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Student forum – the renewal of Corvinus University of Budapest| 2018.11.16.

For the request of the Student Union of Corvinus University of Budapest, András Lánczi rector and Lívia Pavlik chancellor held a joint information forum for the students in order to inform them that from 1 July 2019, Corvinus University of Budapest will be a public purpose/non-profit higher educational institution maintained by a foundation established by the state. More than 300 Hungarian students took part in the forum. A significant number of foreign students also attended.

The rector of Corvinus University of Budapest started his speech with the statement that the renewal of Corvinus will not be a radical but a well-scheduled process that aims to catch up with the global standards until 2030. As he claimed, it would be highly essential to increase the efficacy of the university in order to be able to provide the same conditions and level of education for the applicants as any other West-European university. Corvinus intends to be among the top 200 universities of the world and among the top 100 universities of Europe for 2030 in its field. The rector also ensured the students that some factors will not change: the changes do not have any influence on the academic/disciplinary profile of the University. It means that Corvinus University of Budapest will keep its focus in the academic fields of economics, social sciences and business studies. Corvinus will not be a profit-oriented institution. He highlighted that the existing student status will not be influenced by the changes. The rector said that the main reason of the renewal is that under the current circumstances, the University has reached the limits of its performance and the development on the international level is unimaginable without changing the model of maintenance. Among the academic goals, the rector highlighted that it is necessary to improve the rate of students/professors, to increase the significance of master, doctoral and executive programmes. As he said „the standards of education should not be improved by polishing bachelor programmes but by focusing on the master and doctoral programmes.” Fulfilling bilingualism, increasing the number of foreign professors, increasing the rate of students (Hungarian and foreign students as well) participating in English language programmes from the current 20 % to 45 % have central importance in this process.

At the beginning of her speech, Lívia Pavlik chancellor answered the following question. Why is Corvinus regarded unable to fulfil its significant international aims in the current environment with the excellent students and professors the university has? The reason of this is measurably rooted in the inflexible legal and economic regulatory environment. In the state environment, it is not possible for the university to live up to the expectations of the international competition at the market of higher education to which Corvinus also has to adapt itself. The chancellor also introduced Corvinus Scholarship Programme that is going to be initiated in 2020 to provide the opportunity of free education. The chancellor of the university highlighted that given this scholarship is not financed by the state, the maximum number of semesters financed by the state does not include the number of semesters financed by Corvinus Scholarship Programme. She added that the student contract of state scholarship does not apply to Corvinus Scholarship Programme. At the moment, the management is working to provide the former technical forms in the central admission procedure. The aim is to provide students with the opportunity to apply to a place financed by the Corvinus Scholarship Programme or to a self-financed place. She put an emphasis on the fact that in 2019, students can still apply to the traditional state-financed places and the self-financed places as well. The change will take effect from 2020. 

A part of the questions raised by the participating students regarded the autonomy of the university. Lívia Pavlik informed the students that Corvinus will operate within the legal frames in the future as well. The Constitution and the National Law on Higher Education guarantee that the most important decisions will be made by the elected bodies of the University.  She also added that the maintenance of the Foundation will provide more autonomy.

A student asked whether they should expect an increase in the tuition fees. The chancellor made it clear: the University has a stabile financial position so in the short term there is no financial constraint situation to be resolved by the short-term increase of tuition fees. However, if we regard the period until 2030 as a variant of the domestic and international higher education market we cannot exclude the possible changes in tuition fees. “I do not think it a surprising statement 12 years looking ahead”.

Regarding the participation of students and student unions in the process of the renewal, András Lánczi emphasized that the management of the university is open to get opinions and ideas from students. The organisational frames for channelling these ideas is the internal project organisation, in which the representatives of the Student Union of Corvinus as well as the representatives of Labour Union also take part.

Another question: what guarantees that the renewal will not form the university to be „the elit university of the rich ones”.  András Lánczi told that just as in the previous times, it will be the outstanding performance and results that ingest a student into Corvinus. Talented students with poorer financial opportunities have always been supported by special programmes, colleges and student unions of Corvinus. This activity will be strenghtened in the future. However, he noted that „in the complex criteria of education policy, social policy factors are important but not decisive.” 

Last modified: 2018.11.30.