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Balázs Hankó: Hungarian science, Hungarian higher education and the Hungarian model are successful
Hungarian science, higher education and the Hungarian model are successful
05 October 2023
Modified: 09 October 2023
Reading time: 4 minute(s)
Budapest, Wednesday, 4 October 2023 (MTI) - Hungarian science is successful, Hungarian higher education is successful, and the Hungarian model is successful, said Balázs Hankó, State Secretary for Innovation and Higher Education, at the conference entitled “Opportunities for Universities that Completed their Model-Change in Horizon Europe” in Budapest on Wednesday.

“There is no doubt that Hungarian researchers are also internationally renowned, and that they excel in the international arena; few nations are lucky enough to have two Nobel Prize winners in one week,” the State Secretary said, referring to Katalin Karikó and Ferenc Krausz.

Balázs Hankó stressed that Hungarian science is internationally renowned and Hungarian innovation has also taken a step forward according to the latest global index. And in the European Innovation Ranking published this summer, we moved up from ‘moderate innovators’ to ‘European innovators’,” he added.

In other words, Hungary is on the right track, and it is a realistic goal for it to become one of the top ten European innovators and one of the top twenty-five global innovators by 2030, said the State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation at an event held at the National Research, Development and Innovation Office.

“Innovation and higher education go hand in hand and drive Hungary’s future prospects forward, so it is gratifying that while four years ago we had seven higher education institutions, now we have twelve in the top five percent of the world, i.e. we are ‘breaking into the elite league’”, said Balázs Hankó.

He added that it is also a realistic goal to have a Hungarian university in the top one percent of the world’s universities by 2030, and to have at least three Hungarian institutions among the top 100 universities in the European Union.

“There’s just one snag: Brussels. It is a historical experience that not everyone has a stake in the success of the Hungarian nation”, the State Secretary said. He explained that an unfair double standard is being used to marginalise Hungarian internationalisation programmes in a decision proposed by the European Commission last December. After the summer of 2024, institutions that have undergone model-change would not be allowed to participate in the Erasmus+ programme, and Hungarian researchers are also being excluded from direct EU programmes such as Horizon, Balázs Hankó pointed out, saying: “we can’t let this happen!”

For Erasmus, all internationalisation programmes are guaranteed until 30 June 2024. The Tempus Public Foundation provides HUF 1.8 billion for the continuation of international exchange programmes, and the funds are already available at universities, he said.

Tempus is positively evaluating the internationalisation programmes of all the institutions that have undergone a model-change, waiting for the European Commission to “come to its senses” and recognise that Europe needs Hungarian students, the State Secretary added.

He pointed out that the NRDI Office has launched a legal aid service for researchers relating to Horizon calls, and that all institutions that have undergone a model-change can apply for a HUF 5 billion government funding. Eligible applications for two and a half billion forints have already been received, and if the five billion was not enough, there will be additional funding, he stressed.

Balázs Hankó also said that they are strengthening “excellent” international relations “around the world”, preparing university cooperation and will launch further successful calls.

“Our Nobel laureates are setting an example; the renewal of Hungarian higher education and model change is going in the right direction”, the State Secretary claimed.

Our main goal is to link universities, research institutions and the economy, and this is also the purpose of the model change and the John von Neumann Programme, said Balázs Hankó. He noted that we need more patents, more researchers, because competition is increasing. In the meantime, he added, the strength of innovator businesses will also be increased, in which the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a strategic ally.

You don't just need ideas, you also need to get out into the market, he said. We need research that serves the interests of Hungarian society and the Hungarian economy, the State Secretary stressed. As he said, the focus is on digitalisation, healthy living and green transition, and resources are being “channelled” in this direction.

Source: MTI - Hungarian Press Agency

Updated: 09 October 2023
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