Ildikó Orosz’s Report as Rector of Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education on the 2015–2020 Period

Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education now has 12 BSc/BA and 7 MSc/MA specialities that are accredited in Ukraine. From 2015 operating licence was granted to the bachelor’s degree training in chemistry, tourism, accounting and taxation, as well as all master’s degree training except mathematics. In addition to the available 4 non-accredited specialities in Ukraine in the same period we managed to introduce 9 more to the College together with Hungarian higher education establishments:

– Agricultural Engineer (Szent István University);
– Food Industry Engineer (Szent István University);
– Nursing and Medical Practice (University of Debrecen);
– Social Pedagogy (University of Debrecen);
– Engineering Information Science (University of Debrecen);
– Economic Information Science (University of Debrecen);
– Catechist (Szent Atanáz Greek Catholic Theological Institute);

– Hungarian as a foreign language (further vocational training, in cooperation with Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary);

– Mental Health Specialist (further vocational training, in cooperation with Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary)

In the 2020/2021 academic year dramatic art training starts within the framework of cooperation with the University of Kaposvár and the National Theatre, as well as song-music, visual learning, physical education, folk culture and dance four-semester further vocational training based on BSc degree teacher diploma. After successful completion of the course students can get a diploma in the chosen specialization.

In the 2014/2015 academic year, after lengthy discussions and registration procedures Higher-Education Vocational Training Institute of Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education started functioning.

We started the 2014/2015 academic year with 102 students, 28 teachers of five specialities.

Nursery education showed multiple over-application in the course of the five years. We started each academic year with a complete group of 25 students. The speciality was successively accredited in 2017 and a total of 73 students graduated. They receive their junior specialist diplomas at a solemn ceremony after successfully passing a complex state examination whose head is an expert from an external pedagogical institute. There have been three commencements of graduates majoring in nursery education so far. We are glad to ascertain a low dropout rate. There were 23 graduates in 2017 and 25-25 in 2018 and 2019. 4 of the 2017 graduates work at kindergartens, 7 of the 2018 graduates work at kindergartens, 2 of them at school, 7 of the 2019 graduates work at kindergartens, 1 of them at school, i.e. all of them work in the educational sphere. The rest continued their studies at College’s various specializations.

Social pedagogy, from 2015 social work speciality started each academic year with 20 students. This academic specialization was accredited in 2017 and a total of 55 students graduated. Students majoring in this field of study have successfully finished three academic years so far. The majority of students continue their studies at various specializations of Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education (primary and nursery education, Hungarian language and literature, Ukrainian language and literature, English language, history), as well as at extension training offered by the University of Debrecen where they can make good use of their knowledge and skills obtained at the junior specialist degree training.

The speciality of tourism also shows over-application each year resulting in a 25-student group at the beginning of each academic year. This speciality was accredited in 2017 as well; there are 60 graduates so far. We can meet our graduates as they guide tourist groups.

Applied mathematics speciality was accredited in 2018. In the course of the training students do programming, system programming, database handling, computer network building and technological practice. This way they get the opportunity to apply the obtained knowledge in practice, in real and concrete situations. So far 35 students graduated from the four-year training.

Accounting and taxation speciality was accredited in 2017 as well. Interest in the specialization is testified by the number of students in each group: there are currently 21 third year students, 10 sophomores and 24 freshmen majoring in accounting and taxation. We are glad to see this interest. In the past 5 years 20 students graduated with a junior specialist diploma.

In the past 5 years 243 students majoring in 5 specializations graduated with a junior specialist diploma.

In the first two academic years our students mostly study secondary school subjects and sit for the final examination. Ours is one of the best schools in Transcarpathia taking into account the results of External Independent Evaluation. 98% of our students successfully passed their External Independent Evaluation in 2019.

Side by side with profound theoretical and professional training, we put significant emphasis on talent management as well. Our institution pays particular attention to revealing our students’ individual aptitudes. They participate in numerous prestigious competitions in this country and abroad. They finish in the first three in fairy tale-, public speaking, poem reciting, ballad reciting, and orthoepy competitions, they actively participate in Profession Star competition in Budapest. Their knowledge and talent enrich and enhances the reputation of our institution and the Transcarpathian Hungarian student community.

In the 2019/2020 academic year, after two years of preparation, we managed to start professional education on the basis of cooperation agreements with Hungarian professional training institutions. We established Egán Ede Vocational Training Centre and we plan that its network will cover all Transcarpathian Hungarian-populated provinces. First of all, Egán Ede Vocational Training Centre started functioning in Nagydobrony Vocational Training Centre with 95 students studying  a total of 7 professions: car mechanic, agricultural machine minder, welder, cook, hairdresser, cosmetician. In September education can start at Tiszapéterfalva centre. The students spend one week studying at their home centre and one week at the partner institution abroad.

In the 2020/2021 academic year a total of 1552 students study at the College acquiring the professional training of their choice. Moreover, Adult Education Centre organized Hungarian language courses in Transcarpathia’s 35 settlements, with 74 teachers, in 228 groups for 3138 people; it also organized Ukrainian language courses for 886 people in 62 groups, 20 settlements and with 32 instructors. Thus, a total of 4024 people participate in the language course in 290 groups. They are taught by 106 teachers in 54 settlements.

Starting with the 2016/2017 academic year the College’s students can get a study allowance:

ACADEMIC YEAR SEMESTER class BSc, MSc maintenance grant Professional Training Institute educational Professional Training Institute social Egán Ede Vocational Training Centre, Nagydobrony Nurse training Total
2016/2017 I. 283 73 207 63  
2016/2017 II. 278 67 208 60  
2017/2018 I. 327 73 266 56  
2017/2018 II. 309 69 243 52  
2018/2019 I. 387 77 282 40  
2018/2019 II. 377 66 261 33  
2019/2020 I. 427 77 286 44 87 24
2019/2020 II. 418 75 268 44 85 22
TOTAL 2,806 577 2,021 392 172 46 6,014

In the course of the 2015–2020 period Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education concluded a total of 48 cooperation agreements with native country, expatriate, foreign, and Ukrainian higher education and other institutions by 19 March 2020.  They can be classified as follows:

– 13 foreign higher education institutions or their structural units (faculty, institute, etc.);
– 13 other foreign institutions or organizations;
– 11 Ukrainian higher education institutions;
– 5 other Ukrainian institutions or organizations;
– 6 consortium (tri- or multilateral) agreements were concluded.

Since 2015 the College concluded ERASMUS+ international agreements with 6 countries (Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Turkey, Portugal) and a total of 18 higher education institution. As a result, 147 students, teaching and administrative staff participated / are participating in the mobility in the following distribution:

– 33 students took part in full semester training period;
– 3 students were received for a full semester;
– 46 teachers went to foreign institutions as visiting professors;
– 55 teachers were received;
– 5 non-pedagogic staff participated in exchange of expertise at foreign institutions, 5 people were received.

In the 2016–17 academic year Makovecz Programme started functioning. Within its framework Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education concluded 20 bilateral cooperation agreements (5 with expatriate, so-called programme host institutions, and 15 with native country, so-called partner institutions). Thus, 140 students of the College participated or are still participating in the 1–5 month academic mobility (training period); 9 expatriate and native country students arrived at the Rákóczi-College for the same period of academic mobility. The annual distribution of outgoing students is as follows:

– 2016/17 academic year: 40 outbound students (22 to Hungarian, 18 to other foreign institutions);
– 2017/18 academic year: 47 outbound students (41 to Hungarian, 6 to other foreign institutions);
– 2018/19 academic year: 53 outbound students (48 to Hungarian, 5 to other foreign institutions);
– 2019/20 academic year: 43 outbound students (36 to Hungarian, 7 to other foreign institutions).

In the period under review the College organized or co-organized 51 major scientific conferences and symposia: 33 international, 5 all-Ukrainian, 13 student conferences.

The College’s major investments into the infrastructure (both completed and those that are still in progress) in the period 2015–2020

In 2015 in Beregszász the 1 742 m2 basic area building of the College’s three-storey Vocational Training Institute was handed over, the main building’s inner yard was roofed, thus forming a 450 m2 basic area atrium, the buildings were provided wheelchair access and elevators were built in.

In 2016 in Nagydobrony we handed over a 360 m2 basic area 45-person hall of residence that belongs to the Vocational Training Institute. In Beregszász on the 4th floor of the Vocational Training Institute the 226 m2 basic area loft was converted.

In 2017 in Beregszász we built the College’s new 1 908 m2 basic area four-storey building for approximately 145 students; on the 4th floor we made 11 teachers’ guest apartments. In Nagydobrony we renovated the 354 m2 basic area second floor of the building situated in Meliorator Street. It will house Egán Ede Vocational Training Centre canteen, as well as Nagydobrony Hungarian Folk Art study hall “Tulipán Tanoda” that was established by the College.

In 2018 in Beregszász we built an approximately 2 200 m2 sports hall, we finished landscaping the College’s 2 hectare yard, built a 15×30 metre external sports ground in it. In Nagydobrony we built a 1 857 m2 basic area two-storey educational premises belonging to the College’s Vocational Training Institute with a 733 m2 basic area two-storey 90-person hall of residence belonging to it.

In 2019 in Nagydobrony we renovated two buildings belonging to the former forester’s lodge with a total basic area of 430 m2. In Perecseny district Lipovec settlement we built a three-storey building that will be used as the College’s alpine field trip base with its 522 m2 basic area that can room 40 people. Both sites will be biology and geography specialities’ field trip bases, however, it will also function as the Transcarpathian Hungarian Pedagogical Association’s open-air school. In Beregszász we finished renovating former Perényi mansion with its basic area of 360 m2; moreover, we completely renovated about half of the 1 370 m2 old hall of residence.

In 2020 in Beregszász the complete 831 m2 basic area loft of the College’s main building was converted. In Nagyszőlős district Tiszapéterfalva we finished restoring the three-storey 1 300 m2 basic area building belonging to the Vocational Training Institute.

Current pending projects: In Beregszász the left wing of the former school № 2 is being restored with its basic area of 3 052 m2. We started building a new pool and a sports centre on the site of the former „Mebelscsik” ground with a basic area of 3 700 m2. In the Ungvár district Szerednye the former Buttler castle is being reconstructed with its basic area of 255 m2. Two premises in Beregszász are being rebuilt into 10 smaller teachers’ apartments. In Péterfalva and Lipovec the buildings are renovated and the territory around them is being put in order; in Nagybereg the expansion of Szikura József Botanical Garden is about to be finished.

In 2019 in accord with the Ukrainian law on higher education we elaborated and registered the College’s new statute which will result in partly structural changes. Based on the number of students the institution achieved a higher level. This finished another period in the life of the College and we have to abide by the law and comply with the provisions of the new statute.

Following the unexpected death of the former Rector Szikura József in 2015, taking into account the situation, I accepted the nomination for the post of the Rector of the College side by side with the post of the President.

Today I reached retirement age and I will resign the Rector’s post on 20 March. However, I will continue to undertake the position of the President.

To comply with the active Ukrainian laws and regulations, the College’s new statute,  as well as for the sake of continuity, I asked the Board of Trustees of the charitable foundation “In support of the Transcarpathian Hungarian College” to appoint and authorize an acting rector to conduct the election of the rector.

 

Ildikó Orosz, Rector of the College

This report is translated from Hungarian into English based on the report entitled “Orosz Ildikó rektori beszámolója a II. Rákóczi Ferenc Kárpátaljai Magyar Főiskola 2015–2020-as időszakáról” and published on the website “Kárpátalja.ma”