Leaders of the Central Bank of Hungary (MNB), Corvinus University of Budapest and Fudan University of Shanghai have signed a trilateral partnership agreement to launch a new MBA programme to be jointly delivered by the universities. The new partnership forms an integral part of the process whereby Hungary and its Central Bank promotes China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, also known as the birth of the new Silk Road.

 

The Central Bank of Hungary (MNB), Shanghai’s Fudan University and Corvinus University of Budapest have partnered to offer, with MNB’s professional support, an MBA programme awarding graduates a Fudan-Corvinus issued dual MBA. The new program will launch in February 2019 in Budapest, as the first Chinese academic programme in the region. The official signing took place in the House of Wisdom, at the new seat of MNB’s foundations, at the Pre-Forum Session of the Shanghai Forum 2019 Conference event, co-hosted by MNB, Fudan University of Shanghai and Pallas Athena Domus Sapientiae Foundation.

‘Hungary and the Central and Eastern European countries act as a bridge between Europe and China. This region has proven that over the past few years it has become a small but well-functioning engine for the growth of the European Union’ said György Matolcsy, President of the Central Bank of Hungary in his opening speech, as reported by MTI news agency. ‘With this joint academic programme we aim to train talented students, enabling them to gain career-enhancing knowledge to become top-notch professionals. This programme is another step in the process whereby Hungary and the Hungarian Central Bank promotes China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, in other words the birth of the new Silk Road,’ he added. In his speech the MNB president highlighted that the collaboration between the Hungarian and the Chinese universities is the next building block towards the construction of the New Silk Road.

‘This higher education collaboration is a new element of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Hungary. The programme’s launch was first announced at the occasion of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s visit to China,’ said Levente Magyar, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. ‘We already have primary schools in Hungary that offer Chinese language education to our children, and we are planning to open secondary school offering a Chinese language program in the near future. The collaboration of the two countries is intensifying in the higher education a well,’ he added.

‘The collaboration between the two universities was co-ordinated by the Central Bank of Hungary, and the new programme will bring the relationship to a superior level between two universities each internationally recognised in its own right,’ said Duan Jielong, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Budapest. ‘A direct flight between Shanghai and Budapest is expected to be launched next year,’ he added.

Orsolya Pacsay-Tomassich, State Secretary for International Affairs at the Ministry of Human Capacities said ‘Fudan is one of the most prestigious Chinese universities whose mission involves training European professionals who would gain a proper understanding of the real challenges China is facing and would strive to produce real solutions.’ She added ‘The growing number of Chinese students studying in training programmes offered by Hungarian higher education institutions demonstrates that the relations between the Hungarian and Chinese higher education are strong and steady.

László György, State Secretary for Economic Planning and Regulation at the Ministry for Innovation and Technology pointed out that in the 21th century innovation and technological change will be the driving forces globally, with China and its science and engineering professionals being the world’s technology powerhouse. ‘The bilateral relationship between the two countries has a long history, as demonstrated by the fact that in 1949 Hungary was the very first state to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China,’ said the State Secretary.

‘Next year’s Shanghai Forum will address the global issues faced by the world today, and György Matolcsy, President of the Central Bank of Hungary will be a guest of the forum,‘ said Chen Zhimin, Vice President of Fudan University. He noted that Hungary was among the first states to embrace China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. He emphasised the fact that the new MBA training is Fudan University’s first study programme launched outside China.

András Lánczi, Rector of Corvinus University of Budapest emphasised in his speech that the countless and manifold encounters of the Chinese and the European culture is a centuries-long historical phenomenon, and the new programme forms part of this process. He noted that the joint training programme of Fudan University and Corvinus will be launched next spring.

The opening ceremony was followed by a panel discussion introducing a specialist conference, co-chaired by Executive Director of the MNB Dániel Palotai and Dean of the Economics Department of Fudan University Zhang Jun. During the discussion, lecturers from Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic addressed the role of Central and Eastern Europe in the new world order. The participants included Piotr Szpunar, Director of the Economic Analysis Department of the Polish National Bank, Lucia Husenicová, Director of the Institute of Asian Studies of Bratislava, and Jeremy A. Garlick, Assistant Professor at the University of Economics of Prague.

Shanghai Forum is an internationally recognised annual symposium held each may since its launch in 2005. The event is co-hosted by Fudan University and the South Korean think tank Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies, and receives strong support from the Ministries of Trade and Education of the People’s Republic of China and the Municipality of Shanghai. In 2017 the President of the Central Bank of Hungary, György Matolcsy gave a keynote address at the event, and as part of the official programme MNB and Fudan University co-hosted a panel discussion both in 2017 and in 2018.

Photo: András Lánczi, Rector of Corvinus University of Budapest, György Matolcsy, President of the Central Bank of Hungary and Chen Zhimin, Vice President of Fudan University (Courtesy of: MTI)