Croatian Day Strengthens University Relations in Pécs




Croatian Day at the University of Pécs was more than just a celebration of culture; it was a platform for fostering meaningful collaborations and forging strong bonds between academic institutions. The event, held on 8th May as part of the University of Pécs's International Seasons initiative, brought together leaders from the University of Pécs, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, and University North for a roundtable discussion.

At the heart of Croatian Day was the emphasis on strengthening relationships between the participating universities. Representatives from the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek and University North engaged in discussions with their counterparts from the University of Pécs about potential collaborations and future endeavors. One of the main focuses of the event was to explore avenues for inter-university cooperation in various fields, including education, research, and student exchange programs. By sharing ideas and expertise, the universities aim to enrich academic experiences and create opportunities for mutual growth and development.

Professor István Tarrósy, director of the International Centre at the University of Pécs, highlighted the importance of fostering strong ties between universities across borders. „Events like Croatian Day provide a platform for meaningful dialogue and collaboration," he said. „By coming together, we can explore new possibilities and work towards a brighter future for our students and communities."

State Secretary Gabor Mayer emphasized the government's unwavering support for regional development and academic collaboration, stating, 

Collaboration among universities is vital for driving innovation and fostering economic growth. 

The Ministry is committed to facilitating partnerships that contribute to the advancement of regional development goals."

Professor Sonja Vila, Vice-Rector For Science, Technology, Projects, and International Cooperation at Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, underscored the significance of collaboration, noting, „We should collaborate even I will present just a few facts about our university and city because the city is also important for the future student, and it also should have something that will attract them for their stay at university."

Vila's presentation shed light on Osijek's rich history and cultural heritage, including its status as the fourth-largest city in Croatia and its pivotal role as the center of East Croatia. She highlighted Osijek's economic prowess, particularly in the agricultural and IT industries, while also showcasing the city's natural beauty and recreational offerings. The professor expressed a commitment to learning from partner institutions and expanding English-language study programs to appeal to a global audience.

Reflecting on the proximity and shared history between the institutions, Professor Marin Milković, Rector of University North expressed optimism about the potential for enhanced cooperation. „We are not just close geographically, but also historically, with a shared past dating back nearly 500 years. While past collaborations may have been limited, I believe that today marks the beginning of a stronger partnership," he remarked.

Highlighting the significance of University of Pécs in the region, he underscored the potential for fruitful collaboration, particularly in areas such as academia and research. „We have had some good cooperation with other universities in Hungary, but 

given University of Pécs's standing and resources, I believe they will be our strongest partner. Universities serve as the cornerstone for fostering cooperation between countries and re-establishing connections from the past," he concluded.

As part of the festivities, various activities were organized, including the Friendship 3x3 Basketball Cup and a Futsal Cup. These sporting events provided opportunities for students from different universities to come together, compete, and build camaraderie on the court. Beyond sports, a cultural event was also held, showcasing the rich heritage and traditions of Croatia.

Overall, Croatian Day at the University of Pécs was a resounding success, bringing together students, faculty, and staff from different universities to celebrate friendship, sportsmanship, and cultural diversity. As the event concluded, participants left with a renewed sense of camaraderie and a shared commitment to furthering inter-university collaboration in the years to come.

If you want to know more about the International Seasons and its future events like Croatian Day, be sure to check out their Facebook page for updates and information on upcoming activities and collaborations.

Written by Mercédesz Kovács-Csincsák