Expanding Research and Educational Collaboration with Sunway University

After a Memorandum of Understanding between Sunway University (SU), Malaysia and the University of Debrecen (UD) was signed a year ago, several educational and research projects have started between the Centre for English Language Studies, SU (CELS) and our Faculty of Humanities/Institute of English and American Studies (UD), also accompanied by staff exchange facilitated by an Erasmus+ contract.

Building on this relationship and with the aim of exploring further areas of collaboration, Péter Csatár (Deputy Dean for Strategy and Finance at the Faculty of Humanities) and Balázs Venkovits (director of the Institute of English and American Studies) visited Sunway University between 6 and 10 November. As part of this visit they met faculty and students of the Centre for English Language Studies and discussed opportunities for scholarly and educational cooperation with representatives of the university, while also participating in the Global Partners Day organized by Sunway with 24 universities from all over the world.
Balázs Venkovits: “We started an intercultural learning project last year in which students in Debrecen and at Sunway work together on video projects interactively exploring each other’s cultures, while also improving essential skills. The research on intercultural competence related to this project has already produced papers at international conferences and journal articles and we are looking forward to continuing this project, making it even more international next year.”

Associate Professor Tamás Kiss (a graduate of UD, now working at Sunway) has played a key role in this collaboration: “Sunway University and Debrecen University are similar in our prioritization of efforts to be world class research universities. International research collaborations such as this contribute to this goal while also contributing to our vision that cutting-edge higher education should be based on empirical research findings. As an alumnus of Debrecen University, I am proud that I can contribute to the success of both universities.”

Nicholas Lee, Head of the Centre for English Language Studies and the English for Specific Academic Purposes Unit: “What we are striving for at Sunway University is to provide our students with a holistic education which equips them with the most relevant skills and knowledge in their chosen fields and prepares them for their future professional lives. Intercultural communication and collaboration with learners from another cultural context provide valuable skills and experiences; in this, our aims and goals align with those of the University of Debrecen. Projects like the one with UD contribute to Sunway University’s achievement as the top Malaysian university in graduate employment in the past two years”

Representatives of our faculty audited classes to learn about best practices, held meetings about the ongoing intercultural project, introduced UD and the Stipendium Hungaricum program to students, and also explored opportunities for cooperation with the Sunway School of Hospitality and School of Arts. Besides these meetings, they also had the chance to meet other local universities as well as foreign institutions, among others, from the US, UK, China, and Australia.

Péter Csatár: “Sunway University is one of the most successful private universities in Malaysia and the region and a valuable partner for our faculty in many ways. The discussions with the university and other institutions have revealed several potential links between the Faculty of Humanities and other faculties of our university, which can be used as a basis for joint teaching and research projects. The opportunity to participate in the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship program will hopefully increase the number of Malaysian students coming to our university.”

Based on the discussions held during the one-week visit, the partner institutions look forward to continuing and expanding their collaboration, contributing to joint research and educational programs, as well as faculty, and hopefully, student exchange.

Press Centre