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Professionalism, meritocracy and client-orientation: Interview with our President Anthony Radev

An original KÖZGAZDÁSZ ONLINE post.

Not so long ago our institution started a major transformation - this essential metamorphosis will offer myriad of opportunities to all students, professors and university staff. What effects will the change have on the university citizens and what will happen to the courses? This is an interview with Anthony Radev, President of CUB which will give you an insight on the values and everyday implications of the transformation.

You also were a student of Corvinus. Why did you choose this university and what was your major?

The choice of school depends on a lot of factors: your abilities, interests, talents, goals. Humans are created with the will to understand the world, we strive for happiness. When you put all these factors together – priorities, goals, interests, talent, abilities – into one matrix, something will come out of it. In my case it was the science of economics, but getting into Corvinus was by accident. In retrospect, it became obvious that in socialist times one of the homes to free thinking in economics was Hungary. Hungarians have always been curious and tried to think critically about reality. This was not entirely allowed but out of all the socialist countries Hungary was the most tolerant, for example in the Colleges for Advanced Studies. I was able to meet people who were critical about the system.

What were the values in those days and are there any similar values left nowadays at Corvinus?

In those days nobody talked about values. Value systems were associated with religious faith. Freedom of speech, of thinking and civilized discourse are embodiments of values and not values in themselves.

Are there any values today at Corvinus that are characteristic of educators and students?

I am constantly learning about the culture of Corvinus. What I see and experience here and also would like to be aligned to together is two central values: professionalism and meritocracy. Professionalism in the sense that we focus on the interests of the client. And the clients are you, the students. And in an indirect sense, also the institutions and companies that give you jobs, that is, the employers.

I would like to set up a value system that ensures that everything we do, every decision we make will serve the best interests of our clients. The second on our priority list is our, Corvinus’s interests and the third place goes to personal interests, that is, those of teachers, research fellows and other members of staff. Meritocracy is based on performance and nothing else. Regardless of your background or social status, the only thing that matters is talent and achievement.

Let’s discuss the practical aspects of the transformation. What will the renewal process bring about? How will the students be affected?

The best university has two main features: it has the best students and the best teachers. Our position is not too bad. 78 percent of high school leavers who wish to study economics and carry a score over 450 points do pick Corvinus. We have the best students from Hungary, and now we wish to expand to the whole region. We aim to attract students of similar skills and caliber from the neighboring countries to make the university more international.

Are there courses that will be shut down or revamped?

The education development team is working on this. It is important to remember that the aim of the Bachelor level programs is to improve basic competencies, for example problems solving, critical thinking, cooperation, success orientation, communication skills. Master’s level education aims at giving a more concentrated knowledge in a specific area. The current structure results in a lot of overlaps and everybody is trying to build their own sandcastles. Even though all the 8 Bachelor’s courses teach the same, they are not structured in a way that there is a general basic course supplemented with specializations. A renowned, top quality university, the WU (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien) has three main courses at Bachelor level: two in German and one in English, supplemented by special courses. Meanwhile here, we seem to have the cart pulling the horse.

Even if not entirely following the Vienna example, we are also planning a simpler and cleaner bachelor level portfolio, and then we can build the substantially and methodologically renewed Master’s training on these basic level courses. As far as the specialized training field is concerned, we also have several courses that attract a small number of people. We want these shorter courses to give high quality responses to the latest market and scientific trends. Here, the key to success is high quality and fast response to demand.

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  - Emily Brontë


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