Mekelle University and the Ethiopian Civil Service University have signed new cooperation agreements with the National University of Public Services (NUPS) of Hungary. On the Hungarian NUPS side, Dr. Norbert Kis, Vice-Rector for Continuing Education and International Affairs of NUPS, and on the Ethiopian part, Prof. Fekadu Beyene, President of the Ethiopian Civil Service University, and Dr. Goitom Tegegn, Director General, Head of International Relations at the Mekelle University signed the agreements in Budapest, the Capital of Hungary.
Primarily the agreements concentrate on the organization of joint research programs, conferences and forums, but they leave space for the establishment of common courses as well. The agreement signed with the Ethiopian Civil Service University extends the Erasmus+ program whilst the document shared with the Mekelle University puts a 5-yr cooperation program into action detailing joint scientific and educational activities related to the fields of public administration, public employee training, research and publication.
The said documents are parts of NUPS’ internationalization project allowing students from abroad to attend classes in the framework of the Stipendium Hungaricum and Erasmus+ mobility programs. Dr. Kis said “NUPS is first and foremost committed to cooperation seeing that problems which affect everyone can be solved a lot easier in case we join forces.”
Márk Horváth, present at the event on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade declared that the documents signed will play an integral part of our future as Africa is a rapidly developing continent and is renowned for its excellent diplomacy. The education-oriented contracts will hopefully be followed by economic agreements in the upcoming years.
Solomon Fisseha, head of the Ethiopian delegation welcomed the visit in general given that the Ethiopian government is currently implementing a reform involving the public sector regarding which the Hungarian trip has provided a number of lessons. Fekadu Beyene, President of the Ethiopian Civil Service University (ECSU) expressed his hope of exploring the national cultures as well as the world through the cooperation. “Our work together will turn mirrors into windows” – summed up the director the prospects in a metaphor. Dr. Goitom Tegegn, Director of the Mekelle University agreed to his colleagues and added: education is the key to our future.
Offering state- and regional level training for public servants, the Ethiopian Civil Service University was founded in 1995 and is located in Addis Ababa. As part of the ECSU Vision program it aims to become the leading university of Africa by 2025, creating transparency in the public administration.
Mekelle University lies about 800 kilometers far from the Ethiopian capital and has come to life with the merger of two other institutions of higher education: Mekelle Business College and Mekelle University College in May 2000. The university currently operates with seven faculties and eight institutions, offering 90 bachelor and 70 graduate level programs. Mekelle University has approximately 31,000 students, roughly equaling 10% of Mekelle’s population.
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