Sunway University recently collaborated with the Embassy of Malaysia, Hungary at the Universities of Nyiregyhaza, Miskolc and Debrecen to promote opportunities for transnational higher education. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) were signed between Sunway University and three Hungarian Universities, paving the way for educational cooperation in the fields of sustainable development, business, cross cultural communication, research and exchanges.
Professor Stephen J Hall, Dean, School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Associate Professor Tamas Kiss, Centre for English Language Studies from Sunway University were physically present at all the signings. The signings were witnessed by the Malaysian Ambassador to Hungary, Francisco Munis. Diplomatic relations between Hungary and Malaysia were established in 1969, with Malaysia establishing an embassy in Budapest since September 1993. “Malaysia is a popular destination for students from many countries around the world to study at the country’s universities,” said Francisco Munis, Malaysia’s ambassador to Hungary.
The importance of sustainability, education for global competencies and effective cross- cultural communication was a theme at discussion and planning after all three MOU signings. Presentations about Sunway as well as seminars on Malaysia and Malaysian culture; Manglish and International English and Identity, adaptability, creativity were shown to Hungarian academics and students. Hungarian students from all three Universities and Sunway University students are currently engaged with shared online cross-cultural projects, as part of Sunway University Centre for English Language Studies (CELS) Communication Skills.
Professor Stephen J Hall said, “Applying globally relevant skills depends on building cross-cultural competencies. In an increasingly digital world such competencies need to be developed through cross cultural education such as we are developing in collaboration with our Hungarian partners”.
In Hungary, higher education institutions are equally committed to broadening their international relations, said Dr Magda Ajtay-Horvath, University of Nyiregyhaza. This was echoed by Dr Agnes Magnucz-Godo, University of Miskolc, who said that the cooperation provided “a framework to organise joint projects and share experience and expertise concerning good practices in the two institutions”. Dr Balazs Venkovits from Debrecen University also applauded the joint projects as “excellent opportunities for students to improve their intercultural and communication skills, and to acquire an international experience”.
The collaboration has also been endorsed by Hungary’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Petra Ponevács-Pana. She said: “In Hungary the internationalization of higher education has reached outstanding achievements. The Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship program- established in 2014- is the flagship state project of the student mobility platform of Hungary, including 60 countries and 12,000 students around the world. As part of this programme, the Hungarian government offers 40 full time educational scholarships for Malaysian students at undergraduate, masters, and doctorate levels”.