On 6 November the University welcomed the Hungarian Ambassador to the UK on campus. As part of the Embassy's new strategic plan, His Excellency Péter Szabadhegy and the Science and Technology Attaché, Anikó Dobi-Rózsa, have been touring universities in the UK to meet with Hungarian students and to share information on Hungary's place in Europe.
In the morning the Ambassador met with the School of Management. Dean Professor Veronica Hope Hailey gave an overview of the School, including its research and range of undergraduate, postgraduate and post-experience level programmes. Dr Pete Nuttall, Stephen Rangecroft and Dr Tony Roath also attended from the School. The Ambassador was impressed by the work placements available, and was keen to learn how the School and the University do well in the rankings.
The Ambassador then had an informal lunch with our Hungarian students (there are currently 33 studying here), hoping to learn about the students’ transition from Hungary to studying in the UK. Having studied in New York and London, Ambassador Szabadhegy spoke about his own transition, informing us that his biggest adjustment was in fact moving back to Hungary in the 1990s after growing up in New York.
In the afternoon, His Excellency gave a talk entitled 'Hungary’s Place in the Heart of Europe and the World from an Economic and Geopolitical Perspective'. Around 40 staff and students attended.
The talk focused on the current European migrant crisis, as well as the history and economy of Hungary. It was interesting to note that Tesco is the largest private employer in Hungary, and that the UK is the fourth largest foreign investor. The Ambassador also talked about the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on Hungary, the near-collapse of the country and steps taken to improve the situation.
The Ambassador said of the visit: "It was a real pleasure to experience first-hand why the University of Bath has continued to climb the independent rankings of universities in the UK and in the world. I am very, very impressed!" The visit was a great chance to learn more about the Ambassador, our Hungarian students and a country in the heart of Europe.