March 4: Ildikó Furka (QSMS Seminar)

Ildikó Furka will present her paper “Exploring the cultural value orientation of a higher education institution – a case study” on March 4th at 10:30 AM, room QA405.


The number of international students has increased dramatically at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) up to 12% of the student body as a result of internationalization in the past years (Molnár, 2021). The Centre for Modern Languages has been in contact with a significant number of them either in English for Academic Purposes courses, in Hungarian Language courses, or through the regularly offered courses. This unique insight was consulted when the university Student Career Path Programme (HÉP) carried out a survey on communication habits among international students (n=186), their instructors (n=90), and some of the administrative staff (n=19) to find what reasons might be at the root of misunderstandings. The open-ended question responses prompted the opportunity for a content analysis within the cultural value orientations framework (Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov, 2010; Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 1995; Hall, 1976), cross-cultural linguistic analysis (Hinds, 1987), and cross-cultural rhetoric (Kaplan, 1966; Gillet, 1989). Having triangulated the results with value orientation data on Hungary found in the literature (Hofstede, Hofstede, & Minkov, 2010; Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 1997; Falk Bánó 2014, Bakacsi et al 2002; Hajnal, Kádár & Kovács, 2018) and on cultural differences among educational systems (Loh & Teo, 2017; Hecht & Kahrens, 2021), a cultural profile might emerge where BME is an organization that has a value system of high power distance, high-context communication, reader-responsibility (Hinds, 1987), and a tendency towards individualism, masculinity, monochronic time management, and achievement orientation. The profile can be used to make recommendations for international students and their instructors on how to manage their interactions and adjust their teaching and learning styles, as well as to help higher education management to review their organisational practices and processes.