My latest visit to Cluj/Kolozsvar provided a chance to get to know the university students and staff there better. My previous visits to the city had been either in mid-summer or mid-winter when universities were not in session, so it was good to see just how much of a "student town" Kolozsvar really is, and also how much it is growing in that role.
I had two educational involvements: a public lecture at Babes-Bolyai University on the topic of "Education and Mobility", a pretty contentious issue right now as the European Union and many of its member states try to sort out what their priorities really are. I enjoyed the sustained questions both from students and staff of the University, and also the high degree of understanding of the issues of education and mobility that intimately relate to the even "hotter" questions of employment and immigration.
My second engagement was to lead eight hours of seminars in higher education policy convened by the Budapest-based Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC). This was my third series of seminars on higher education policy with MCC students, and I have found them excellent to work with in every regard. Although some students have only been in their initial undergraduate years, while others are more mature postgraduates, they have all quickly picked up the key policy issues and engaged in informed and imaginative debate. I can only admire the English-language skills of these students, who are all using their second, third or - sometimes - fourth language.
I hope to continue the involvement with MCC, both in Budapest and in Kolozsvar. I always learn such a lot from these seminars. And they update and enrich the understanding of Eastern Europe that I initially gained as a Hungarian Government Scholar way back in the early 1980s.
Rector and Chief Executive
London Metropolitan University