Two public sociology students will take up study opportunities at a Hungarian university as part of a new scholarship exchange programme between Edinburgh and Budapest. The programme was developed by the Hungarian Embassy and Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh to celebrate the legacy of Saint Margaret, one of the most loved women from Scottish and Hungarian history.
Caitlin McDowell and Ellen Rahm, third year students on the BSc (Hons) Public Sociology at Queen Margaret University, will travel to Budapest in the New Year to begin a three month study period at Corvinus University. In the future, the exchange programme will also allow students living in Hungary to study at QMU and experience life in Scotland’s capital city.
In 2014, Queen Margaret University was the first university in Scotland to launch a BSc (Hons) Public Sociology. Caitlin and Ellen, who are both in their third year of the undergraduate degree at QMU, will not only benefit from studying at Corvinus University, they will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Hungarian culture, which will undoubtedly add to their overall learning experience.
Dr Richard Butt, Deputy Principal of Queen Margaret University, said: “We are delighted to have worked with the Hungarian Embassy to create this partnership with Corvinus University. This educational exchange programme, and the transcultural learning it will enable, are entirely consistent with the life and values of Queen Margaret herself.”
Dr Tamas Pesuth, Director of International Relations of Corvinus University, said: “We are very pleased to be part of this educational exchange programme with Queen Margaret University. I believe that through programmes like this, not only knowledge is transferred, but culture as well. It is also prosperous from a career perspective since cultural competence is a key skill for the labour market of the 21st century. Students partaking in this programme are very important in preserving and further fostering the relations between Hungary and the UK.”
Hungarian Ambassador, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, said: “I am grateful to all our partners and to all the patrons who helped us launch the Queen Margaret Legacy Programme. Through their generous support we enable two students to see for themselves how amazing it is to live and study in Hungary in Central Europe. The students will enhance their experiences and learn new skills and both Hungary and Scotland will benefit from stronger people-to-people contacts between our nations.”
The official partnership between Queen Margaret University and the Hungarian Embassy was formed in recognition of the fact that QMU takes its name from Margaret, Queen Consort of King Malcolm Canmore of Scotland, who was born in Hungary in the 11th century.
She was known to be a fine scholar with a formidable intellectual capacity, who often debated the affairs of state with the King's noble and clerical advisers. As a deeply religious woman, Queen Margaret was concerned with works of mercy and giving and particularly with the care of the poor. As a result, she was canonised as saint in 1250.
The name Queen Margaret was incorporated into QMU’s title in 1972 because she was seen to personify the institution’s key values of serving the community, enhancing the quality of life, and taking practical action. Queen Margaret’s philosophy of social justice and her ability to identify what changes were required in society still resonates today and her name is reflected in the titles of a number of organisations with social purposes, including QMU.
Dr Butt concluded: “We are delighted that the first students are about to embark on this exciting Hungarian study opportunity through the Queen Margaret Legacy Programme. Not only will this partnership create a culturally rich and career enhancing learning experience for students, it will also create a further link between Scotland and Hungary.”
Notes to Editor
For more information on the history of Queen Margaret and why QMU is named after her, visit: www.qmu.ac.uk/about-the-university/history/margaret-saint-and-queen-consort
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