Would you be so kind sharing your opinion about your degree course? I graduated from Andragogy: the study of employment policy, cultural science and psychology gave a good foundation to make my choice easier concerning the special programs of the faculty. At the same time I discovered the winter and summer schools offered by the faculty. Thus I got a chance to study in Belgrade and Würzburg – it was such a great experience! I highly recommend this opportunity to all students, because language skills can be improved easily. I chose to major on the Human Resources Counseling Masters’ program after this experience. As we study in English, students are not just from Hungary, but from all over the world! Within the frame of our future work we will assist organizations and companies in any field of human resource management. There is a growing need for such professionals. In addition, there are courses by the help of which we learn how to bridge the cultural differences in multinational environments. The last semester is a professional practice that we can as well do by foreign companies.
What countries are the fellow students from?
They came from Indonesia, Jordan, India, Turkey, Syria and Pakistan. We learn a lot from one another and we have become familiar with the cuisine of these countries as well. Students who join in via Erasmus also spice up our lives.
Does the faculty offer help or guiding for you?
We get a great support from our professors ! Let me share an example: in January, we received an invitation from our professor, Balázs Németh and a professor from Belgrade to join this year's UNESCO GRALE conference. In order to participate, we applied for the Talent Scholarship of the Student Union of the UP. Our application was accepted and we received the money for the trip. So five of us travelled by car to Belgrade - it was a great experience, of which we benefited quite a lot.
Have you heard of Lacrosse? - interview with Moritz Wüller, student at the UP
I’ve made an interview with Moritz Wüller, a German-speaking student at the University of Pécs. Moritz is currently in his fourth year of studying medicine in Pécs. He was born in Hamburg but lives in Leipzig.
My neighbour was studying here, I have seen the city and I found it beautiful. Since my first days in Pécs do I love to be here. Especially the international students and the beautiful life are what make the city unique for me.
What would you recommend for a foreigner to visit and do in Pécs?
I have visited the Tettye Ruins, Orfű and Downtown Pécs quite often. I actually find everything worth seeing here: the Cathedral, Király Street. It’s also rewarding to go to the PécsZoo. Yeah, and the Pécsi Est Café…
What do you think is worth seeing in Leipzig?
A whole lot. The downtown area, everything related to Bach and the musicians. Also St. Thomas Church and the Monument to the Battle of the Nations, where Napoleon got defeated. The view is great both from there and from the Uniriese, which is a skyscraper that looks like a tooth. Leipzig is very green and has a lot of parks. Almost all of the bars are on the same street, the Karli (Karl-Liebknecht-Straße), where you can find some techno and electro clubs, too. The city is like a small Berlin, there are many hipsters, young people and young families with little kids. You can reach everything by bike and it has a charm like Pécs - if you go through the city or along the Karli, you definitely meet someone you know. You can go to a lot of different shops and bars, everything is available here. You hear diverse languages and see diverse people studying or living in Leipzig. Something’s always going on, let them be either illegal techno parties in a park or street musicians playing.
What is the international atmosphere at UP like?
The German and the English courses were often together. A lot of people stay within the fellow countrymen like the Germans, the Spaniards, the Iranians and the Hungarians, but I have many friends regardless whether they are Norwegians, Hungarians or Spaniards or, of course, Germans. I think there is a lot of potential in bringing all the students together, especially from different faculties.
You play lacrosse. How did you find the lacrosse team at the UP?
I’ve played lacrosse for several years in Germany. My neighbour from Leipzig introduced me and my brother to this sport. He was the one to establish the team in Pécs and when I started my studies, he was almost ready with his education. That’s how I continued to train the team. We played at some tournaments together, thereby I have known some people from Pécs, even before I came here.
Lacrosse is a team sport played between two teams using a long-handled stick called a crosse and a lacrosse ball. Players use the head of the lacrosse stick to carry (called cradling), pass, and catch the ball in order to score by shooting the ball into the opponent’s goal. Protective gear is essential, since collisions are an organic part of the sport.
What is there to know about Lacrosse?
I’ve tried to make it a university sport, and we are officially a team of the UP Medical School in cooperation with the guys from Budapest and the national team from Hungary. Lacrosse is quite new in Hungary, not generally known yet. Since I speak only a little Hungarian (rather only everyday language and medical), I depend on all the others speaking German or English. Nobody in Pécs has played this sport before, so I have to teach them everything.
I have the starting equipment for about 10 players. One needs a helmet, gloves, elbow and chest protection, plus the suspension for those. Lacrosse is the fastest team sport, which is played on two feet. The net, the racket and the other parts of the equipment are like the ones in ice hockey and handball. One tackles like in rugby and hits with the racket like in ice hockey. However, severe injuries are rare! Clearly you can hurt your hand and bruises are more common.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Working. I don’t yet know where. In Germany or elsewhere. We’ll see.
New services, new communications system, new financing funds
The Senate adopted the strategic internationalisation programme until 2020 last year, which, connected to the Modern Cities Programme, determines certain yearly tasks. We have asked the director for international relations, associate professor Dr. István Tarrósy about the novelties starting in September.
What kind of new services are starting in September?
Mental hygiene counselling for students already has existed at the Medical Faculty, on the basis of which – involving the Institute of Psychology of the Faculty of Humanities – a Student Counselling programme is starting up. It will ensure that all the international students will have someone to turn to in case they struggle with learning difficulties or psychological problems.
The programme Legal Aid Clinic will be started by the initiative of the Faculty of Law, a kind of legal help and counselling. They will help with any kind of legal problems, such as those related to tenancy contracts, the studies and exams code, or even other affairs not related to the university. This is a much needed service that fills a gap, since youth from more and more cultures keep arriving, who may be unsure about their being here, and such services serve as a secure point for them.
The third programme launching in September is coordinated by the Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Education and Regional Development, but the Faculty of Humanities also takes part in it. It is a cultural sensitization programme which can be taken by foreign students within the framework of campus credits. According to our plans the materials could be acquired via e-learning even before their arrival in the future, but if they are already here, they would receive a framework related to traditions and cultural heritage, contributing to intercultural dialogue and living together. If you think about it, the thematic of this course deals with one of the most important dimensions of internationalisation, which aims at understanding one another more successfully.
I would like to emphasise that concerning the improvement of services, the Directorate for Foreign Relations works in close cooperation with the Directorate of Education and the faculties. All the services above are provided by the Internationalisation Fund defined in the strategic internationalisation programme.
What new training opportunities are available for international students?
Our aim was to add some short-cycle programmes to the semester-based degree courses available in foreign languages. These are for example the Study Abroad programmes, the summer universities, trainings, study tours, and other non-semester based and not specifically degree-aimed courses, which, on the one hand, make the educational portfolio of the university more diverse, and they make UP more visible and attractive on the international scene. This development is heading forward very dynamically. Our so-called Summer Trimester programme started this year, and we have found a lot of partners by Study Abroad, from America to China, and these partners keep sending groups continually. There was a Chinese group visiting us recently, but we have also entered into an agreement with a Japanese and a Mexican group during this therm.
What new means is the Centre for International Relations planning to promote the courses offered by UP?
The university is facing a great improvement regarding the communication of internationalisation: we are planning to introduce the globally widespread and applied online application system and marketing communication interface Dream Apply; we are starting to build up its environment this autumn. This programme enables those who are interested in taking courses in Hungarian higher education to find the offers of UP quickly and easily, to start the application process on this platform, while we also will be able to track what any given student is interested in and to communicate with them and with potential students. And if students register for a course, their data will be automatically moved to Neptun. I think this novelty will boost efficiency. Several Hungarian universities already use DreamApply, including Eötvös Lóránd University, the University of Debrecen and the Budapest Metropolitan University.
How many foreign students are studying at UP, and how many are expected?
The last number of active students was about 3700; and students from 105 countries have arrived in Pécs. The number of applications has increased due to Stipendium, intense building of relations by the faculties and centrally, and the more and more decisive exposure abroad; so many people apply for our programmes now, that we are trying to select the best ones. Concerning Stipendium, even 400 new students may arrive for the next year. I can see a realistic chance for the number of arriving foreign students to increase above 4,000 by the beginning of 2018.
We are celebrating the 650th anniversary of the establishment of the University of Pécs. The Centre for International Relations contributed with a grandiose series of events, International Spring. Will it be continued in some way?
Due to the anniversary year the Centre has a lot of extra tasks to do; among other things, the entire administration of the foreign guests of the September 1 gala – rectors or rectorial representatives from every continent are going to arrive to this event, and the leaders of the universities of our macro-region will honour us, too. We are also organising the annual conference of the Compostela Group, and an American-Hungarian conference on healthcare and migration. We are very proud of the International Spring series, and it is no secret that we would like to organise it again next year, though in a compact, few-week-long form.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings list the top universities in the world, making it the biggest international league table to date. It is the only global university performance table to judge world class universities across all of their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
The top universities rankings use 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available, which are trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.
The following Hungarian higher education institutions appear on the Times Higher Education ranking: Central European University, Semmelweis University, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Eötvös Loránd University, the, the University of Pécs, the University of Szeged and the University of Debrecen – in this order. The first place is occupied by the University of Oxford.
This result is based on complex indices, and scientific achievements in the recent years have apparently a lot to do with the progress of the University of Pécs. Moreover, the UP becomes increasingly popular among foreign students, whose number is nearly four thousand.
Summer school for Japanese students at the University of Pécs
As part of the Summer Trimester, which has recently been introduced by the Centre for International Relations, a special summer school is organized between 30 August and 6 September 2017 at the University of Pécs.
A special study programme for students of the Japanese Josai International University was designed by the Centre for International Relations in cooperation with the Faculty of Arts to study Hungarian folk music, folk dance and English.
The academic programmes are instructed by the Faculty of Arts, while the Centre for International Realtaions has organized freetime activities and has taken care of other managing tasks. The Foreign Languages Department of the faculty provides English as a foreign language classes.
During their stay the Japanese students will participate in the 650th Anniversary Jubilee celebration, will make a study tour to t Budapest and the Zengő Band will organize them a Hungarian dance evening on the 3rd of September.
Qais Yousufi arrived from Afghanistan on a grant in 2012, and obtained a degree at the department of International Studies at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Pécs. Currently he lives in Budapest and works for an international organization as an intercultural liaison and adviser. He is recalling the past few years at our request and tells us what living in Hungary is like.
What I first liked in Hungary is the peace and quiet and the independence of people. Since I moved here, I have been traveling a lot around Hungary – I hope I will have further opportunities for that –; I like the character of the countryside here, the monuments, and the fact that anywhere I have been, I was always welcomed. I'd always wished to gain experience abroad, and for me the best experience is studying and when I can immerse myself in the diversity of other cultures, religions and languages. I wanted to visit several countries to study. In 2011 I heard about an opportunity – that Hungary grants scholarship for Afghani youth at Hungarian universities – so I applied immediately, together with a lot of other young people. We had to pass a lot of examinations, and finally seven of us were chosen, with me as one of them.
When I arrived in Hungary, I first visited Pécs in March of that year, the time when we were still celebrating the Afghani New Year. I only spent a day here, but I immediately liked the way I was welcomed and how curious people were about me and my story. I also was attracted by the atmosphere of the town. So when I finished the prep course and the language course, I applied to the University of Pécs in the first place. And I chose the International Studies major because my primary aim is to help my home country – unfortunately, in Afghanistan it often happens that such people work in the field of diplomacy who are not trained and not suitable for the job.
I think I am lucky to have been accepted into this university community and to have been able to learn from excellent and knowledgeable people. I learned a lot during the lectures, thanks to the fact that information was exchanged in a way that was comprehensible and receptible for me. I could get acquainted and make friends with lecturers who gave me excellent advice concerning my situation and future. By observing them, I can be here today where and what I am. I got a lot of help and I was supported by many people, so I tried to be active during my university years as well. I ran for representative of the Students' Council twice. I visited a lot of lectures and academic conferences, and whenever I could, I contributed to the discussion, and I also gave lectures.
As for my future, my biggest desire is to represent my country abroad as an ambassador. Unfortunately, many of today's youngsters don't know what they would like to do, they just decide to get a degree with which they may get some job. I think this approach is wrong, since work and future will be hard and boring for them. In my opinion, everyone should have a clear aim and they have to do their best to achieve it. I am very sociable so I often meet my friends and acquaintances. I do sports, I love football and volleyball and I work out at the gym. I also love reading, I read everything from daily news to high literature whenever I have time. I like reading Afghani authors, but I'm getting acquainted with Hungarian literature as well. Now I'm reading novels by Khaled Hosseini, the Afghani author living in the USA. Three of his novels have been published in Hungarian, and I am reading them in Hungarian, too. So I would like to recommend them to you: The Kite Runner, And the Mountains Echoed, and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
At the closing ceremony the guests were greeted by Dr. István Tarrósy, Director of the Centre for International Relations, and certificates were handed over by Prof. Dr. Tamás Bereczkei, Dean.
Then the Chinese students introduced their summer course experiences. It came to light that they had a great time at the University of Pécs and at Pécs and it was also a great experience to encounter Hungarian culture. They emphasised the affection and care of their instructors and mentors during their stay. Their presentation was closed by a spectacular Kung Fu performance.
The Centre for International Relations is planning to organize the summer course for students of the Hangzhou Normal University as part of the Summer Trimester next year, too.
Ági Kerner is a person you will likely bump into in town, either in healthcare locations, university areas or the centre of the town at night on Fridays. She is there everywhere in community and academic life, and she waves from a distance in the street, with a wide smile on her face. At heart, she remains a student forever. Our physiotherapist citizen, who is doing her PhD at the moment, loves the romantic corners of Pécs, always full of friends. And she never stops!
Who is Ági Kerner? Why the UP, and how long has been your way here?
I had no intention of leaving Pécs after finishing secondary school: I graduated from the Faculty of Health sciences as a physiotherapist, and it has been my vocation ever since. During my Bsc and MSC studies I took part in the work of the Students' Council; living in the dorm, I tried to be actively involved in community life, I felt it was my duty. Besides, I enjoyed my work there a lot, and I'll never forget all those years I spent there! I continued my Msc studied as a correspondence student, and meanwhile I started working at the Confucius Institute at the Faculty of Health Sciences. We are trying to draw the organisation of Hungarian and Chinese education as well as the two cultures nearer. At the same time, I also have joined the world of research: I'm doing my PhD. It's been a real attack against myself! (laughing) I wrote my thesis in physiotherapy, and then I completed the healthcare management Msc. When I finished, I told everybody I would never ever study again, and now here I'm, again... (laughing)
What is your PhD research topic?
My topic is the following: how could Oriental and Occidental medicine be combined? Primarily, I am comparing the healthcare systems of Hungary and China. Few people deal with this issue, so it's more difficult to find data and materials than usual. There are some works of Chinese researchers published in English as well, but most of the websites are in Chinese, so I can't even find where I can change languages. (laughing)
Why did you choose physiotherapy?
I definitely want to work in a caring profession, which doesn't necessarily mean a clinic. In the last year of Bsc I realised that I wouldn't like to work in a hospital, so I spent the first and most formative year of my vocation at a private surgery in Kaposvár. I gained a lot of experience, I learned a lot, and laid the foundations for my professional knowledge there. I know I've chosen a difficult profession, a very hard one; you must work and learn a lot, all throughout your life. During the university years I felt that I wanted to work with people. It's not easy at all, but I enjoy it a lot.
It is also important to mention that besides all your work – which is a lot – you also deal with music.
Djing is a hobby, but nevertheless a part of my life, I couldn't imagine my days without it. I learned music form the age of seven, I still play the clarinet. Of course, some say that it hardly fits electronic music, but I love both very much.
In my “me time” I do sports because I find it a very good means to express myself. Now I'm doing breakness, which amalgamates the moves and means of break dancing and fitness. Anyone who likes this kind of music and likes dancing to it can do the training as well. Of course, you get soaking wet after 13 minutes, but it's a terrific way of improving your muscles, as well as a very good cardio exercise.
According to the 36. § (4) paragraph of the Regulation for Allowance (PTE Code of Conduct 6. enclosure, subsequently: RfA), of the University of Pécs, on the ground of equity all students are entitled to request the alteration of the first-degree judgement from the rector regarding the dormitory placement.