EELISA Info Day participants learned about trainings, scholarships and mobility programs available at leading European universities, including BME.
BME held its online information day about the EELISA association on 23rd June, 2021.
Rector János Józsa emphasized that BME has been participating in various international exchange programs and research and development collaborations since the 1990s. BME’s participation in the EELISA consortium is considered to be the result of this international activity. The main objective of this association is to redefine the concept of the European engineering profession through a new European engineering training model, which gives a response to the need of creating innovative solutions to today's challenges: non-engineering sciences complement engineering knowledge, but at the same time engineering skills, knowledge can also be applied in non-engineering disciplines. “We can be sure that Hungarian universities will succeed in their vision of European Universities. This is why our higher education institutions participate in an outstanding number of European university associations. In doing so, we have made significant progress in enhancing the international competitiveness of our higher education. That is the reason why the Hungarian government is striving to create a university-centered innovation system.” highlighted József Bódis, State Secretary for Higher Education, Innovation and Vocational Training at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology in his video message for the event. Dale A. Martin, former President and CEO of Siemens Zrt., an honorary citizen of BME, was recently elected to be President of EELISA. In his video message, the President emphasized that the essence of this new university collaboration is to have social impact and that the activities of university citizens lead to a positive and transparent result in society.
Tibor Czigány, the rector of the BME as of 1 July, pointed out: "EELISA is more than just a circle of consortium members, as there is such a wide network of contacts and communities at each participating university that everyone can find the right partners and opportunities to cooperate".
Sofia Costa D’Aguiar, Executive Director of EELISA, also greeted the audience of BME EELISA Info Day in a video message and highlighted the role of BME in strengthening the EELISA communities.
Ákos Szili, President of the BME University Student Representation (EHK), emphasised that the program is quite student-friendly, as not all exchange programs allow such flexible participation in the courses, or so much influance on the system of studies.
EELISA Info Day coincided with International Women in Engineering Day, and the presentations also raised the role of EELISA in supporting the career of female students.
In connection with the topic, Emília Csiszár, the future Vice-rector for International Affairs of BME, spoke about the diverse career orientation activities of BME and the promotion of technical and natural science trainings among high school girls. She said that it is also due to years of series of programs that the proportion of female students in all fields of study in the institution is gradually increasing, and currently 34% of students studying at BME are women. She added that the abbreviation EELISA also commemorates one of the first European women engineers, Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu.
Several lecturers speak up with Vince Nagy Balázs, Vice-rector for International Affairs, and László Gergely Vigh, Director of International Education in the short film presenting the possibilities of the EELISA at BME.
“EELISA also aims to strengthen the interconnectedness between universities and companies, as it focuses primarily on engineering disciplines and their interdisciplinary areas. The close relationship with the companies appears in the activities of EELISA both in connection with the internships and the direct projects, ”emphasized Balázs Vince Nagy, BME's Vice-rector for International Affairs.
László Gergely Vigh, Director of International Education, added: “The working group dealing with the issues of international internships and the involvement of industrial partners is led by BME at consortium level. The goal is to create a brand that displays excellence in the job market. ”
Within the framework of EELISA, BME students will have access to an international internship program, as well as to a mutually recognized training catalogue developed jointly with the other participating universities, and to other short courses, distance learning courses, competitions and challenges. The cooperation aims to coordinate trainings and initiate projects in two main areas: smart, green and resilient cities, and industry 4.0.
Ferenc Takó, Head of the International Strategy Office of Eötvös Loránd University, gave a presentation at the event. Eötvös Loránd University has been participating in the European Universities initiative since 2019 as a member of another university association, CHARM-EU. Five universities are participating in this collaboration and will launch their first joint training, Master in Global Challenges in Sustainability, in the autumn of 2021, reflecting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the European Green Deal Strategy. About 100 employees of Eötvös Loránd University's 9 faculties involved in the tasks of the working groups, who, based on their feedbacks, benefit significantly from the good practices of the CHARM-EU member institutions.
Corporate collaborations are an essential part of the EELISA program. Nokia Bell Labs will also continue to work with BME on EELISA. Csaba Vulkán, Head of Nokia Bell Labs, spoke about the common results so far in his presentation.
He highlighted that the successful collaboration between BME and Nokia dates back to the 90s. BME is a world-class, unique institution in mathematical modeling and software technology, while Nokia is a leading player in the field of 5G and artificial intelligence in telecommunications. Among the joint developments, Csaba Vulkán presented the 5G network planned for BME campus. BME and the company also run dual MSc programs. Currently 125 students participate in the joint internship program and several students have already won the Nokia Bell Labs IMSC scholarship, which provides students mentoring and joint job opportunities with Nokia researchers. These common developments and experiences can also be transferred into EELISA cooperation.
During the EELISA Info Day, the lectures were followed by two interactive workshops.
The workshops started with a short film on summarizing training and mobility opportunities .
István Bíró (senior lecturer, GPK Department of Manufacturing Science and Engineering) shared information about the available course offer, Mária Csete (associate professor, GTK Department of Environmental Economics) spoke about interdisciplinarity and the harmonization of engineering and non-engineering skills in the panel discussion “EELISA trainings and mobility” moderated by Edit Székely (VBK Vice-Dean for Education). Tamás Lovas (ÉMK,Vice-Dean for Education) talked about the acceptance of trainings and courses completed abroad, while Dániel Szabó (Vice-President of EHK) shared his views from the student side. Workshop participants were asked in an online questionnaire about their views on the program. Two-thirds of the respondents are BME students, most of whom have not yet spent a semester abroad. Among the interdisciplinary areas, communication and sustainability were highlighted first, and they expect the expansion of professional relationships and competencies, as well as language development from EELISA. Within the forms of online mobility, opportunities provided by joint projects, and from EELISA courses, the joint degree was identified as the preferred form of recognition. Respondents would favour to spend one semester in Germany, Italy and France. The students were mostly interested in the estimated launch of the program, the range of courses, the semester abroad possibilities and the procedure of credit recognition.
The workshop “EELISA Communities and Mobility” also started with a short film summarizing the possibilities. The main topics of discussion were the educational, research and professional internships available in the project, as well as the professional communities forming one of the basis of the program.
About communities within EELISA Veronika Major-Kathi (project coordinator, Department of International Education ) Balázs Kövesdi (senior lecturer, ÉMK, Department of Construction Materials and Technologies) László Gergely Vigh, Director of International Education, shared their thoughts on the relationship between education and research, while Bendegúz Pap represented EHK in the discussion led by Dóra Máthé (research assistant, ÉPK, Department of Residential Building Design). At the end of the workshop, participants answered the questions of the audience, and according to a survey of respondents, young people see the most important opportunities in expanding professional contacts, conducting joint research, taking part in mobility aiming at cooperation and joint tenders, and participating in internationally competitive internships.
Interested faculty members and students are welcome to join four online EELISA events in July on the circular economy, the creative industries, urban communities, and the digitalization of the healthcare industry. More information about the program can be found on the EELISA website.
More information, international news and events of EELISA can be followed on the BME website and central website of the university association.
The event was organized by the BME Department of International Education and the Communication Group of the Rector's Office.
The short films made for EELISA Info Day and the presentations of the plenary section can be viewed on the BME YouTube site: BME EELISA Info Day videos