Welcome to the 8th episode of our #WeAreEELISA series! The campaign that aims to shed light on the EELISA microcosm through interviews with high profiles within the EELISA institutions, as well as campus video tours by students from the alliance.
Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Prof. Emília Csiszár, Vice-Rector for International Affairs of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and Member of the EELISA Executive Board.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
#WEAREEELISA Episode 8
Name: Prof. Emília Csiszár
University: Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME)
Profession: Vice-Rector for International Affairs
Role within EELISA: Member of the Executive Board
Q. BME is a member of EELISA. Can you briefly introduce your university to us?
A. Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) is Hungary’s leading higher education institution in engineering, counting approximately 20,000 students. The predecessor of the university was established 241 years ago in 1782. Since then, three Hungarian Nobel Prize winners and numerous outstanding scientists, engineers, and inventors have studied here. The university has eight faculties and 76 departments, 1,200 lecturers teaching 5,000 subjects, and 10,000 courses each semester. The number of training programs offered by BME is constantly expanding, partly by relying on the needs indicated by the market and the industries and keeping abreast of the latest trends in technology. We are a colourful international university with 2,400 international students from over 100 countries. The campus is located in the heart of Budapest in the area ranked as the 7th most fantastic place in cities worldwide (Time Out Magazine, 2022), where our students can enjoy exciting programs and vibrant city life.
Q. What is your personal connection to EELISA?
A. I joined EELISA in the summer of 2021, with the start of the current rectorial leadership of BME. As Vice-Rector, I participate in the Governing Board and Executive Board meetings and work with numerous colleagues, whose contribution in the application phase has been instrumental in winning EU funding for the EELISA association in 2020 and 2023. Together with my colleagues, we are doing our utmost to ensure that the whole BME community embraces EELISA, works towards its success, and takes advantage of the fantastic opportunities that EELISA offers. As Vice-Rector, internationalization of the university is one of my essential tasks. Our participation in the EELISA University Alliance is a significant contribution to this.
Q. “Together is better than alone” – Why should in your opinion universities work together in an alliance like EELISA?
A. The European University Associations offer different possible solutions to future challenges, and in each case, working together will lead to success. EELISA is shaping the university of the future in engineering. Educators from 10 universities are jointly developing new methodologies to equip future engineers with the competencies needed to solve the problems we face in an international environment. Multiple aspects of education are explored, such as challenge-based education, PBL, and workshops at the international level, gradually replacing and, in some cases, complementing the traditional ways of teaching. EELISA provides ample evidence of effective collaboration, whether at the level of smaller student communities, at larger teaching and research collaborations, or even at the university and international level. Therefore, the answers to global challenges can only be found by working together across universities.
Q. What does EELISA mean for your University? And how does EELISA enrich your university’s community?
A. Being a member of a European university association is a great achievement in itself. It increases our competitiveness not only at the European level but also at the world level, develops our resources, and strengthens our education, research, and cooperation potential. We tell prospective students, “Join BME and become a student at 10 different European universities!” For students, EELISA opens the door to European education and to European degrees. For teachers and researchers, joint teaching and research projects create opportunities for international cooperation and collective thinking that can lead to excellent results and self-development. BME’s goals are completely in line with those of EELISA. Our synergies will benefit both BME and EELISA and will shape our communities.
Q. What would you wish for the future development of EELISA?
A. Over the past three years, we have gained much experience, got to know each other, and developed an efficient way of working together to run EELISA. This is a solid basis for the second phase of EELISA starting this year. We will have a lot to do to solidify the alliance and establish our sustainable future. It is essential to involve many students and partners, such as companies into EELISA, and I hope that at the second ’EELISA Achievements’ event (the first one was held at BME in the autumn of 2022), it will be challenging to choose from our many great achievements those few that will be celebrated publicly.