Debrecen Summer University opened for its 91st year on Monday, with 183 students from 37 countries attending with the purpose of studying Hungarian as a foreign language and learning about Hungarian culture and history.
Most of the students are Chinese, Polish and American, and the oldest student attending is 79, while the youngest is 10.
Szabolcs Komolay (Fidesz-KDNP), the eastern Hungarian city’s deputy mayor for cultural affairs, said: “It’s important that people here get a picture of how Hungarians, Hungary and Debrecen are seen in the wider world.”
László Csernoch, the University of Debrecen’s vice-rector, noted that the university is home to the summer course and thereby promotes the Hungarian language, culture, history, “and perhaps something of Hungarian mindset”.
Not only have the number of participants risen this year but more scholarships have been handed out, too, with almost 100 students receiving support.
Péter Szaffko, the summer university’s head, said the fact that most students came from China was no accident, since the University of Debrecen currently operates four Chinese higher-education institutions.
On the opening day, a memorial was unveiled in the main building to mark the 125th birth anniversary of János Hankiss, the summer university’s founder.
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