CEB to finance university projects in Hungary
26 January 2018
PARIS – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved a € 92 million loan to Hungary to finance the expansion of the University of Physical Education in Budapest and the University of Pécs.
Both projects are part of the ‘Campus Renovation and Modernisation Programme’, which was launched by the Hungarian government in the framework of its strategy ‘Change of Pace in Higher Education’. The aim of this strategy is to enhance the quality of the higher education system in the country and increase its competitiveness.
The University of Physical Education in Budapest is home to numerous Olympic champions, sports coaches and experts. It has recently seen its number of applicants increase to about 5 000 for 700 places each academic year, which has necessitated the modernisation and expansion of its facilities.
Dating back to 1367, the University of Pécs is the fifth largest in Hungary, with ten faculties and 20 000 students. Its student body includes 3 000 international students from 80 countries, which the University aims to increase to 5 000 by 2020. This will require strengthening its foreign language training and education programmes for foreign students and also upgrading its existing facilities.
The programme financed by the CEB will cover planned modernisation works in both institutions, including the renovation or construction of new faculty buildings, auditoria, student residence buildings, and research and sports facilities. The renovation will also include energy efficiency measures. It is expected that in total over 22 000 students and more than 1 300 professors and researchers will benefit directly from the renovation of both institutions. The wider local communities will also benefit from having access to some of the new sports facilities outside of class hours.
Commenting on the approval of the project, CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “We at the CEB believe that social investments in education are vital for creating opportunities for young people and giving them the chance to build a bright future for themselves. This loan will benefit present and future university students and staff in Hungary and I am confident that it will make an important contribution to the development of higher education in the country.”Since becoming a CEB member in 1998, Hungary has had numerous projects approved by the Bank, mainly in the areas of protection of the environment, education, job creation and preservation, and urban and rural modernisation.
Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook positive and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.