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Pottelsberghe: university partnership is one of the foundations of business success

2024-06-17 16:40:00

The Gellért Campus was presented to Corvinus business partners at a networking event on 12 June. In his speech at the event, Rectoral candidate Bruno van Pottelsberghe stressed that the university’s business network is one of the key ingredients in the future success of the university, and hence its students and graduates.
Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem

“85 percent of today’s students will work in a job that does not even exist today” – these were the words of Dávid Baranyai, Head of Corporate and Institutional Relations at Corvinus, at the inauguration of the Gellért Campus for business partners on Wednesday. 

Lajos Szabó, Acting Rector of the University, then extended a special welcome to Bruno van Pottelsberghe, the university’s rectoral candidate, and said that in the spring they were proud to take possession of the Gellért Campus, which stands for the future and receptiveness to change. The building consists of two main parts: building J (which stands for the Hungarian word ‘jövő’ meaning future) is the tower of the future, while tower K (which stands for the Hungarian word ‘közösség meaning community) is a symbol of the community. He said: “The building is also the house of 4I: innovation, inspiration, interaction, and integration. These are the key factors that make this place special.”   

Lajos Szabó pointed out that thanks to internationalisation, not only an increasing proportion of students can study in English, but also in German at Corvinus. He recalled that nine out of the ten undergraduate programmes – which have the highest admission scores in the country – are offered at Corvinus. He stressed that the university is striving to adapt to the needs of companies for the workforce, which is why it is developing its courses with the involvement of business partners. “We want a university that is a welcoming place to come to as a student, a researcher, and a teacher, where we can find solutions to social and economic problems together with our partners,” said the acting rector.  

“We are first and foremost educating, training leaders for companies and the state,” said President Anthony Radev in his speech. He said that they want to build a close, genuine partnership with companies with high-added value for both sides. He stressed the importance of both practice and theory in education because they want to train professionals who meet the rapidly changing needs of the labour market and the expectations of companies. “Corvinus equips its students with rapidly adaptable knowledge that makes them competitive in a radically changing business environment. And a highly skilled Corvinus graduate workforce contributes to increasing efficiency, boosting innovation, and ultimately improving business results,” said Radev. He added, he sees in Bruno van Pottelsberghe as a rectoral candidate a guarantee that Corvinus will take the internationalisation process to the next level.  

Pottelsberghe: the bridge is not just a symbol 

He called his development plan for Corvinus “the bridge strategy”, because the bridge’s complex meaning and socio-economic-cultural impact inspired his vision for our institution: connecting East with West, linking students learning with their future workplace, industry with academia. In his welcome speech, Bruno van Pottelsberghe added the bridge also crystallises dynamism, the importance to permanently connect,  with our society’s stakeholders. He said that he wanted to work with all colleagues and institutions, private and public, including those present, to implement the  an ambitious strategic plan. 

The economist candidate, whose appointment, as is known, was supported by the Senate and the Foundation of the Corvinus University, briefly introduced himself: he studied in Belgium (Université Libre de Bruxelles, ULB), held several posts there, and worked abroad in several positions both in and outside the academic world.  As he shared with the audience, he was attracted to the call for applications for the position of rector because he saw his own experience as a leader of Corvinus as a good fit. He considers Corvinus to be a top-level institution and therefore believed that it would be relatively easy to make progress in achieving the goals. In his view, ULB is similar to Corvinus in that a similarly large proportion of graduates will become active industry and policy makers, and a few years ago ULB was led through the challenge of internationalisation just as Corvinus is now seeking to do. He noted that this is something that needs to be continuously worked on, because the gains made can be quickly lost, and he is convinced that this is the only way to attract international and domestic talent. 

He recalled that the call for applications for the position of rector set four objectives, three of which were related to internationalisation: internationalisation of the students and faculty, and international accreditation – the latter of which he also has personal experience. The fourth objective – to develop research – is  of utmost importance, according to Pottelsberghe, because the university is not only a place where knowledge is disseminated, but also where new knowledge is created, and even co-created with industry and institutions.  

The candidate also said that the external network of cockpit partners, including universities, is a key ingredient in the future success of companies. He pointed out that, just as companies play an important role in placing students, universities can contribute to solving business challenges through their research, analytical results and the creativity of their students. Entrepreneurial and innovative students are those who create the new future, as witnessed by the creation of Tesla that was not implemented by incumbents, but rather by bold entrepreneurs. . He said that international talents  will come to the country as students if they are attracted not only by the quality of the education, but also by the opportunities to gain experience in companies. He said that in the international accreditation processes, he expects a positive attitude from companies, as the evaluation process also takes into account the company’s links with the university, which are assessed by interviewing their staff.  

Van Pottelsberghe said that to attract international academics, it also matters if the university has research collaborations with international companies operating in Budapest, so the openness of the representatives of corporate partners is key. The candidate concluded by saying that all members of the community that shapes the university should be proud of what Corvinus is today and he is excited to join them. He stressed that the development of a school is a permanent challenge, a permanent work, and that the Bridge Strategy is not only a symbol, but a real action that will activate in the coming future. 

Close cooperation with market players 

Afterwards, Péter Baranyi, Research Professor at CIAS at Corvinus, gave a presentation on the complex paths of artificial intelligence, followed by a panel discussion with three students from the university about their experiences with AI, the challenges AI poses to employers and employees, and how university education should adapt to this. 

In his closing speech, Dávid Baranyai stressed that the university should help students to get in touch with companies. Thanks to the growing number of partnerships, there are more opportunities than ever to intensify the practical experience in education. 

He stressed that Corvinus has a value proposition not only for twenty-year-olds, but also for more experienced experts and managers through vocational and executive training, as without lifelong learning no one can remain competitive in the labour market today. 

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GEN.:2024.07.15. - 02:31:20