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Digital 2020 FISU World Forum can be useful in the long run

2020-08-07 00:00:00

The main organisers of FISU World Forum, the University of Physical Education (UPE), the Hungarian University Sport Federation (HUSF) and the Technology Provider Digital Success Program (DSP) expect different benefits from the Forum. Interview with UPE Vice-Rector, Dr. Tamás Sterbenz and DJP project supervisor, Dr. Levente András Gál. 

More than 1,300 people from nearly 100 countries have registered so far for 2020 FISU World Forum, which will be hosted by the University of Physical Education (UPE) in a digital form between 12th and 14th August. UPE Vice-Rector and Vice-Chairman of the Hungarian University Sport Federation (HUSF), Dr. Tamás Sterbenz have already participated in several Universiades in different roles, and he was also present at the 2018 World Forum in Krasnoyarks. He believes that by the beginning of the event, all the details will be set.

“We are making good progress, the programme is basically finalised. A couple of months ago we had to change strategy and switch into digital operation but I think we have overcome the difficulties. The fact that the platform is impressive indicates that the company that has developed is really professional. All the obstacles have been removed so I am sure the first online Forum in FISU’s history will be memorable. I am looking forward to it as it will be new to me as well.”

Mr. Sterbenz welcomes the large number of registrations and he is convinced that it can be attributed to the fact that registration is not limited. He also hopes that those who have registered so far will remain active during the Forum as well.

“We offer a wide range of programmes, which can attract a lot of visitors. The themes and subthemes are interesting, and if the participants stay in front of the screen for the entire event, I will declare it successful. The most exciting thing is that those who have registered can also make contributions by getting involved in the discussions. They can even bring up new topics. I am particularly looking forward to the workshops and parallels that focus on university ranking. It was UPE that suggested this topic should be discussed at the Forum. In the future, the university wants to play an active role in developing the method of ranking and the ranking system itself.”

Dr. Levente András Gál, project supervisor at DPS, who also acts as Vice-Chairman at HUSF, has never had any doubts that the event should be organized despite the pandemic.

“We considered it very important that both the representatives of the Hungarian university sport and HUSF should participate in the exchange of views on international level, which presents Hungary from a new perspective. Moreover, we are going to display several Hungarian innovations in front of an international audience. As a result of the digital work schedule, a digital knowledge centre will be created that will be accessible for participants later as well. Obviously, we cannot compete with the original student world forum, mainly because we cannot make up for the real social experience. At the same time, we can be more effective in the digital realm. It is important to note that several innovations including the Healthy Campus, the University Ranking System and the Digital Sport Knowledge Centre will now reach a wider audience, which not only UPE but the entire Hungarian higher education sport can also benefit from.”

Regarding the expected outputs of the event, Mr. Gál emphasized several indicators. He said that the Forum will be successful if FISU opinion leaders are able to take part in fruitful and memorable discussions and the sport ranking and digital knowledge centre planned to be established at UPE become internationally well known. As a possible result, summer schools and courses can be launched in the near future at UPE’s campus.

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