Cultural exchange works well at QMU

Petra Kata, Dr Richard Butt (deputy principal 
of QMU) and Anna Patziger
Petra Kata, Dr Richard Butt (deputy principal of QMU) and Anna Patziger
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Two students from Hungary have become the first to study at Queen Margaret University (QMU) as part of a new scholarship exchange programme between Edinburgh and Budapest.

The Queen Margaret Legacy Programme has been developed by the Hungarian embassy and QMU to celebrate the legacy of Saint Margaret, one of the most loved women from Scottish and Hungarian history.

Petra Kata and Anna Patziger, students from Corvinus University of Budapest, are spending three months studying public relations and media at QMU.

The official partnership between QMU and the Hungarian embassy was formed in recognition of the fact that QMU takes its name from Margaret, Queen Consort of King Malcolm Canmore of Scotland, who was born in Hungary in the 11th century.

She was known to be a fine scholar with a formidable intellectual capacity who often debated the affairs of state with the king’s noble and clerical advisers. As a deeply religious woman, Queen Margaret was concerned with works of mercy and giving and particularly with the care of the poor. As a result, she was canonised in 1250.

The name Queen Margaret was incorporated into QMU’s title in 1972 because she was seen to personify the institution’s key values of serving the community, enhancing the quality of life and taking practical action.

Queen Margaret’s philosophy of social justice and her ability to identify what changes were required in society still resonate today and her name is reflected in the titles of a number of organisations with social purposes, including QMU.

Dr Richard Butt, deputy principal of QMU, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Petra and Anna. This educational exchange programme and the transcultural learning it is now enabling are entirely consistent with the life and values of Queen Margaret herself.

“Not only is this partnership creating a culturally rich and career enhancing learning experience for students, it is also creating a further link between Scotland and Hungary.”

Anna said: “The opportunity to live and study in Edinburgh really appealed to me. The history, culture and diversity of the city, combined with the stunning natural beauty makes it an ideal environment to learn and broaden your horizons. I’m already building my practical knowledge of public relations and media.”

Petra said: “I’ve found everyone so welcoming since moving to Edinburgh. The friendly size of Edinburgh makes it easy to explore, including Arthur’s Seat with its amazing views of the city.”

The exchange programme also allows QMU students to study in Hungary and experience life in Budapest. Earlier this year, QMU public sociology students, Caitlin McDowell and Ellen Rahm, spent three months studying at Corvinus University of Budapest and living in the city.