PM Lee conferred with Honorary Doctorate in Hungary


Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong said on Wednesday he sees great potential in the relationship between Singapore and Hungary as the city state steps up its engagement with central and eastern European countries.

Lee was speaking after receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Science from one of Hungary 's most prestigious universities, Eötvös Loránd University. The degree is significant at a personal level for the prime minister as the university is the alma mater of his former professor who taught him Mathematics when he was a student at Cambridge University.

Highlighting education as a key priority for Singapore's cooperation with Hungary , Lee said Singapore has a lot to learn in terms of research and development. He said: „ Hungary has world-class expertise in research, science and technology. There have been 19 Nobel Prize winners of Hungarian origin in medicine, physics, chemistry and economics. „Many inventions and discoveries which we take for granted in modern life were made by Hungarian-born scientists. These are remarkable contributions by Hungary to the world.”

Lee added that Hungary is an important partner as Singapore explores opportunities in central and eastern Europe. „Let us find creative ways to partner each other, maximize our resources and grow our relationship. Let us work together to benefit from each other's strengths and contribute to the prosperity and progress of both our peoples,” he said. PM Lee also managed to catch up with Professor Béla Bollobás who remembers his former student fondly.

Prof Bollobás said: „I've always loved his decisiveness; he was always full of smiles. What I really love (about) him was his power, his good nature, his very smiley nature, his decisiveness, his inventiveness. „He was not one of these zombie mathematicians, not one of these wimp mathematicians. He had both feet on the ground. He behaved as a very determined man, even in those days.”

To encourage more exchanges between Singaporean and Hungarian students, a new Singapore International Graduate Award (SINGA) has been introduced for international students to do their PhD training in Singapore's multi-disciplinary environment. A total of 240 SINGA Awards will be given out every year to top students from all over the world. (channelnewsasia)

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