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Óbuda University and Sigma Technology Hungary are long-term partners. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit society, Sigma Technology decided to support Óbuda University’s digital learning program by providing LinkedIn Learning online courses licenses. “These licenses were a great complement to our blended learning in 2020,” says Dr. Imre Felde, Vice Rector for Industrial and Business Relations at Óbuda University.

Dr. Imre Felde has been driving research and industrial relations at Óbuda University for the past several years. During our online meeting, we first asked Dr. Imre Felde about the change to the blended learning:

“This has been a significant change, for sure, but we felt that we were prepared. Óbuda University is the initiator and main driver of the Carpathian Basin Online Learning Centre (K-MOOC). Since the start, we have made over 1,000 online courses for Hungarians from the Carpathian Basin and all Hungarians worldwide pursuing lifelong learning. During the last summer, while students were on holiday, we have recorded all our remaining lectures and made them available online in high quality by the beginning of the autumn semester.

This effort allowed us to minimize students’ time onsite at university, thus contributing to curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

But was it possible to switch all the education process online?

“Even though we have digitalized all our lectures, moved exams, tests, and defenses online, there was still a need for practical sessions – workshops. However, since we had all our big auditoriums free, we could distribute students in smaller groups in bigger rooms and still maintain social distance.”

When you summarize the results from 2020, what effect do you see from the blended learning model?

“This has been a challenging but very fruitful year. We have put a lot of effort into making online education and communication easier, and kept closer contact with the students, helping them along the way.

While we experienced that evaluating practical skills was more difficult online, the students presented better results than last year. One of the reasons was that the courses’ theoretical materials were available all the time, allowing students to revisit the lectures and courses at any time and help them comprehend new topics easier. After all, to obtain higher education, you need to have good self-motivation, and the whole e-learning and digital training are based on self-motivation and self-discipline.”

What feedback did you get from students who used LinkedIn Learning?

“I have tried LinkedIn Learning myself before and found their courses efficient.

The opportunity with LinkedIn Learning was just in time for our students since our education was online. We distributed the licenses to the Computer Science students who passed comprehensive exams.

To make sure that this extra opportunity supported the students’ curriculum, we highlighted specific courses connected to the students’ specialization, such as embedded systems, advanced software technology, Big Data, Business Intelligence, and Robotics.”

Gabriella Alexi is a Unit Manager at Sigma Technology Hungary and drives our cooperation with Òbuda University. She adds: “Apart from LinkedIn Learning, we have also been conducting courses for the Óbuda University students for the past five years. We also needed to align with the new requirements during the lockdown period and record all our courses to make them available online. It was a great experience, and our experts were proud to support the university during these challenging times.”

How do you plan to develop industrial relations during the coming year?

“We have a history of working closely with businesses, and last year we decided to have even more strategic industrial relations. That is why we have established the Industrial Committee, where we invited our strategic partners, Sigma Technology being one of them, to contribute.

The Committee’s goal is to identify how industry and academia can work together to prepare students for the career start. This includes curriculum changes, special courses from the companies to support the university graduates during the onboarding and identifying the most important fields of research. We are looking forward to seeing the results of this initiative in 2021.”

“We are happy to have Sigma Technology as one of our strategic partners since we have common goals and smooth communication. Sigma Technology experts show a true Scandinavian spirit – you are straightforward and human-oriented.”

For more information, please, contact Gabriella Alexi, gabriella.alexi@sigmatechnology.com.