University values: what, why and how?

In recent years, many countries have gone through a large-scale, societal reflection on democratic values. For universities, this development implies that particular attention must be paid to safeguarding values such as academic freedom, university autonomy and freedom of expression. In order to remain environments that are defined by openness, freedom of thought and enquiry, and scientific rigour, universities must embrace their societal responsibility, foster a culture of academic integrity and engage in partnerships that both further their strategic objectives and honour their principles and values.

The 2022 EUA Annual Conference provided a platform to discuss which values shape the missions and strategic objectives of Europe’s universities and how these values help to guide their activities. Through plenary and breakout sessions of various formats, including audience participation, the conference also provided insights into the measures universities can take to ensure that their values are understood and lived individually and collectively. Finally, the event invited the audience to reflect on and share measures to uphold academic values even in a context of mounting external pressures.

The event was of interest to institutional leaders (rectors, vice-rectors and heads of administration), higher education researchers and analysts, as well as representatives of other bodies involved in educational policy.

In case of questions, please contact

Watch the Spotlight on Ukraine session:









Watch the Official Opening and Plenary Session I: Academic freedom – from policy to reality










Welcome from the rector

rsz 1bme rector tibor czigany photoo

The Budapest University of Technology and Economics is celebrating its 240th academic year. A great anniversary for the institution educating many generations of engineers and other professionals. BME focuses on both education and research and understands the importance of both scientific and teaching excellence, along with academic values withstanding times and eras.

Our international partnerships in Europe and globally are considered key elements to uphold these values. This is why we were original signatories of the Magna Charta Universitatum in 1988 and contributed to and then signed its 2020 format. Also for this reason, we are honored to host the 2022 European University Association's annual meeting at our institution. We understand the importance of the largest university organization in Europe, which ensures a coherent and unified representation of higher education institutions in a world where strong joint academic appearance is necessary on the higher education horizon and beyond. The values we represent are stable in the long run despite all interferences, such as the current pandemic and several other factors that create challenges constantly for our institutional structures, methodologies and our people. What assists us in the preparation to tackle all these is the frequent international and national exchange of experiences and best practices, and sharing the results of our teaching, research and innovation.

I do hope that our conference will be held with the possibility for face-to-face participation of the EUA community including new candidates for membership. With these thoughts, I invite and welcome all participants to the 2022 EUA annual meeting, which will be held at the BME in Budapest. Together with our colleagues, we make sure to provide the highest quality professional meeting organization so you can have a great exchange of information and experience traditional Hungarian hospitality.

Tibor Czigány




Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME)

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Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) was founded in 1782 and it has been regarded as Hungary’s number one technical higher education institution for nearly 240 years. BME has been offering outstanding professional knowledge and extraordinary technical solutions to respond to various challenges. Its operation and high-standard of academic achievement greatly contribute to the country’s present and future economic performance.

At the university’s eight faculties and 76 departments, there are as many as 1,200 lecturers teaching 5,000 subjects and 10,000 courses each semester. Professionals graduating from BME have a strong theoretical and scientific background and, equipped with relevant economic and domain-based competences, they also have the capacity to apply holistic approaches in understanding various processes. BME's menu of training programs is constantly expanding, partly by relying on the needs signaled by the market and the industries, and also by keeping abreast of the latest trends in technology.

Being Hungary's number one institution providing training in the fields of technology, natural science, and economics is also justified by its prestigious position in the Hungarian higher education rankings, the average score of those admitted to the university, the number of applicants holding language exams, and the number of teachers with a PhD.

With its regular high-ranking positions (between 200 and 800), BME is among the top universities (2-6%) globally. BME’s programs provide opportunities for Hungarian students to study at foreign universities or go abroad to work and, in turn, BME’s foreign language programs attract an increasing number of students from across the world. Students arriving from foreign countries, totaling nearly 2,300 this academic year, represent over 12% of BME’s enrolment, and graduates of 2020 were from over 30 countries.




BME BudapestBudapest is the capital city of Hungary, as well as its political, economic and cultural centre. A rich history and innovative future merge here, resulting in a beautiful and livable city for 1.7 million inhabitants. Due to its unique natural and architectural factors it is one of the most popular European tourist destinations. With an excellent railway connection to Vienna, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Prague, Munich, or even Zurich, and by direct flights from many big cities across Europe, Budapest can be reached easily, without a stopover.

Visitors come to admire the Parliament building, Heroes’ Square, Saint Stephen’s Basilica, the Castle District of Buda, or the Synagogue in Dohány Street – the largest synagogue in Europe. Once in Budapest, you may also relax in any of the famous thermal baths, as our capital is blessed with an abundance of hot springs.

For lovers of culture, numerous theatre halls offer excellent programmes, while the splendid buildings of Müpa (Palace of Arts) and Zeneakadémia (Music Academy) are the main venues for classical music fans. Grab a Lángos with garlic for an authentic street food experience or visit one of the Michelin-starred restaurants; to taste Hungarian cuisine, you can choose from a wide variety of restaurants and bistros around Budapest. For a truly fiery adventure, order a shot of Pálinka as your appetizer. You can easily reach your destinations downtown with the extensive public transportation network, that includes the oldest continental metro line in Europe – opened in 1896.


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© Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME)

Take a look at the breakout session overview to see the full programme of the 2022 EUA Annual Conference.

Below you can find the presentations from the 2022 EUA Annual Conference:

Thursday 28 April 11.15-12.00: Spotlight on Ukraine

  • Jerzy Lis, Rector, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
  • Kseniia Smyrnova, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
  • László Borhy, President, Hungarian Rectors’ Conference
  • Olga Porkuian, Rector, Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University, Ukraine

Thursday 28 April 15.30-16.10:

  • Breakout session I.A: Safeguarding academic values: Examples from the UNICA network and the University of Helsinki
  • Breakout session I.B: Embedding the value of collaboration throughout the university. The UPC Nexus24 Programme
  • Breakout session I.C: Strategic Framework instead of Strategy – an institution-wide approach to drive values into reality
    • Friedrich Faulhammer, University of Continuing Education Krems, Austria
    • Stefan Sagl, University of Continuing Education Krems, Austria
  • Breakout session I.D: From academic publication to independent scientific magazine: the case of Il Bo Live, University of Padua

 Friday 29 April, 09.30-11.00

  • Negotiating contested values: Building a new university embedded in and responsible for its region
    • Gunnar Yttri, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway
  • Addressing the crisis of academic freedom in European higher education: The “Fundamental Values of Higher Education” Project
    • Liviu Matei, King’s College London, United Kingdom
  • A new Magna Charta: the featured values and how universities might embrace them effectively
    • Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Stockholm University, Sweden
    • Sijbolt Noorda, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Pandemics as an opportunity to review university values: the case of Masaryk University

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