Our network

The most important task and aim of cultural and science diplomacy is to support Hungary in advancing its interests with its own means, to introduce the achievements of Hungarian culture and sciences abroad, to promote Hungary’s good image, and to strengthen its bilateral relations. While pursuing these objectives, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) can rely on an extensive network of institutions.

The first state institution established abroad with the purpose of popularizing Hungarian culture and sciences as well as carrying out studies and researches was the Hungarian Scientific Institute of Constantinople. Its board of directors had its inaugural meeting on 21 November 1916, so that day is celebrated as the birthday of institutionalized Hungarian cultural diplomacy. The system of cultural diplomacy institutions was set up between the two World Wars by Count Kuno von Klebelsberg, the Minister of Religion and Public Education (1922-1931). He founded four Collegium Hungaricums, all of which continue to function today; in 1924, the cultural institutes of Vienna and of Berlin were opened, and in 1927, Rome and Paris joined the network.

The “flagships” of this network are the Hungarian cultural institutes abroad. At the moment, there are 26 institutes all over the world. Besides, educational and cultural diplomats work in those countries where there is no cultural institute, but the improvement of educational and cultural relations is a priority for Hungary (Amman, Baku, Hanoi, Kiev, Madrid, Shanghai, São Paulo, Tel-Aviv). In addition, it is the task of each Hungarian foreign representation to build cultural relations between Hungary and the host country. The members of the guest lecturer network also have an important function. At present, there are 70 Hungarian guest lecturers giving courses and classes in Hungarian for foreign university students all around the world.