This year 255 students graduated from BME’s English-language programmes. For the first time graduates from GTK also received their diplomas at the online ceremony.
“It is a distinct goal of this incoming leadership of the university to increase the proportion of students of BME’s English-language programmes. Currently 14% of our students are enrolled in one of the English-language programmes across the 8 faculties. It is our objective to increase this number to 18% within the next three years. I ask of you that you act as ambassadors for your university: that you help spread the good reputation of this institution wherever life may take you”, Emília Csiszár, Vice Rector for International Relations stressed at the graduation ceremony of the English-language programmes, attended by leaders of the faculties and representatives of the graduates. The event was also broadcast online.
The Vice-Rector congratulated the graduates on obtaining their diploma issued by one of the most prestigious universities of Central Europe. “Your well-deserved diplomas attest and confirm your skills and qualifications as engineers, economists and managers. We will be very glad to keep in touch with you, to hear of your experiences and achievements and to share the professional success, which you have achieved with the contributions from BME”, Emília Csiszár said in her farewell address.
Members of the Academic Procession arriving to the tune of Gaudeamus Igitur: Emília Csiszár, Vice Rector for International Relations, Tamás Lovas Vice-Dean (Faculty of Civil Engineering), Csaba Hős Vice-Dean (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering), István Vidovszky Vice-Dean (Faculty of Architecture), Zoltán Hell University Professor (Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology), Eszter Udvary Gerhát Associate Professor (Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics) head of the English-language programmes, Ádám Török Vice-Dean (Faculty of Transportation Engineering and Vehicle Engineering), István Prok Vice-Dean (Faculty of Natural Sciences), Emma Lógó Vice-Dean (Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences) and László Gergely Vígh, Director of International Education. The chair of the award ceremony was yet again György Ádám Horváth, assistant professor at the Department of Environmental Economics at BME’s Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
“The BME community cares about each other, achieves its professional goals, provides space for innovation, shares responsibilities and social challenges. You are permanent members of the BME community forever! In addition to a professional degree, this is what makes you special: this connection will never disappear”, said László Gergely Vígh, Director of International Education, adding that , “the support from the Stipendium Hungaricum Programme and the Scholarship Programme for Young Christians is much appreciated, since it provides excellent opportunities for the students to complete their studies”.
“This pandemic has forced us to reconsider even the basics of the way we live. Just two years ago the word “coronavirus” was only known by a handful of research scientists, and “lockdown” or “essential worker” simply did not exist yet. Sadly, we have become quite accustomed to these by now and many of us have lost loved ones”, György Ádám Horváth, chair of the ceremony pointed out, adding that although we see the light at the end of the tunnel, the path ahead is still rough and rugged: this is where we need the activism and expertise of graduate engineers and economists. He quoted Louis Pasteur: “Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity and is the torch which illuminates the world.”
“Our primary goal during these years has been to make your stay as enjoyable as possible by taking some of the bureaucratic burdens off your shoulders”, Dávid Pirityi emphasised on behalf of the group of mentors helping the students. He added that, unfortunately, this past year had not allowed the mentors to be able to help their students in person. The mentor congratulated the new graduates and expressed his hopes that during the difficult years of studies many friendships had been forged between students, which was made all the easier by the modern communications devices.
One graduate from each faculty was presented with their diploma in the Assembly Hall of BME’s Central Building.
Iulia Cojocari, representing the graduates of the Faculty of Civil Engineering said a few farewell words, recalling the difficult and sometimes funny moments of the first days. “Stay true, make friends, believe in yourselves and your strength, be your biggest support and critic, and follow your path, wherever it takes you”, the civil engineer from Moldova said in her parting words.
“The wonderful student years are ending for us today. Today is a special day for all of us: it is the day when we sum up the results of the two years of our Master degrees”, said Anarbek Uulu Atai from Kyrgyzstan addressing the graduates on behalf of the MSc students of the Faculty of Civil Engineering. He stressed that studying in Hungary would remain one of the brightest periods of their lives. “We came to Hungary, especially to BME, from different parts of the world and found friends here.
The last years with the pandemic fears certainly gave us a tough time, but now we are all here to celebrate our achievements, our victories. And now the journey will take us to our future destinations. We were taught how to become disciplined, flexible and even a hard worker”, Asem Abd-Alrahem from Egypt, explained on behalf of the graduating students of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, also expressing his gratitude to the professors for providing a safe platform for studying, as well as the Hungarian government for providing a scholarship.
“I was not in the least disappointed with my decision to study at BME but was surprised by how much knowledge and inspiration I could gain here and how dramatically my plans here would change thanks to everything this university gave me”, said Valentina Fesenko, MSc student from Russia, representing the graduates from the Faculty of Architecture sharing her experiences. She thanked the professors and the Hungarian government for organising the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme.
Dang Tran Bao Trinh, a graduate of the Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology from Vietnam, completed both her BSc and MSc studies at BME. She recalled the start of her university studies, when classes were held in person, and she attended her courses every day; the communication was direct and more efficient. Many extracurricular activities were organised by the student clubs, such as the sports day, and she could take part in international cultural festivals with her peers. The pandemic, however, changed life significantly. “I believe that many international students have tried their best to stay strong throughout the semester. It was an unpleasant journey, but we retained our optimism and bravery to overcome the obstacles”, the young MSc graduate said in summing up the lessons of the past year. Apart from expressing her gratitude to her professors and her appreciation of the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme, she also thanked her parents, without whose support she would not have been able to study in this far away country.
“In the past three years BME provided me a lot of experience. I had the opportunity to gain an insight into the finest mathematical knowledge established by the famous Hungarian mathematicians and to be taught by the most enthusiastic professors, which I cannot go without in my future career”, Nguyen Vinh Hung, BSc graduate of the Faculty of Natural Sciences from Vietnam stressed in his farewell speech.
“We are the first students to have completed the English-language programme from our faculty: I’m sure it was a challenging task for our professors, but trust me, you all did amazingly”, Saruul Delgerbayar, an MA graduate from Mongolia said when addressing the participants on behalf of the graduating students of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. She stressed that studying regional and environmental economics was a very eye-opening experience, thanks to the professors who successfully transferred valuable knowledge in a wide range of areas. “I cannot thank them enough for sharing their expertise and assisting us throughout these two years despite all the challenges that we had to face”, the new graduate of environmental economics added.
It was an extraordinary feat to complete our academic calendar on time in spite of all the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. I would like to express my gratitude to all the faculty’s academic and support staff for their support. I ask all the graduates to stand up and join me in giving all the teachers a round of applause”, said Dani Dawood Backus Daddo, a civil engineering student from Iraq, who was given the opportunity to study at BME with the help of the Scholarship Programme for Christian Young People.
“It is the result of many years of hard work that now every faculty has its own English-language programme”, Valéria Balogh, administrator expert of the Department of International Relations of the Rector's Office told bme.hu. She added that in recent years programmes had been launched at BME’s Faculty of Natural Sciences and that this semester students had graduated for the first time in the English-language MSc programmes of BME’s Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences in Management and Leadership, Finance and Regional and Environmental Economics. The academic staff of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences have been involved in the English-language programmes for years. They have also taught students from the Erasmus part-time programme, self-financed or scholarship graduate programmes, and two years ago they prepared the programmes of their own faculty. “It is a great achievement for GTK to produce graduates who make up 15% of all graduates from the English-language programmes in the first year already. We wish them all the best and hope to welcome more and more students to the faculty every year”, the administrator expert concluded. She played an active role in providing information to those interested in studying at one of BME’s faculties and helping them with the admissions process.
BME offers 39 Bachelor, Master and PhD programmes for international students studying in Hungary. The first of these was launched in 1984 and BME currently has cooperation agreements for joint programmes with around 240 higher education institutions from 58 countries. Members of BME’s mentoring network, renowned for their excellent work throughout Hungary, helped foreign students settle here and achieve good academic results.
Every year around 2500 students from over 70 countries study in the various English-language Bachelor, Master or PhD part-time or full-time programmes. 255 graduates received their diplomas at the virtual graduation ceremony at the end of the 2020/2021 academic year. 77 of them graduated with distinction, awarded to those with an average of higher than 4.5, and 43 of them graduated with an honourable mention for their excellence. Two-thirds of the new graduates took part in the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme, while the rest self-financed their studies.
This semester’s new graduates come from 46 countries, most coming from Azerbaijan, Brazil, India, Iraq, Jordan, China, Mongolia and Syria but also from Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Philippines, France, Georgia, Ghana, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Yemen, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Colombia, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia, Morocco, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldavia, Nigeria, Russia, Palestine, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tunisia and Vietnam. Several Hungarian students also took part in the English-language programmes.
39 students graduated from the Faculty of Civil Engineering, 27 from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, 32 from the Faculty of Architecture, 21 from the Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 59 from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, 34 from the Faculty of Transportation Engineering and Vehicle Engineering, 10 from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and 33 from the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences in July 2021.
Fee-paying students complete the same English-language courses as students in the Erasmus and Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programmes. Most Stipendium Hungaricum students arrive from the same countries as the fee-paying students.
In the spring semester of 2021, similarly to Hungarian students, their foreign peers were also taught online at BME, so everybody had the opportunity to complete their semester.
Photo: Geberle B.