The aim of the conference on higher education model change organised by the Association of Hungarian Civic Cooperation and the University of Szeged on 26 September was to take stock of the first years of the university model change by sharing experiences, to draw lessons, and to prepare the participants for the future, the challenges and opportunities ahead, and the intensifying international competition. A wide range of stakeholders participated in the event, from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to several universities and student interest representation bodies.
In his presentation, Anthony Radev said that the first step in the transformation of Corvinus was to define the values according to which the university should operate. This has become the “Students First” principle, which is not yet fully applied, frequently referring to the interests of the university, the community and the individuals instead. As the President emphasized, he was proud that the multi-billion dollar developments at Corvinus University were all for the benefit of the students, such as the MyCorvinus app, the Navigator career planning programme and the systems to provide student feedback to teachers.
He also stressed the importance of meritocracy, saying that this was not possible before, as the impact of performance on students, society and the international scientific community had not been measured. As the main objective of the university, he identified genuine international competitiveness measured by market position (rankings), the value of diploma and student satisfaction. “For us internationalism is not an alternative, it is simply inevitable”, stressed Anthony Radev.
Among the results, he said: The career model expectations have been reformulated and tailored, the average total income has doubled with a strong differentiation of up to 25%, and research performance has been tripled with the right incentives. He added: The programmes and the organisation itself have been renewed with a strong service mentality, which has led to a huge improvement in student satisfaction, and currently forty foreign colleagues work at Corvinus University.
Anthony Radev said that his dream was to introduce the Oxford schedule: students should invest forty hours a week into their studies, including ten classroom hours, twenty hours ofr group work and ten hours of individual preparation. At the moment this is quite different, with 24 hours of classroom time, 6 hours of project work and 10 hours of individual preparation, but this could be changed.
At the end of the presentation the reasons for the dropout rate of students admitted but not enrolled were also discussed, explaining that the situation at Corvinus was unique, as competition in higher education is much higher in the field of economics than in the field of veterinary medicine, for example. The President of the University highlighted that quality higher education required more resources, for example, compared to the 100 million euro budget of the WU University in Vienna, Corvinus currently has a budget of 60 million euros, and it is not yet clear where the additional 40 million euros will come from. Anthony Radev concluded by saying that his goal is to create a competitive university issuing high quality diplomas that he could proudly recommend to everyone as a worthy alternative to foreign higher education institutions.
The full presentation can be watched on YouTube.