Business Degree Programs in Central Europe

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This article considers Business Degree Programs in English at the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Pécs

History of Business Degree Programs at the Faculty of Business and Economics[edit]

The Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Pécs (legal predecessor: Janus Pannonius University) was established in 1970 as a filial of Karl Marx University of Economics in Budapest. The Faculty became a legally separate entity in 1975 when it became a Faculty of Janus Pannonius University. The Faculty’s operation continued successfully and it became the second largest school of business and economics. The focus of teaching and research though was from the beginning on business, economics was and is rigorously taught but as basis and not the main focus.

After transition in 1990 the Faculty started to develop fast and also started to build international relations both in Europe and in the United States. Movement of lecturers and students started to become quite common and new needs emerged in the economy.

The BA in Business Administration Program (BABA) was launched in September 1996 by the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Pécs The principal rationale for the development of an English Language taught Business Administration Program was twofold.

On side the Faculty of Business and Economics had for the 21 years of its existence had offered a five year Business Studies degree (that could be regarded as undergraduate and graduate program combination) taught in Hungarian, and the BABA Program was part of a long line of innovative degree courses offered by the Faculty of Business and Economics to maintain its position as market leader in the Hungarian educational market place. Furthermore, in line with the University of Pécs and the Faculty’s interest in widening student experience and promoting links with overseas institutions, the Faculty offered opportunities for students to study either in Europe or North America, on a learner exchange basis with other English Language based Programs. These opportunities were either European Union based, such as the TEMPUS and later the Erasmus Programs, or were US based, such as the relationship with Ohio University. Pécs both sent students to study at Ohio University or received students from above for shorter Programs such as the Global Competitiveness Program. This program is an innovative approach towards teaching at Ohio University when they send students’ groups abroad to several countries to work together with students of the host country and to solve real – life business problems together. Pécs received these students continuously from 1991.

The key requirement for the international strategy of the Faculty was to enhance the student’s learning environment by bringing into the University of Pécs an international student base and also offer its local students an opportunity to travel and study abroad.

The other reason for the development of an undergraduate degree program in English was to address the longer term need of the Hungarian economy. Starting in 1991, the University of Pécs initiated a Masters in Business Administration Program (MBA). This has been achieved with the support and co-operation of a number of schools in Europe, particularly Middlesex University, but also by way of the experience that lecturers and administrators obtained during their longer or shorter periods abroad in Europe and the US. However, the University of Pécs recognised that the longer term needs of industry and the Hungarian economy was dependent on the continuous supply of “home-grown” skilled labour force, and the BABA Program was developed to address this need. To enable the “home-grown” strategy to work, it was important for the University of Pécs to have a program that was internationally recognised and attractive to both home and foreign students, and taught in an accepted international business language.

The reason for the choice of the international partner was a long-term cooperation with a higher educational institution that had enormous growth potential, willingness to internationalize and last but not least procedures of validation could be managed, as both partner schools were in Europe. The Faculty of Business and Economics and Middlesex University had a long-time cooperation starting in 1991 and continuously going on ever since. There had been participation in joint European programs, such as TEMPUS and Erasmus, British Council based faculty and students exchange, joint research. This cooperation now in 2008 has a 17 years history, solid operations and hopefully a secure future. Leadership at both schools is keen on future cooperation and provides solid support for the English language programs and other activities (like faculty and student exchanges).

The undergraduate program: Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration[edit]

The BABA program was therefore designed with both short term requirements as well as longer term objectives. The underlying philosophy of the program was that students would follow an accelerated track of study that would enable them to make useful contributions to the business organisations which they would join upon successfully completion of their study. The purpose of the BABA Program was to provide a relevant education platform in order to prepare the students for careers in business. Its central concern was with the development of knowledge and skills required for the analysis of business problems and for the formulation and implementation of business strategies.

Bachelor of Arts Honours in Business Administration | Structure[edit]

Year 1[edit]

Spring Semester

  • Quantitative Methods I.,
  • Psychology and Sociology,
  • Microeconomics,
  • Information Systems

Winter Semester

  • Quantitative Methods II.,
  • Macroeconomics,
  • Introduction to Accounting,
  • EU/Business Law

Year 2[edit]

Spring Semester

  • Foundation Marketing,
  • Organisational Behaviour,
  • Business Finance,
  • Operational Research

Winter Semester

  • Business Statistics,
  • Human Resource Management,
  • International Business,
  • Option Set 1

Year 3[edit]

Spring Semester*

  • Strategic Management,
  • Banking and Finance,
  • Business Economics,
  • Option Set 2

Winter Semester*

  • Investments,
  • Operations Management,
  • Option Set 3
  • Option Set 3
  • In the 5th and 6th semester students are required to take Project Module 1 and 2 (PJM13101; PJM13202), which assist them in the preparation of their thesis. In the 5th semester student must attend 6 hours of classes. The final grade for this module is the average of the grade given by the consultant (Faculty member, who coaches the student in the selected theme) and the final grade of the thesis.

The graduate program in business administration: Master of Science in Applied Management[edit]

In launching the undergraduate degree program - the BABA - a further need was identified and recognised by the University of Pécs that an opportunity for students to extend their studies to a Master level and taught in English should be made available. Surveys of exit students from the undergraduate degree (BABA) indicated their desire to continue their studies at a Master’s level after completion of their undergraduate studies. In compliance with the demand for such courses, the University of Pécs made a decision in October 1997 to launch a Masters level business degree commencing in September 1999. The Master of Science in International Business Management (MScIBM) was conceived as a means for students to develop beyond the undergraduate level. This program had undergone the required revalidation process in 2004 and now is being run under a different name: Master of Science in Applied Management.

Master of Science in Applied Management | Structure[edit]

Year 1[edit]

Spring Semester

  • Advanced Accounting
  • European Law and Business Ethics
  • Leadership and International Management
  • Advanced Operations Management
  • Business Language

Winter Semester

  • Knowledge Management
  • Strategic Human Resource Management
  • Global Marketing
  • E-Business
  • Language

Year 2[edit]

Spring Semester

  • Research Methods Management
  • Finance Cases
  • Option A
  • Option A
  • Action Learning

Winter Semester

  • Strategic Management
  • Change Management
  • Option B
  • Option B
  • Dissertation

Some general characteristics of both programs BABA and MSC in Applied management[edit]

Both the BABA and MSc Programs have undergone serious and continuous quality control and consistent supervision by the validation body of Middlesex University. Also the experience obtained during the course of the development and continuation of the programs have fed back to them together with the international experience of the home and guest lecturers. Both programs traditionally hosted a number of international visitors from Europe and the United States. The strategy of the leadership of the programs is that every class in every year has at least one guest lecturer for a minimum of two weeks but longer – month and semester long stays were also encouraged and carried through. (Professor William Lamb, Ohio University, Professor James Nimnicht two times from Central Washington University, Professor Allen Engle and Mike Roberson from Eastern Kentucky University, Professor Hugh Spall from Central Washington University, Professor Geoffrey Wood from the University of Sheffield, just to name a few)

Both programs had successfully completed revalidation procedures by the validating institution, Middlesex University, the BABA two times in 2001 and 2006, the MSc in 2004, and they were once also subject to an interim Quality Assurance Committee visit. Both programs have recently passed the scrutiny of the Hungarian Accreditation Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences so they are state accredited programs in Hungary. All these assessments were successfully completed and the Faculty and the programs got the highest evaluations.

The Faculty of Business and Economics is allowed to hand out on completion of these programs two certificates one Hungarian and one English, so after five years of study a student can obtain four certificates of business studies and two state recognized certificates of foreign language knowledge (in Hungary a master level degree in business cannot be acquired without having two foreign language exams).

PhD studies at the Faculty of Business and Economics[edit]

The Faculty of Business and Economics is also unique in the continuation of higher level of studies in the light that there are two PhD schools at the Faculty and at one of them studies can be carried out in English. There is a PhD School of Business Administration – here studies can be carried on in English: International PhD program in Business Administration. There is another PhD school the name is: PhD program in Regional Politics and Economics.

External links[edit]