International Relations Office

Updates on the University's global engagement activities

Topic: Visit

My internship at Université Laval, Canada

  

📥  Culture, Funding/Scholarship, Research, Visit

I have recently returned from Quebec City, Canada after completing a six-month internship at the Department of Wood and Forestry Sciences, Université Laval. It was funded by the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship worth CAD $11,000. This scholarship aims to activate a dynamic community of young global leaders across the Commonwealth countries, creating an impact at an international level through inter-cultural exchanges encompassing international education, discovery and inquiry, and professional experiences.

Entrance to the Université Laval

Entrance to the Department of Architecture, Université Laval

The facilities were impressive in terms of a wide range of equipments available to carry out state of the art research and experimentation in laboratories. The lab staff were very helpful in providing training on new equipments, helping with experiments and making sure labs are running smoothly. The department staff members were also very friendly and I felt welcome throughout my stay.

The department laboratory

The CIRCERB department laboratory

I attended some departmental events such as the 'Summer School' and 'Direction de Bureau' nuturing networking opportunities with industrial partners who have collaborated projects running with the Department. The all-day event was packed with presentations by people from industry, poster sessions by students and group discussions.

I took part in the "Festival Forestier" with other Queen Elizabeth scholars. It was interesting to visit the countryside over the weekend and experience the artwork (wood, iron, farming and cultivation) of local Quebec residents during this festival. I also volunteered in the 'Fall Festival' event organised by the Voice of English-speaking Quebec. It was enjoyable meeting English-speaking families in Quebec City.

Volunteering at Fall Festival

Volunteering at Fall Festival

A view of Quebec City, Canada

A view of Quebec City, Canada

The internship was an overall good experience to work in a new environment and establish good networking opportunities for future. The work completed there is a substantial part of my PhD research contributing to scientific publications. Having the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II scholarship during the PhD would be a plus on my CV. Moreover, doing a collaborated research work opens new doors for my career by meeting new people in the field.

I would like to thank my supervisors here at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Dr Mike Lawrence and Dr Juliana Holley, who encouraged me to apply for this scholarship and guided me throughout the internship. I wish to acknowledge the BRE Centre for Innovation Construction Materials and the ISOBIO project for supporting my PhD research at Bath. Being the first student to go under this scholarship from Bath, it has been a highly enriching experience right from the application process till the end of the internship. Special thanks to Prof Pierre Blanchet and Dr Diane Schorr at the Université Laval for their support for the smooth progress of my research work.

Atif Hussain at the Department of Wood and Forestry Sciences

Atif Hussain at the Department of Wood and Forestry Sciences

MAIT students on internship at EU delegation in China

📥  Event, Partnership, Visit

We are currently on a several-month-long translation and interpreting internship at the EU delegation in Beijing, China, where we are working under the tutelage of Tom Peart, the in-house interpreter at the EU delegation in Beijing, to translate important documents from Chinese into English and English into Chinese for the EU delegation website on a wide variety of subjects ranging from agriculture, economics and trade, technical standards, human rights, politics and education.

Bath MAIT graduates, Yang Yingxi, Liu Bingling and Jin Ge with Tom Peart, EU in-house interpreter outside the EU delegation in Beijing

Bath MAIT graduates, Yang Yingxi, Liu Bingling and Jin Ge with Tom Peart, EU in-house interpreter outside the EU delegation in Beijing

As part of the internship, we have also had the chance to interpret for the EU delegation in meetings on the foreign NGO law in China, for the Finnish ambassador to China on human rights and arts, and most recently for several European companies at the China International Circular Economy Exhibition. One of our first jobs at the EU delegation was to interpret some introductory remarks at the opening ceremony of the EU Film Festival in China in front of a large audience.

These interpreting opportunities are a great way for us to further consolidate our skills, perform in real interpreting situations and put into practice the key note-taking and consecutive interpreting techniques that we learnt on the MA in Interpreting and Translation at Bath. Consecutive interpreting is where the interpreter takes notes and then renders a speech into another language after the speakers have finished speaking. Sometimes this means interpreting a few sentences at a time, but at other times speakers speak for up to six to seven minutes without stopping. That is where our memory skills and ability to take notes well really comes into play. Add to that the pressure of having to face a live audience who are awaiting expectantly for you to deliver the message of the speech in a clear and coherent manner, and consecutive interpreting can be a somewhat stressful experience. Nonetheless, the process of interpreting is also very enjoyable and extremely rewarding. Nothing beats the feeling of having done a really good job in an interpreting situation.

Written translation, whilst often less stressful, can also be tough and demanding. But once again, the hours spent working on important translation assignments can be very rewarding as it is always great to see our translation work posted on the EU delegation website.

For the past three years, this internship has run through an open competition. However, the vast majority of these internship places have been filled by Bath graduates that have completed the MA in Interpreting and Translation. This is a great opportunity for us and we hope that other Bath interpreting and translation graduates will see the value of internships such as these that fill an important gap between the classroom and the workplace.

Yang Yingxi, Liu Bingling and Jin Ge studied MA Interpreting and Translating at the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies. 

 

Interpreting for the Portuguese Prime Minister

📥  Event, Visit

I’ve just returned from China where, as an interpreter, I was part of the official five-day state visit led by the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, designed to strengthen ties between the two nations.

This is not the first time I’ve provided interpretation at high-level meetings between Portugal and China, but being privy to important discussions about trade and cooperation is always an exhilarating experience. During this most recent delegation, I provided interpretation between Prime Minister Costa and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and President of the Chinese National People’s Congress, Zhang Dejiang.

Miguel Fialho interpreting in a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa and President of the Chinese National People's Congress, Mr Zhang Dejiang

Miguel Fialho interpreting in a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa and President of the Chinese National People's Congress, Mr Zhang Dejiang (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

During the visit, Prime Minister Costa visited Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and the former Portuguese colony of Macao, where he took part in the Fifth Macao Forum for Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. I was responsible for interpreting, both consecutive and simultaneous, for all of the Prime Minister’s speeches, and for interpreting between Portuguese and Mandarin at all the high-level meetings at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Miguel Fialho interpreting at a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister and the Mayor of Shanghai

Miguel Fialho interpreting at a meeting between the Portuguese Prime Minister and the Mayor of Shanghai (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

Miguel Fialho interpreting at an interview by a Chinese media organisation in Shenzhen, China

Miguel Fialho interpreting at an interview by a Chinese media organisation in Shenzhen, China (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

The delegation was considered an important step in furthering cooperation between Portugal and China. In discussions, officials expressed the wish to deepen cooperation by strengthening trade, economic and cultural ties, and to further people-to-people contacts by continuing to provide a good environment for two-way investment and working together to use Macao as a platform for cooperation between China, Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries.

Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world as a mother tongue (more spoken in fact than French or Russian). China recognises the importance of the Portuguese language as an essential tool for communication. This is especially true between Portuguese-speaking countries as geographically and culturally diverse as Brazil, Angola and Mozambique in Africa, and East Timor in Asia.

During the talks, Portugal expressed the wish to engage in more collaborative research into marine technologies, volcanology, climatology and other areas affecting the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. Among other matters on the agenda, officials also discussed the use of the Port of Sines - the largest deep water port on Portugal’s long Atlantic Coast - as a gateway to Europe for the new Super Panamax ships that will come through the extended Panama Canal from the Pacific.

Exchange of gifts at Tsinghua University, Beijing

Exchange of gifts at Tsinghua University, Beijing (Photo credit: Official photographs provided by the Prime Minister's Office)

Mr Miguel Fialho joined the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies in September 2013 as Teaching Fellow in Interpreting/Translating (English-Chinese). He teaches on the Chinese stream of the MA in Interpreting and Translating. He is an EU-accredited conference interpreter (Chinese-English).

Miguel has acted as the official interpreter of the Portuguese delegation on all high-level visits between the Portuguese and Chinese governments since 2007, including for the visit of Portuguese President, Cavaco Silva, to China in 2014.

 

October visits from Oman and Jordan

📥  Event, Partnership, Visit

This month we welcomed delegations from Oman and Jordan.

Visit from Oman Ministry of Education, 11 October

Dr Al Kharusi was here to gain an understanding of our student support services and work placement options, as well as exploring the possibility of sending fully funded students to Bath to study at undergraduate level in the Faculty of Science and the Department of Education. Dr Al Kharusi met with colleagues from the Admissions and Outreach team and Faculty of Science.

Visit from Jordanian universities, 12 October

Representatives from the British Council, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, German Jordanian University, Queen Rania Centre for Entrepreneurship, Jordan Applied University and Al Quds College visited Bath as part of a UK study tour.

The visit was hosted by Professor Peter Lambert (Pro-Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching) and provided an opportunity for members of the roundtable (Dr Joe Devine, Dr Mary Hayden, Professor Jeff Thompson, Professor David Coley and Dr Jason Hart) to present an overview of their work in Jordan. The visitors later met with colleagues from the School of Management and Research & Innovation Services. The visit finished with a session on employability and student experience, getting information from International Mobility colleagues and placement managers, along with representatives from the Careers Service and the Students' Union.

The visit was well received and led to an invitation for Professor Lambert to visit the German Jordanian University.

 

Greetings from Seoul!

📥  International Strategy, Partnership, Research, Visit

Seoul in September is a city in transition from the baking heat and humidity of high summer to something crisper and altogether more comfortable for a northern European like me. Over the 10 days I have been in South Korea, I have seen - and felt - this transition take place as more autumnal weather arrives in town. Tomorrow I shall be coming back home to Bath.

Overlooking Seoul, South Korea

Overlooking Seoul, South Korea

My trip to Seoul was made possible by an award of £4,000 from the University of Bath’s International Research Accelerator Scheme to visit colleagues at Yonsei University, as part of a planned research project with the provisional title Discounting our future: towards an understanding of how we model pure time preference and how this impacts upon environmental policy making. Once again, I would like to thank the University and colleagues who took the time to look at my proposal and give me this opportunity to deepen research links with colleagues at Yonsei.

Hans Schattle, who is a Professor of Political Science at Yonsei and also visited Bath last year as part of our Global Mobility Scheme, is hosting me on my visit. I first met Professor Schattle when I visited Yonsei as part of a University of Bath delegation in June 2013. We have kept in touch, through a PoLIS delegation I led to Yonsei in October 2013 and at the official University of Bath reception hosted in Seoul in October 2014 by our Vice Chancellor and Chancellor. Yonsei University is one of Bath’s key strategic partners and my working relationship with Professor Schattle is further evidence of our International Strategy starting to generate stable and productive research collaboration around the world.

While I was in Seoul, I also hosted a reception for a group of Bath alumni in the buzzy downtown district of Gangnam (made familiar to many outside South Korea through the K-pop star PSY’s worldwide hit ‘Gangnam Style'). We had a really excellent turnout, with one alumnus travelling over three and half hours from elsewhere in South Korea to attend the event. Bath alumni also took the opportunity to wish the University of Bath a Happy 50th Anniversary. I would like to thank Cassie Long for her organisation at the University of Bath and to our local alumni volunteer Youseok Cho, who was responsible for the logistics in Gangnam.

Meeting Bath alumni at the Reception

Meeting Bath alumni at the Reception

Finally, whilst at Yonsei, I gave a public lecture on what still appears to be the number one topic worldwide at present: Brexit. Over 50 students, Bath alumni, and other stakeholders attended the lecture and the question and answer session was a pleasure: Yonsei students are sharp, well informed, and engaged. Just like our own students, in fact, whom I look forward to teaching again in just over a week’s time.

Professor Charlie Lees at the public lecture

Professor Charlie Lees at the public lecture in Seoul

Charlie Lees is the Professor of Politics at the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies. 

Building marketing links with Stellenbosch University

📥  Partnership, Visit

In February a delegation of five academic members from the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences' Department of Psychology planned to visit one of our strategic partners, Stellenbosch University. It presented a good opportunity for me to understand this increasingly important area of the University's activity.

Tasked with the dual brief of (a) understanding common areas of research to inform the Dean's plans for a future faculty delegation and (b) to establish contacts with marketing and communications staff, I prepared for the visit, putting together presentations and pre-loading memory sticks with faculty information, research videos and institutional publications.

Day one was exploratory. After a campus tour (it's beautiful, spacious and Eduroam works all across campus!) with Huba Boshoff, the International Partnerships Manager, I met with marketing staff from Stellenbosch's Postgraduate International Office (PGIO) to discuss objectives, commonalities and to swap overviews of the marketing structure and functions within the respective organisations.

Meanwhile the psychology team had a thoroughly productive day with Stellenbosch's psychology department, with both groups giving formal presentations on their areas of research and using the remaining time to get to know each other.

Bath & Stellenbosch Psychology Departments

Bath & Stellenbosch Psychology Departments

In the evening we were taken to dinner by the psychology group, where we discussed further research synergies (everything from disability health to the treatment of people with learning difficulties in the criminal justice system), the higher education situation in both countries, and plenty of non-work topics.

Day two started with an early appointment with Dr Johanna Steyn, an academic member of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (one of the institution's ten faculties, which incorporates departments of Political Sciences, Psychology, Social Work and Sociology & Social Anthropology amongst others). Johanna's teaching responsibility includes Modern Foreign Languages - with undergraduate language degrees in French, German and Chinese and a new BSc International Business which includes compulsory language units until year two, and a semester-long business placement. She also sits on the Faculty's marketing and communications committee.

This meeting called for an overview of the Faculty's structure to consider shared areas of interest and an explanation of our marketing approach. With a much less competitive UG and PG market in South Africa the faculty's marketing revolves around an annual open day (attendees largely visit with their schools, only a handful of students from further afield in the country visit independently with their parents) and some webinars to reach more remote communities (again broadcast in schools). Many applicants are first generation students so marketing material focuses on information - terms explained, application process laid out in a roadmap and timeframes highlighted. Johanna was interested in our comprehensive approach to promotional campaigns and conversion communications, our use of augmented reality and the faculty's new videos highlighting our real-world impact.

A second, productive meeting followed with Wayne Muller from the central communications & liaison team, which incorporates publications (annual report, donor report, research summaries and alumni magazine - the wonderfully titled Matieland), internal comms, media engagement, digital, events (graduations, inaugurals, convocation), photography/videography and social media. We discussed the ways in which we could work together - developing research case studies, photographing visiting academics 'on location' and creating more in-depth content about the strategic partnership for relevant publications. Wayne then introduced me to the team including the incoming Senior Director for the division who was keen to encourage joint initiatives.

My next meeting was with Alecia and Sarah, responsible for International Student Mobility, who have already established successful links with Bath's International Mobility team for the exchange of students in both directions. We discussed the faculty's undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and the potential for study abroad, and proposed an action plan to move forward.

Day three started with a meeting with Lynne Moses, Marketing & Communications Officer, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. We discussed common areas of marketing activity and Lynne was interested to hear about the webinars that we run for PG conversion. With many students unable to fund the cost of living during their undergraduate studies the faculty are devising a campaign to attract more alumni donors to support these students - so Lynne was really interested to hear about the videos and Scholarship Ceremony organised by the Department of Development & Alumni Relations. We proposed to create a research case study on the joint project currently taking place between Professor Mark Tomlinson (Stellenbosch) and Dr Sarah Halligan (University of Bath) which focuses on childhood trauma which could be used across various media in South Africa and on our research/departmental web pages.

Finally, Huba and I set about planning the faculty's research delegation - creating a list of key departments/personnel to approach in each institution to then identify relevant academics to make the visit as fruitful as possible.

The visit was informative, productive and enjoyable – the relationship building was invaluable and the marketing and pr opportunities with our strategic partners became much more apparent – I’m looking forward to developing these areas in the near future.

Paula Smith (Psychology), Christine Griffin (Psychology), Emily Richards and Michelle St Clair (Psychology)

Paula Smith (Psychology), Christine Griffin (Psychology), Emily Richards and Michelle St Clair (Psychology)

Emily Richards is the Marketing & Communications Manager at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

 

Joint activities to raise Bath's profile in Mexico

📥  Event, Partnership, Visit

On the 17th February I set off for Mexico City and Bogota, on a visit aimed at meeting with and attracting students to come and study at Bath, consisting of Education Fairs and individual student interviews facilitated by our agents in Mexico and Colombia.

Historic centre of Mexico City

Historic centre of Mexico City

Historic centre of Mexico City

Historic centre of Mexico City

The weekend of 20 and 21 February was spent in the Centro Banamex, just outside of Mexico City at the FPP Eduexpo, with higher education institutions from all over the world hoping to meet with high-quality students.

Normally I manage the Bath stand at these fairs alone, or with the help of an agent, or perhaps even one academic from the University of Bath. But this time I was lucky enough to get help from a group of academic staff and PhD students from our Department of Mathematical Sciences (Professor Andreas Kyprianou, Dr Gavin Shaddick, Dr Dan Simpson, Dr Karim Anaya-Izquierdo plus PhD students Dorka Fekete, Matt Thomas and Alice Davis) who had come to Mexico for their 2nd BUC (Bath-UNAM-CIMAT) joint workshop on the theme of 'Thinking Globally: The Role of Big Data', which was taking place at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) from 22 to 24 February.

I was also glad to hear from Matt Thomas, our maths PhD student, who really enjoyed helping out at the fair. He told me: "I was pleasantly surprised about the popularity of University of Bath, and during the day I spoke to many different students from different disciplines promoting the University to them. Having been an undergrad at Bath too, I could talk to the students at different levels. They were very interested in hearing a student perspective on the university and hopefully this will encourage a few students to apply at least!"

I’d asked if perhaps one or two of the group could pop along to help me during the weekend fair, so I was quite surprised when the whole group of 7 showed up, willing to help and talk to potential applicants, despite the fact that many of them hadn’t done this before. Normally I would think a stand manned by 8 people is a little excessive, but in fact we were rushed off our feet! The fact that our stand already looked busy helped to draw in more crowds, so we created a good buzz around the Bath stand – something to think about for future events maybe?

It was great to have help from the BUC group and I was so impressed by their willingness to engage with potential applicants.

University of Bath stand at FPP Eduexpo

University of Bath stand at FPP Eduexpo

The following Monday was the first day of the BUC workshop at UNAM, with a mini-conference for the PhD students planned for the afternoon. In the morning I joined forces with Silvia Ruiz Velasco from IIMAS at UNAM, which is the Research Institute for Applied Maths and Systems, to present our postgraduate programmes at UNAM and Bath respectively. Our audience was a mix of maths students from different institutions and levels, and our aim was to make them aware of the opportunities for Masters and PhD study at both institutions, also highlighting the opportunities for exchange of staff and students.

I found it really interesting and rewarding to be able to join forces with maths colleagues and PhD students to ensure that there was some synergy between our activities in international student recruitment and partnership development. This approach really helps to raise our profile in Mexico, and demonstrates our desire to engage on many different levels. This engagement in Mexico is important to key partners like Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT), who fund all of our Mexican PhD and most of our Masters students at Bath (a total of 17 students).

Along with Andreas Kyprianou, Gavin Shaddick and Victor Rivero from the CONACyT research institute for Mathematics (CIMAT), we went to meet with Pablo Rojo Calzada, Director of Scholarships and his team at CONACyT, to tell them more about the BUC workshops, and inform them about the value of doctoral training centres such as SAMBa at Bath. We also invited Pablo to come for a visit to Bath in June for the next BUC workshop and Integrated Think Tank, involving industrial partners.

BUC workshop representatives at UNAM

BUC workshop representatives at UNAM

 

 

International partnership exchange to Stellenbosch University, South Africa

📥  Funding/Scholarship, Research, Visit

At the end of May this year I had the opportunity to visit the University of Stellenbosch for 3 months as part of the Global Partner Research Scholarships (GPRS).

I have spent the time on my PhD which examines the process of low energy recovery and the purification of biofuels and biochemicals from the fermentation media used to produce them.

Currently this process is incredibly energy intensive and hinders the cost comparability of biofuels and biochemicals with crude oil derived products. My PhD research explores membrane separations, a novel method for separating different components of a liquid mixture. When applied to the separation of fermentation products, this method would provide enormous energy and cost savings, which results in an improvement in the efficiency of the overall process.

At the University of Stellenbosch, I focused on two parts of my PhD project.

First, I was in collaboration with Professor Len Barbour in the Department of Chemistry to work on applying novel materials called Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) to these types of separations and the mechanism of separation involved. The collaboration has opened up new avenues for my research looking at applying some of the new materials being studied within the group.

The second part of the project involved working alongside Dr Percy van der Gryp within the Department of Process Engineering. We attempted to apply the MOF membranes to the separation of a fermentation product from water. The work has produced some promising results which we aim to publish in the near future.

Pervaporation rig used for testing the membranes

Pervaporation rig used for testing the membranes

Between running these experiments in South Africa, I had the opportunity to take advantage of some of the great scenery and fantastic surfing.

Beautiful scenery of Stellenbosch

Beautiful scenery of Stellenbosch

Surfing in Stellenbosch

Surfing in Stellenbosch

The trip was a great chance to work with experts from the University of Stellenbosch. It has allowed for my PhD to go in new directions that would not have otherwise been possible.

Chris Davey is a PhD student at the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies working on the low energy recovery of fermentation products using membrane processes with Dr Darrell Patterson and Professor David Leak.

 

Research trip to Ohio State University

📥  Development, Funding/Scholarship, Research, Visit

Travelling to a new country is always an exciting experience, but working in new country, under a new professor, can be daunting.

Once all the necessities had been acquired - visa, accommodation, flights ect. and the final pint had been drunk with my research group, I hopped on a plane, crossing the pond to the USA.

After a connecting flight to the Midwest (which is really still in the east of the States), I landed in Columbus, Ohio.

Getting off a plane in a country where you speak the same language, you might say it is a little less exciting, but that is not to say there aren't language barriers (and people asking you if you have met the Queen). From the minute I stepped off the plane to the moment I got back on to return home, I had an amazing time.

I spent my first day travelling around the university, and you can call it travelling when they have a university bus service solely for navigating the campus. It was nothing like any university I have been to in my life. I was taken on a tour of their 100,000 seat stadium that was home to the American football team.

Ohio State University crest

Ohio State University crest

Ohio Students Union Building

Ohio Students Union Building

Brutus Buckeye the OSU mascot

Brutus Buckeye the OSU mascot

I had a wander around the power station that they use to burn the waste the university produces, and found the library that looks like an only slightly smaller version of the White House. Finishing my tour with the Chemistry Department where I was to work for the next three months. Though this was a department that had four, six story buildings in its arsenal.

The Ohio State University Library

The Ohio State University Library

At the end of my tour I met with my new Professor, Malcolm Chisholm. While touring his lab, we discussed what I was going to work on for the following months. The facilities at their disposal were fantastic, from having eight glove boxes to the personal NMR machine in the basement. We decided that I would be working on the polymerisation of lactide with an aluminium catalyst, which is closely related to my current PhD research under Professor Michael Hill.

The Koffolt Laboratories building

The Koffolt Laboratories building

Several glove boxes in a lab

Several glove boxes in a lab

The following day was my first day in the lab. I met Malcolm’s research group and with their help, I dived straight into work. I can honestly say from my first day in the lab to my last, I had no idea where the time went. It was incredible.

My group showed me the ropes of Columbus, which is an amazing city. They taught me the do's and don’ts and most importantly, how to cross the road without getting arrested. I have to thank them first because my experience of Ohio State University could have been very different without them.

The research that I worked on with PhD students Mathiu and Bala is now in the process of being submitted. Research collaborations between the Chisholm and Hill groups are continuing.

Finally, I have to thank Malcolm and Mike; without them and the Bath International Research Funding Scheme, my trip would not have possible. If this opportunity ever presents itself to you, I highly recommend taking it. It is not just for personal or professional development, but also for the collaborations which help foster the combined knowledge and drive the research forward.

 

Visit by the Hungarian Ambassador

📥  Event, Visit

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.

The Ambassador and Anikó Dobi-Rózsa with Hungarian students

The Ambassador and Anikó Dobi-Rózsa with Hungarian students

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 Ambassador talking to staff and students

The Ambassador talking to staff and students

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.

His Excellency Péter Szabadhegy

His Excellency Péter Szabadhegy

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.