On June 25, Armenian State Pedagogical University hosted a Hungarian delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary Zsolt Semjén.
The guests paid tribute to the ASPU students who died in the Second Artsakh War, bowing to the khachkar (cross-stone) erected in their memory. Afterwards, they got acquainted with the possibilities of the three faculties of the university. The Hungarian delegates also visited the exhibition hall of the Faculty of Fine Arts where they admired the works of Armenian specialists and participated in a meeting attended by ASPU students and members of the ASPU Academic Council.
The Hungarian deputy PM is a graduate of Pázmány Péter Catholic University (PPCU) which was founded in the 17th century. In 2016, PPCU and ASPU signed a cooperation agreement aimed at promoting cooperation and academic exchange between the two universities.
ASPU Rector Ruben Mirzakhanyan considered one of the greatest achievements of the bilateral cooperation the fact that ASPU still remains the only higher education institution in Armenia which grants two diplomas to its graduates. It is due to mention that in 2016 a department of Armenian Studies was officially opened at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University which is one of a kind in the history of independent Armenia. Many Hungarian students have been specializing in Armenology (Armenian Studies) during these years. In addition, about two dozen students of the Pedagogical University have studied at PPCU and participated in summer schools in Hungary.
In his speech, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary Zsolt Semjén noted that Hungary is comparatively ‘younger’ than Armenia, but the histories of the two countries are very similar, and the Armenian people and Armenian culture have played a significant role in the life of his country.
Once again emphasizing the cooperation between the two universities and the importance of the Chair of Armenology, the Hungarian official assured the Armenian side that in the near future more Armenian students will have the opportunity to study at Pázmány Péter Catholic University.
Professor of Armenian Studies Dr. Balint Kovacs, who heads the Chair of Armenian Studies at PPCU, said although the Chair is comparatively new, it has been very active in the past five years and has still a lot of work to do.
Edgar Hovhannisyan, Dean of the Faculty of History and Social Sciences at ASPU, said although they encountered a number of difficulties at the beginning of cooperation, he hopes the Chair will continue to serve its purpose for many years to come.
By the decision of the ASPU Academic Council, Ruben Mirzakhanyan awarded a “Pedagogical University” medal to Mr. Zsolt Semjén and Tristan Azbej, the State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and the Hungary Helps Program.
As during the previous visits, the Hungarian delegation was received by Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II who conveyed his Patriarchal blessing to the Hungarian guests.