Editorial: Lifelong Learning has Lessons for All

Analysis

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Although the theme of our Special Report in this issue is the Automotive Industry, there is also something of an educational strand running through our pages.

There are the ambitious plans of Budapest Metropolitan University, which already claims to be the most significant and most international private university but wants to expand by 40%, taking the total student numbers to 10,000.

Then there’s Corvinus University of Budapest, the first foundation-run higher education establishment in Hungary, and its lofty goal of building a school for the “socially responsible.”

But those are only the most obvious examples. We also report on Allianz Hungária’s research that shows Hungarians are among the least prepared for retirement or coping with healthcare costs in the region. The lesson here is that the population must learn more about self-care and improve their financial literacy, the insurer says.

The national CyberShield program, which seeks to protect civilians and companies alike from the dangers of cybercrime, has expanded with a new authority coming on board. It is a cross-disciplinary approach that could, perhaps should, be used elsewhere. At the core of it is a need to raise awareness about how e-fraudsters work, but what that really boils down to is children learning how to protect their online identity, adults swatting up on how to use online banking safely, and businesses ensuring their staff are adequately trained in cybersecurity, not least what to share and with whom.

The annual GreenTech conference returns for a fourth year at the Zalaegerszeg ZalaZone automotive proving track. The automobile is only a small, if significant, part of what it does, encompassing energy sources, efficiency, and savings, among other things. Hydrogen and nuclear power are also on the agenda.

But a crucial part of what the conference does is reach out to local schools. The aim is to educate and inspire the next generation. In total, some 2,000 students have been given free access to the event. When it comes to saving the planet, you can never start too early.

Automotive players also believe in the maxim, “Get them while they’re young.” The German automakers, in particular, have helped shape teaching methods here by importing the dual education method from their home country. But they are also partnering ever more with universities to help set the curriculum and share real-world R&D projects.

This leads me back to something Anthony Radev, the president of Corvinus, said. We are used to bosses complaining that graduates score highly on book learning and poorly on soft skills. The president thinks CEOs mean that graduates don’t know how their specific businesses work.

“There are 28 sectors in the economy. I cannot prepare people for all 28 sectors in the same depth. But we are willing to bring in people from those sectors so our students see how to apply theoretical frameworks in real life,” he says. Even educators can learn.

Robin Marshall

Editor-in-chief

This editorial was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of May 19, 2023.

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