In late 2021, the Hungary government approved the HEPA Hungarian Export Promotion Agency Zrt.’s (HEPA) initiative to launch a comprehensive training programme aimed at coping with the lack of specialists that the foreign trade industry is currently faced with.
According to the overall feedback of the training experts working in the industry, the number of specialists with real practical experience and appropriate foreign market knowledge has fallen sharply, as nowadays these competencies can only be obtained at tertiary education institutions. There are no educational operators on the market that are capable of the targeted conveyance of this complex knowledge basis from beginner level up. In order to make up for this, the HEPA has been organising trainings from the fall of 2022 on two separate levels: the foreign trade basic training e-learning material has been available free of charge since January 2022, while the export coordinator foreign trade vocational blended training was launched on 30 September 2022.
On 19 October 2022, the University of Óbuda and HEPA concluded a cooperation agreement. This confirms the intent of the parties to jointly support the foreign trade efforts of domestic companies with all the means at their disposal and mutually develop and enhance the educational and research support of the field of export promotion.
At the signing ceremony, Dr. Kristóf Szabó, CEO of the HEPA said that the HEPA maintains extensive ties with universities offering business programmes: a number of professors and highly esteemed instructors are involved in the launch of the foreign trade basic training and the export coordinator trainings. “It is of the utmost importance that the HEPA engage its practical knowledge and acquired experience in university education and to support efforts that would allow university students to earn credits for completing the e-learning courses offered by the HEPA that seamlessly fit into the curriculum”, said Dr. Kristóf Szabó.
The cooperation will extend to a number of joint projects and tenders, along with the mutual exchange of information, applied research, joint research workshops, organizing traineeships and apprenticeships, professional networking, establishing joint intern programmes and professional events as well as promoting the services of the HEPA at the university. “Furthermore, it is in our best interests for the HEPA to attend the University’s annual career fairs,” added the CEO of the HEPA.
The rector of the Óbuda University, Prof. Dr. habil. Levente Kovács lauded the agreement and explained that the primary goal of the cooperation is to mobilize the university’s and the HEPA’s theoretical and practical knowledge base and contacts for the sake of their shared professional objectives, in particular, to forward the practical application and marketisation of the research and development results. The cooperation will provide students with further opportunities in the fields of economy, trade and business studies.
“The recent, over two-and-a-half year long period has shown that in the current international situation fraught with uncertainties, investing in innovation, the future and higher education is the most reliable way of achieving breakthroughs,” explained Prof. Dr. habil. Levente Kovács, emphasizing that the University of Óbuda has always been doing the utmost to adapt to our rapidly changing world and deliver innovative work in order to strengthen the domestic economy.
The Óbuda University is a key institution in domestic higher education offering an intellectual background, opportunities for innovation and outstanding research results, which the university would like to globally promote as extensively as possible. The university’s rector added that this is precisely what the cooperation seeks to achieve.