University of Szeged (Hungary) Record Number Of Visitors And Strengthening Relationships At Eurasia Educational Fairs

Two representatives of the University of Szeged, Dr Leona Kovács-Jerney, Head of the International Office of the University of Szeged and Diana Katsidis, senior international officer, participated in the Eurasia Education Fair organised by Begin Group. The promotional fair was held on 13 and 19 October in two locations, Baku, Azerbaijan and Tbilisi, Georgia.

The Begin Group is a German-based company that has been providing solutions for student recruitment since 1999. Participants at the Begin Group’s World Education Fair can reach a wide range of audiences, including local and international exhibitors, students of all ages, parents, teachers and other innovative organisations from the media and education sectors. The delegation representing the University of Szeged returned from the Begin Education Fair with a record number of applicants and a strengthening of international relations in Baku.

Hungary was promoted at 5 points, including the Hungarian Embassy in Baku and the University of Szeged. The University of Szeged aims to increase publicity and awareness of the opportunities offered by the university, and the Begin Group provides an excellent platform to meet potential students for any educational programme and institution.

“526 people had previously indicated their intention to visit the SZTE stand, but 647 people attended the fair in Azerbaijan. The fair was also an opportunity to give a presentation on the success of the university and to show that Hungary has a prominent place in the life of Azerbaijanis. The Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship has been a great success and is very popular among the public during the application process.” – Said Dr. Leona Kovács-Jerney, Head of the International Office at the SZTE.

“An important aspect for young people in Azerbaijan, besides Hungary, is the link to the Turkish states. The many words of common origin (e.g. apple, gate, boot, and knife) contribute to strengthening the sense of kinship.” – Said Diana Katsidis, International Officer at the SZTE.

One of the benefits of being on the international stage is that the representatives of the University of Szeged have contacted the Embassy of Hungary in advance. The Hungarian Ambassador to Baku, Tamás József Torma, and the First Secretary for Culture and Education, Mónika Felföldi, welcomed the representatives of the University of Szeged. Their connection to the University of Szeged was also ensured through the person of Ambassador Tamás József Torma, a native of the city of Szeged, whose father was the acting head of the Department of Altajistics at the University of Szeged.

“In Azerbaijan, the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme is extremely popular among students, with the number of young Azeris applying for scholarships increasing every year. I started my mission as an education and cultural diplomat at the Hungarian Embassy in Baku in September this year and already after the first month and a half I can say that there are a steady stream of enquiries for higher education opportunities in Hungary. The most frequently asked questions are about the application requirements for the SH scholarship, the level of language proficiency required and the universities of choice. As a second option, they would like to know more about the possibility of pursuing studies on a self-financed basis. Our Embassy takes every opportunity to promote universities in Hungary, including the University of Szeged. Our Facebook page is very popular for educational fairs and forums, and the attendance of the fairs is one of the highest in the region. On behalf of the Embassy, I would like to thank the representatives of the University of Szeged for their participation in the Begin Education Fair, and if the University of Szeged wishes to expand its relations with its partner universities in Azerbaijan, we will be happy to assist them.” – Said Mrs. Mónika Felföldi, First Secretary (Cultural and Educational Affairs) at the Embassy of Hungary in Baku.

She added that an Azerbaijani student, who is currently on a SH scholarship and is a member of the board of the Azerbaijani-Hungarian Alumni Organization (AHAU), is also connected to Szeged. The AHAU currently has 200 active members and unites not only alumni but also young Azerbaijanis pursuing BA/BSc, MA/MSc or PhD studies in Hungary. We are particularly pleased that Konul Karimova, a former Azerbaijani PhD student at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Szeged, received the Pro Laudanda Promotine Award in 2022 in recognition of her outstanding diligence and professional activity.

Like Konul, the other members of AHAU are actively involved in promoting and raising awareness of higher education opportunities in Hungary, as their personal experience means they are the ones who can provide credible answers to the questions of students considering university studies in Hungary. All above contributes to the choice of University of Szeged among the wide range of European universities for Azeri students.

The University of Szeged is a popular destination in the region and its position in international rankings is a strong motivating factor for young people to apply.

The most popular courses that students were most interested in were international relations, economics, psychology and IT. The University of Szeged stand at the Georgian fair also attracted a lot of interest, so it is expected that in the future, similar successes will be reported from there as on the Azerbaijani line.

SZTEinfo – Ádám Kovács-Jerney

Photo by Leona Kovács-Jerney, Diana Katsidis