existing relationships will be reviewed in this spirit. It is a top priority of NUPS to establish a network specific to the public administration, law enforcement and military sciences, which enables smooth credit transfer in student exchange programmes and outcome-oriented academic/staff mobility. Progress is required in research and education cooperation with the international higher education sector, which has to be closely linked to NUPS’s research strategy and doctoral programme development.
As regards geographical and geopolitical considerations, NUPS is going to strengthen cooperation with EU member states, especially with higher education institutions of Central and Eastern European countries and of the Visegrad Group. It also wishes to establish relationships with non-EU countries, particularly with Western Balkan countries, the USA and China. The “national” mission of the university in establishing trans-border connections with Hungarian higher education institutions of neighbouring countries requires a strategy compliant with nation policy. It will be an important task to support the Hungarian higher education of neighbouring countries, networking with Hungarian initiatives, at the outset within the framework of Erasmus. The strategic mission of the university is supporting and networking with trans-border Hungarian higher education. This activity can be facilitated by the Erasmus programme.
The first Master programme offered in English is under development, with four specialisations specific to the disciplines of NUPS, which will be the key interface for incoming and outgoing mobility. Double and joint degree courses can be launched with institutions where credit transfer works efficiently. A quality assurance system compliant with European standards has to be developed for the foreign language programme and courses.
The Management of the University ensures the regulatory environment and conditions encourage lifelong learning and the mobility of students, staff and academics. The objective is to ensure that 2 out of 10 students complete courses abroad by 2020. In this spirit NUPS strives to provide more opportunities of gaining credits abroad, with special conditions and guarantees, for students of career officer status as well.
Mobility can also be encouraged in terms of traineeship. Furthermore, NUPS places special emphasis on personal career guidance and therefore it is building up a network of outstanding European public administration, law enforcement and military institutions for providing traineeship opportunities. Feedback from partner institutions will be an important input for programme development.
Since PhD students are a priority target group, encouraging international research partnership and mobility is essential for developing collective expertise.
Staff mobility is part of employees’ career path, which is an integral part of the institutional human resource development policy and modernisation of the NUPS.
Taking into consideration the past years’ experiences, the means of encouraging incoming mobility will be reviewed and administrative procedures and services will become more user-friendly. A special mentoring programme is going to support the integration of incoming students. The objective is to increase incoming mobility to the same level as that of the outgoing one by 2020.