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“Corvinus is not a workplace, it is a space of personal fulfilment”

2024-04-02 14:00:00

According to Anthony Radev, the key to renewal is the extent to which the community will be able to harness the professional and intellectual potential concentrated on campus. We spoke to the President of the Corvinus University of Budapest following the adoption of the 2024-2027 Institutional Development Plan by the Senate.

Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem

The IDP, which gives a rundown of the university’s medium-term strategic objectives, has been launched. How does the new four-year programme fit in with the first chapter of the renewal and the institution’s mission until 2030?  

Our vision and direction of development remain the same: we wish to educate responsible leaders for the society of the future. The first period of the Corvinus renewal process is over, the necessary large-scale changes have been made, and we are now entering a phase where we can build on the results achieved so far. 

The objectives of the previous IDP had to be formulated in a somewhat abstract way, as we did not know what we were capable of attaining. We now have a base, we have something to benchmark against, we see the results and we see what we can accomplish.  To give you just one example: had we guessed that in three years the academic area would triple the number of quality publications? Colleagues have proven that they can do it, so now we can focus on increasing the impact of our research and further raising our international scientific visibility. 

A significant achievement of the first years of renewal is that we now regularly measure our performance, we constantly look at student satisfaction, the value of our programmes, the functioning of our services, and these provide constant feedback on whether we are doing things right. We have also made progress in our internationalisation efforts, which have now enabled the integration of more than sixty international colleagues. 

You took an active, personal role in the creation of the new Institutional Development Plan. What do you see as the most significant innovation in the process? 

I stress that this document was not written at a desk, nor was it destined for the desk drawer. It is a joint intellectual product, the content of which is already known to most colleagues, as the new four-year action plan has been developed with the broadest possible involvement and as a result of joint reflection with colleagues. We spent almost a year working on the final version with the participation of around a hundred staff members: we consulted with every organisational unit, visited each institute in three rounds, and incorporated the comments and suggestions we received. 

We want everyone to find their role and the connection points where they can contribute to the common goals. In that respect I am counting on the heads of the organisational units. 

What will determine the feasibility of the university strategy? 

The success of our strategy does not depend on the organisation, but on our colleagues: whether they take ownership of the goals, whether they recognise their role in them, and whether they are able and willing to take advantage of the opportunities offered. For generations, our university has concentrated enormous intellectual capital, and the only limit to what we can achieve is our own imagination, our own ideas and our own initiative.  

Corvinus is not a workplace, it is a space of personal fulfilment: we offer opportunities for staff members to fulfil their professional potential in any position, whether in education, research or service.  The University has provided and will continue to provide the organisational framework and resources for individual ideas and innovation. Innovation and excellence are rewarded with various awards for excellence and encouraged in other ways, such as remuneration. One of the University’s core values, meritocracy, is a measure of how much each individual contributes to the achievement of our common goals. 

So that’s the attitude I recommend to everyone: to be able and willing to take the initiative, to use their imagination, have ideas and dare to try.  

Are there any external factors that could affect the achievement of the objectives? 

Whether and to what extent we are able to change the preferences that shape the market will affect our results.  

The basic concept of economics is the price-quality ratio, and we need to raise awareness of this, not only among the representatives of the corporate world, but also among students and the parents supporting them. The key is to convince them that the experience and knowledge they gain at our university is absolutely worth the investment. Whatever is free does not offer guarantee for anything. They must recognise that learning is an investment in their future that will pay off many times over.  

Companies should also be aware of the great opportunity that working with us gives them to position themselves among the most talented students and to attract the best young professionals.  And the investment we are asking for is nowhere near the tuition fees of the major international universities. It’s a win-win situation for everyone: students can get the best jobs, and companies win because they get the best fresh talent. 

Almost five years ago, Corvinus became the first university to change its governance model. How would you briefly assess the new avenues that have opened up for the university as a result of the change of maintainer? 

I am in contact with a number of leading representatives from the world of business and higher education, and they have all spoken highly of the recent changes at Corvinus. And not just here in Hungary, but abroad too. The Corvinus model change is a huge opportunity, because we can pursue a value-maximising strategy independently, based on our own values. The market, not a subjective jury, is the real yardstick for our activities. We were able to double income, we were able to attract top international scientists. We have a world-class, professional, brand-new campus where students can engage in innovative activities like those of leading international universities. Without the model change, this could never have happened. 

The university has stable funding that enables us to realise practically anything that is a good idea and that moves us forward. The real question is whether we have the intellectual ammunition and creativity to bring these ideas to life.  

The maintainer, the university’s executives and the university bodies – especially the Senate – work hand in hand in such a manner that grants the autonomy of the university in terms of content (teaching, research), while at the same time setting goals and expectations for the university as a whole. It ensures the continuous monitoring of these objectives and the regular review of the results. A lot of people know what it takes to be a good university. But we have the opportunity to put those ideas into practice, and thanks to the new governance model, we can advance at our own pace. This may already put us ahead of other institutions, perhaps we also go faster. But with that comes the challenge that we now have to compete with the best universities in the world, or at least in Europe. 

What is the message of the new Institutional Development Plan for students? 

In the next four years, Corvinus will focus even more intensively in all areas of its activities to offer students future-oriented, professionally and methodologically impeccable, experientially inspiring education and talent management. Our aim is to give students the high quality professional knowledge and skills they need to succeed professionally and enjoy a unique position in the domestic or international labour market. 

The new Gellért Campus is both an excellent symbol of our ambition and a built environment for the realisation of our goals, which points the way forward for the future of the entire university – as a platform for knowledge creation and knowledge transfer reflecting on the community challenges of the 21st century. 

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GEN.:2024.04.14. - 01:16:53