Chairman of the Parliament of Mongolia visits ELTE

Chairman of the Parliament of Mongolia visits ELTE HU
On 8 March 2024, Gombojav Zandanshatar was received by Rector László Borhy, Imre Hamar, vice-rector for international affairs, and Ágnes Birtalan, head of the Department of Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies. At the meeting, the parties agreed that they would continue and expand their long-standing cooperation.

The high-ranking Mongolian delegation included Sainnyambuu Baatarjav, current ambassador of Mongolia to Hungary, Tugsjargal Gandi, former ambassador, Badmaanyambuu Bat-Erdene, chairman of the National Committee for Olympics, Physical Education, and Sports, Nayantai Ganibal, head of the Mongolia-Hungary Parliamentary Committee, and Gompildoo Mönkhtsetseg, member of the State Great Hural (Parliament), and staff members of the embassy.

At the meeting, Rector László Borhy and Head of Department Ágnes Birtalan presented ELTE and the activities of the Department of Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies. Gombojav Zandanshatar praised the relations between Hungary and Mongolia as well as the internationally outstanding achievements of the Department of Mongolian Studies with a long-standing tradition in Hungary. The Mongolian delegation presented books to the university and the department. In return, Ágnes Birtalan handed over a selection of volumes on Mongolian Studies published by the department and other institutions in Hungary.

Afterwards, the delegates from Mongolia also visited the Department of Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies where they could meet the students and learn about the library. Thanks to the numerous objects, pictures, and books from Mongolia, they could feel themselves at home in this environment. Gombojav Zandanshatar confirmed that Mongolia is happy to continue its long-standing collaboration with the university and the department and also strives to expand them. The country will continue supporting Mongolian Studies in Hungary, with special regard to the publication of scientific works prepared by the department.

When high-ranking Mongolian official delegations arrive in Hungary, they often pay a visit to ELTE and the Department of Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies, which serves as a centre for Mongolian Studies in Hungary. In 2014, the Research Centre for Mongolian Studies founded at ELTE with the support of the Mongolian state was inaugurated by Tsakhia Elbegdorj himself, who was the president of Mongolia at that time. Additionally, our university was also visited by President Natsag Bagabandi (2005) and Prime Minister Sükhbaatar Batbold (2010), while President Khaltmaag Battulga met the staff members of the Department of Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies during the 2017 summer university.

Scientific and academic relations between Mongolia and Hungary have a long tradition. In Hungary, scientific research into Mongolian Studies started with the work of Gábor Bálint Szentkatolnai (1844–1913) in the nineteenth century. Subsequently, Lajos Ligeti (1902–1987) began to teach Mongolian Studies at ELTE in 1932. The main institution of the discipline is the Department of Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies (called the Inner Asian Institute at the time of its foundation), which was established by Ligeti in 1940. The Mongolian scholar B. Rinchen, the first researcher to obtain the title of Doctor of the Academy in Mongolian Studies, defended his dissertation in Hungary under the supervision of Lajos Ligeti in 1956, which opened up the possibility for a direct connection between the two nations. Hungarian Mongolists have been conducting field research in Mongolia since 1957, and an extensive network of contacts has been built up with Mongolian higher education and scientific institutions by now. In the current academic year, 104 Mongolian students (including five doctoral candidates) are studying at ELTE. Most of them hold a Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship. Ten people from Mongolia have been admitted to the Doctoral Programme in Mongolian Studies so far, and two of them have already defended their doctoral theses with success.

For further information (in Hungarian) and photos of the event held on 8 March, please visit the Facebook page of the Department of Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies.