Both TED and TEDx provide a background for distributing ideas that are worth spreading. The non-profit organization that was launched 30 years ago in California has grown into a worldwide platform, quite similar to a movement. On 15 February 2018 – with a completely sold out event - Pécs also joined the list of TEDx conferences.
All of the various presentations are connected to a certain topic decided in advance, furthermore through an intrinsic motivation on behalf of the speakers as well, since they all introduce the audience to the most exciting part of their scientific field. In this case, another link can be identified, which is the University of Pécs, because the organizers as well as the speakers are connected to the University in one way or another.
We can congratulate to the organizing team of the first independently organized TEDx Pécs on a job well done: Gábor Nagy, Virgínia Balogh, Enikő Czigler, Bea Bóbics and Viktória Horváth. They invited speakers, who were highly capable to give informative and at the same time quite entertaining talks throughout the evening. The motto and guiding thought has been life-long curiosity, focusing in the first half of the event on exploration, discovery and on future in the second half.
Joe Petersburger (József L. Szentpéteri - ITD, Faculty of Sciences, University of Pécs) biologist, photographer and communication expert was the first speaker. He invited the audience to pay attention to the wonderful experiences that are available close by, in our immediate vicinity. This way it is possible to decrease our ecological footprint: “Travel less, value and explore your neighbourhood”. After that Andreas Héjj (Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Education and Regional Development, UP) evolutionary psychologist talked about the conditions regarding the emergence and evolution of beauty, attraction and love, and combined his presentation with a bit of humour. Rita Weintraut (Medical School, UP) research psychologist stressed the importance of the ‘here’ and ‘now’ without ‘if only’. She highlighted the diverse positive effects of mindful presence, which the audience could try during her presentation in the form of a mindfulness exercise. She pointed out the visible positive changes of mindfulness in the brain on MRI scan pictures.
The focus of the second section was directed at the future. Szabolcs Balásy, who has absolute pitch and can name the sound of even a hand-drier, talked about the students’ receptivity of music and the benefits of group singing in stress relief. Mária Törőcsik, professor of the Faculty of Business and Economics, UP gave a fascinating talk about the smart consumer. Among others she was looking for answers whether the signs of the consumers becoming smarter, such as tolerance, conscious purchasing are yet significant, or are the trends going to shift in the direction of egotism and tribal systems in the future.
Another professor of the Faculty of Business and Economics, UP József Vörös highlighted the key role of industrial production in the socio-economical as well as the individual prosperity: “without production there is no innovation”. Last, but not least in the series of thought-provoking talks Levente Alpek B. (Faculty of Sciences, UP) focused on survival strategies in the 21st century. He raised interesting questions concerning the nature of future intelligence. In his opinion, we should find our way back to our humanity, thus finding intelligent answers to the emerging questions. In conclusion we can say that the audience could take part in a meaningful event, where they could listen to great speakers and could familiarize themselves with their views on discovery, future and curiosity at the first TEDxPécs.
Teachers, students of the Institute of Music and invited guests give Chamber concerts in the spring semester. If you are interested in the programme, you can download the flyer or you can visit the website:
On one of the lectures of the program, Ákos Jarjabka (Faculty of Business and Economics) greeted the participants on behalf of the University of Pécs and highlighted the cooperation possibilities between the institutions.
Prof. Dr. Raul Machado Neto, head of an international cooperation agency on the behalf of the Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP) and Dr Zoltán Dubéczi on the behalf of the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference (HRC) signed a cooperation agreement on 7 December 2017. Under the terms of the framework agreement, parties agreed to assist student and teacher mobility between USP and Hungarian institutions, joint research activities, programs and events related to science.
The Conference is the result of an ever-closer relationship between Brazil and Hungary with success in the field of culture and education thanks to the joint efforts of the Hungarian Embassy in Brazil, the Hungarian Consulate General of São Paulo, the Hungarian Rectors' Conference, the University of Pécs and the Universidad de São Paulo.
The conference was organized by the leaders of the Hungarian language and culture course at the Universidade de São Paulo with the financial support of Pallas Athena Domus Animae Foundation (PADA) of the Hungarian National Bank.
Gabriella Szemerey, director of the PADA Foundation of the Hungarian National Bank, opened the event in Portuguese, which was a great success among the audience.
Nowadays more and more people want to go to university. Some choose this to create a better future, some just do not know what to do with their life and there are some who know perfectly why they chose that particular school, faculty, or department. For many people it is quite easy and obvious that after finishing high school they go to a university but for a lot of other people it is not that evident. There are many people who need to leave their country and their family to be able to continue their education on an academic level. TumursurenErdenetsolmon, known as Erka, is one of them. He has had a tough journey but finally he has reached his number one goal and studies at PTE. Now he has more goals to fight for. Follow his journey:
I came here in 2013, it was a long travel from Mongolia and it was also a long process to start my academic education at the University of Pécs.
For what reason did you choose to move here?
At that time I was only 18 and all I wanted was to move to another country and try to succeed on my own. My first plan was not Hungary, it was India actually, but when my aunt heard about it she told me not to go there. She asked me to come here because she has been living here for nearly 23 years and offered to help me with the papers. Her opinion was the main reason why I chose Hungary.
What happened next?
After I have arrival I attended the preparatory school of Balassi Institute where I studied Hungarian language, History, Social studies, Arts history and Communication studies, all in Hungarian. After I finished this school I could not go to a university because I did not have the Hungarian general certificate of education and of course I could not afford to study.
But now you are here, how?
To be honest, at this point I had only two options, go home or find a different school to get a new visa. Of course I did not want to go home because I did not achieve what I wanted. Fortunately I found a cook school so I was able to stay in the country. This was not enough, I needed money, so I started to work. I was making sushi at an Asian restaurant every weekend. It was really tiring because we had to go to a hotel and work there too as a practice. I was always tired but now I can appreciate it as I learned a lot from my Hungarian colleagues. During the years I always looked for the opportunity to win a fellowship and finally 2015 became my year. I won a Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship.
After that what made you choose PTE?
I applied for 3 universities, the first was PTE, the second was the university of Szeged and last but not least I also applied for a university in Budapest. A chose Pécs because I travelled here once and I was amazed by the city and its people. The other reason was that I had already lived in Budapest and I looked for a change. Now, this is my second year being a proud student of the Faculty of Humanities and I am studying International Relations, this was my aim and I am so glad that I am here.
Since your arrival here how many times have you had the chance to go and visit your family?
I saw them less frequently than I wanted, for sure! During my first three years I could not go home because the tickets are so expensive and I had to save up for my education and for my main goal. The first time I could go home was the summer holiday of 2016. I missed my home, my family, my friends so much, I really needed it. I never regretted that I came here because now I know that if I want to achieve something, I am definitely capable of doing it. Today I have a deeper knowledge about the world and how it works. I can only support those who are considering something similar.
You said that you have a main goal, what is it?
After I successfully graduated I want to work as a diplomat and I would like to contribute to the development of a more positive relationship between Hungary and Mongolia. I know it is a long way but I am working for it every single day.
Attila Horváth, UnivPécs UnivPécs International 2017 autmn
I learned about the Erasmus+ program during my first semester at the University of Pécs, in Pécs, Hungary. Our coordinator offered ample information regarding the program, placements, and conditions for Erasmus semesters abroad. I was immediately intrigued. After applying and receiving notification that I had been admitted to the European Studies program at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, I began preparing for the trip. Of the many “student cities” in Europe, Kraków seemed particularly appealing; a strong academic record, low prices, plenty of student support, and a vibrant music and arts scene. I found the transition very easy.
Accommodation options were plentiful. Students advertise low-cost rooms in shared flats year around. Although prices are considerably lower in Kraków than other cities, I would suggest that the Erasmus board factor in the limited availability in student dorms. The majority of students are forced to seek accommodation outside the university. For a shared room, the price can be as low a 150 euro per month, while a single room is consistently upwards of 230 euros per month. I ultimately chose a shared flat near the city center— roughly a 20 min walk from the main square. My rent fluctuated significantly throughout the year as the cost of utilities increase in the winter months. On average, I paid 200 euro per month. In order to make these payments, I chose to take a small part-time job from with an online tutor group. Transportation prices were never a significant consideration for my budget. University classrooms, concert halls, grocery shops, and parks were all well within walking distance. In the winter, a single ticket to anywhere in the city is around 0.65 euro and even less with student ID.
Kraków offers plenty of entertainment opportunities. I spent most of my free evenings enjoying live music at jazz/piano clubs or visiting one of the city’s many old theaters. I found the political life in Kraków very interesting as well, especially the recent focus on women’s issues. I attended many marches, lectures, conferences, and meetings on the subject of gender equality in Poland. This was by far the best and most enriching aspect of my Erasmus experience.
I now work with other foreign and local women in Kraków to offer education and solidarity in the fight against gender inequality, xenophobia, and LGBTQ discrimination. Already, we have arranged several successful student marches! The Erasmus support group in Kraków has also been a wonderful source for information regarding local events and community service projects. Although I did not attend many ESN social gatherings, I found the local ESN office very supportive and welcoming. During my stay in Poland, I made several small trips to nearby cities and towns, including Waliezca, Warsaw, Zakopane, Wroclaw, and one longer trip to Lviv and Kiev, Ukraine.
I feel I have benefitted from the Erasmus experience in many ways. My Erasmus semester has afforded me the opportunity to travel and engage with other cultures. In addition, I am now connected to a circle of incredible people. The friends I have made though the Erasmus+ program have challenged me to grow as an intellectual and a global citizen. Despite our unique backgrounds and skill sets, we are united in our vision for Europe’s future. These relationships have encouraged me to network and increase my sphere of influence, leading to shared projects and the emergence of new, exciting opportunities. Ultimately, I chose to prolong my Erasmus stay. I am excited to be a part of the many incredible changes taking place in Poland and I hope to continue my work with local solidarity groups. I believe our contributions make a difference. Overall, my Erasmus+ semester has been the most important semester of my studies thus far. I feel very satisfied with my experience and I would recommend all students to take advantage of this opportunity!
Miranda Pursley International Relations 3rd Semester BA Kraków, Poland Jagiellonian University
Europe or The United States? Which one is the most preferable from the two? Pretty hard question, we could make a survey to see what people say about it but it does not matter what others say. Every single person in this world is unique, all of them have different necessities and dreams. However, there is a general statement that Europeans are dreaming about the USA and Americans are dreaming about Europe. Most of the people love to travel, experience new cultures but only a few of them are able to settle down in a different environment and feel home.
For PTE students, lecturers and also for professors Fulbright is a great opportunity to study or continue their academic work in the USA. During this time they can live the American dream, experience things they could nowhere else. The great thing is that they can also be a part of the Fulbright programme and come to our little country. Mostly the reason behind their trip to Hungary is that they met a Hungarian in the States and that person made them to feel like that they need to visit this Eastern-Middle-European country. From all of these stories my personal favourite is that when a lucky man had a Hungarian Physics professor at the university. Can you guess who? Yes, Teller Ede! Recently there are several Americans in Hungary related to this scholarship, one of them, Robin Valerie Cathey lives in Pécs for a year now.
Why Hungary? Everything started when I became a friend of a Hungarian man and when he moved back to Hungary I came to see him and I fell in love with the country. This was my very first travel to another continent. I knew at that point that I want to experience other cultures and lands. It was a real starting point for the rest of my life. Now I live here for a while and I absolutely love it. The city is wonderful, it is quite historical, there are so many buildings that are just great to look at. This place is an unbelievable cultural centre of the region. I am also so lucky because I found a flat at Széchenyi Square, when I want to eat something or drink a coffee with my friends I have a bunch of places to choose from. This city amazes me with its colourfulness, it has everything I need and the people, they are just so nice and welcoming.
We already know that she did not regret moving here but is her aim here? As she said she wants to give further her knowledge.
I love to be with people, I love teaching but not in the sense Hungarians think or at least most Hungarians. When I decided to take part in Fulbright my main idea was to do something helpful that I would like to teach but not at a university. Why? It is easy, just think about it. Those students who could go to a university did not have a lack of good education. Although, now I do teach at PTE at the department of Romology, where my students work really hard and fight against so many obstacles. I hoped that Fulbright will a place where students want to study and they do not have the facility to learn from a native speaker. This is how we found Gandhi.
Gandhi, probably most of the people does not know anything about it, let’s change it. Gandhi is a Gymnasium with an elementary art training and a dormitory all in one. This was the first romany school in Hungary and even in Europe which gives high school diploma. The institute was founded in the early 90s with the help of Gandhi Foundation. The main goal of the endowment was to give those opportunities for the Romany students which are given for the other members of the community as well. Now that it is clear let’s see what can a native English speaker who also studied applied linguistics during her university years add to this idea.
Since I am here I am not only teaching but I learn a lot, too. I participate on Hungarian language courses which are awesome. In connection with English classes I noticed some basic differences between Hungarian and American education. In Hungary teachers give a well-built curriculum for the class which from the students cannot decide what is important and which part is useless. Moreover, I think that they suffer from the lack of communication or I could say that the communication is too one-sided. In the States communication takes the biggest part of conveying knowledge but the exchange of the knowledge could be a better expression. When our education starts in the primary school we are taught to see everything with a critical eye, be brave enough to express our opinion about something and to be able to give relevant reasons reason which stand for our point of view. Personally I want teach my students to question everything, to be brave to tell their ideas in class. Of course it takes some time to get used to this type of learning when you are not used to it as a student.
Robin believes that every teacher has his or her style but every group needs to be treated differently, the teachers should adapt to the class.
I truly believe that they can profit from the mentality I brought with myself. I already see the development, they do well on my classes but it is more important that they enjoy them and if somebody enjoys doing something then that person will continue doing it, 100%. It means the world when somebody understands why do we use a tense, a phrase etc. When somebody passes a test with a great result it is a success for me too. Here is an example: “one of my university students passed the ECL with flying colors and it was a wonderful moment for all of us at the department and even the staff at ECL who contributed by waiving the test fee!”. I really like my students I see that they give their best day by day.
It is never too late! - an ex-UN ambassador learns Hungarian
16 October 2017
This summer was as busy as always at PTE, festivals after festivals, summer schools after summer schools. For one of these summer schools (18th Hungarian Language and Culture Summer School) people came to try their fortune with Hungarian language. In the program we can meet everybody, from youngsters to elders. There are absolute beginners and there are students who were here before but it is not only about the language, they have the opportunity to get a little bit more familiar with the local culture and history.
We would never think with whom can we meet during this amazing program. We were fortunate enough to meet an ex-UN ambassador from Finland. Pertti Torstila is already in his seventies but this does not stop him to learn a brand new language. The man who is not only active in brain activities also likes running, actually six years ago he competed in an orienteer competition in Pécs, so it is not a miracle that we had a talk right after his pilates class.
Why did you made the decision to start learning a new language and why Hungarian?
Why not? Look, I am a pensioner so I have time and I have been always interested in Hungarian language, mainly because I believe in the Finnish – Hungarian friendship and of course I looked for a challenge too. During my life I learned to speak 5 languages and now I can add Hungarian as well. For me this is the hardest one, although I can speak French, German, Swedish, English and Finnish but it is obvious.
I can see that the teachers made a great job because your Hungarian is quite good, we can speak smoothly. What is your opinion about the education?
First of all, thank you! During my decades on Earth I saw a lot of things but I have to say that this university maintains a really high standard. The teachers are great, these modern text books also. We talk a lot during classes and just about general facts but about actual topics so it is practical, interactive and interesting in the same time. The groups are small so everybody has the chance to speak which is a good think. Another good point for the alignment because there is only a tiny difference between the best and the worst in each group.
We already know that you were here before this program but did you hear here the first Hungarian words?
It is funny because I was far away from Hungary and Pécs when I heard the first words. It was in 1952 during the Helsinki Olimpics. If you really think about it it is not so strange because it was a great year for Hungary. The Hungarian team won 42 medals, 16 gold, 10 silver and 16 bronze I can still remember these numbers in turn I was only 7 years old and moreover that was the year when I first heard about Puskás Ferenc and he is unforgettable. I was really young but I can remember that everybody knew that it is a Hungarian party!
Can you still remember for those words?
Yes! There are two words I remember from my childhood. These are ‘dal’ (song) and ‘zene’ (music). Everybody has a hobby or more. I am that type of person who has more, music takes a huge part of my life even though mostly I only play for myself. I think this kind of interest lead to learn these words first. Later I learned the typical finno - ugrian words. For example ‘vér’ (blood), ‘kéz’ (hand) or ‘fej’ (head). I truly believe that there is a relation between Hungarians and Finnish people, that is why I am here!
It is quite interesting that most of the foreigners say that their favourite Hungarian word is ‘pillangó’ (butterfly), ‘szerelem’ (love) or ‘szeretlek’ (I love you) but mine is definitely a strange one. It is ‘tulajdonképpen’ (in a proper sense). I do not know why, I just find it funny when someone says it out loud.
Hungarian language is not easy but it is as beautiful as difficult. The program is amazing, really! The fact that every age-group can be a part of it is so good because as the oldest member of the whole summer school I have the opportunity to learn from the younger generations. The fact the we came together from 30 different countries is a great chance to make international friends. Loved every moment of it!
Zsolnay Cultural Quarter written by Qais Yousufi, graduated student of the UP
04 October 2017
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. He is recalling the past few years and tells us about one of his favourite places, the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter.
I was admitted to the International Relations Study Programme of the University of Pécs in 2013.
Even at the first semester I attended of very interesting courses and lectures, sociology included. The Department of Sociology can be found at the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter. Before our first sociology courses I googled the venue on the Internet and I found a lot of interesting information, but all that was nothing compared to my first experience when I looked around there by myself.
When you enter the unique complex which was built where there used to be the factory buildings and the residence of the Zsolnay family, you will feel dizzy from the vast array of parks, monuments, decorated buildings and sculptures and you can never have enough of the attractions. I was very happy to have had the chance to spend there as much time as I pleased, as one day is just not enough to visit and admire all of the monuments, the places and promenades designed for all the different age groups and of course the exhibitions.
During my stay in Pécs, I visited the permanent exhibitions of the Zsolnay Quarter many times and I have been encouraging every guest of Pécs to visit them, because it is worth it! I can say that my favourite was the Zsolnay Collection compiled by László Gyugyi with nearly 600 ceramics.
Beside the exhibitions, many arts and family festivals take place in the Quarter, and the Pécs University Days were also organized here, which is irresistible in my opinion.
If I look back on my years in Pécs, I think one of the best decisions in my life was to start my studies there. I loved the city, the people and the opportunities provided by the locality. Whenever I could, I walked up the Tettye and the Mecsek or was just ting on the Széchenyi square, I always learned for my exams at the library of the Learning Centre. But I spent most of my time at the Zsolnay Quarter, as I always found an activity which was appropriate to my mood whether I wanted to study or just wished to have a bit of a rest.