Ceremonial speech by Rector Ildikó Orosz at the closing ceremony of Ferenc Rákóczi II. Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute

Ladies and gentlemen, madam minister, dear ministers, secular and ecclesiastical dignitaries, our dear guests, parents, graduate students, honoured colleagues!

Today, the academic year 2017-2018 ends for 1051 students at various training levels of the Ferenc Rakoczi II. Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute. In 2018, 102 graduates receive their BA/BSC or Master’s degree. 72 students are going to receive the “Young Professional” diploma at a later date. On 2 March, the Tourism Services department had its first graduation, where twenty students received their degrees. At BA/BSC level, we have re-accredited our trainings in history, geography, mathematics and teaching.
The vocational training institute has completed this academic year with 326 students, 48 teachers and with a new momentum. For the first time, training in applied mathematics was accredited.
During this academic year, 119 full-time, 17 part-time, teachers and 21 lecturers taught our students. Of them with a 15 DSc, 59 with a PhD degree, 13 professors and 14 associate professors. Unfortunately, today they cannot be with us, but Professor Siusko, his wife Larissa Siusko, and Marianna Brenzovich are watching us from the above. Let’s remember those who left this world with a minute of silence.

We also want to report on our success.

Our institution was awarded by the American Hungarian Coalition.
Dr. Róbert Bacsó, Head of Accounting and Auditing Department, successfully obtained his doctoral degree at the Semen Kuznets National Economic University in Kharkiv. Erzsébet Kohut and Anita Márku have naturalized her PhD degrees obtained abroad. Unfortunately, the naturalization of two of our colleagues was rejected without justification.
Júlia Petecsuk from the Mathematics Department, has obtained a PhD degree in mathematics and physics. Vilmos Gazdag defended his PhD at the Slavic Linguistics Program of ELTE. Judit Pavlovich defended her CSc dissertation in Kiev at the Volodymyr Dalyja National University in general pedagogy and pedagogy story.
Dr. Zoltán Varga, Professor of Biology and Chemistry received the Széchenyi Prize. Dr. Béla Nagy, associate professor of Biology and Chemistry received the Apáczai Csere János award. Erzsébet Molnár D., a teacher at the Department of History, a member of the Tivadar Lehoczki Research Center was awarded the Hungarian Golden Cross of Merit. The Hungarian Academic Council of Transcarpathia has awarded István Kolozsvári, the leader of the István Fodor Research Center, for his achievements in his research work. The SZIE has awarded Béla Pái a diploma of honours for his work at the department of horticultural engineering. Anita Márku and Enikő Tóth received a scholarship of the New National Excellence Program, and Kornélia Hires-László received the Collegium Talentum scholarship in this academic year.
The XIV Conference for Young Hungarian Researchers took place recently. 30 young researchers presented their findings at the conference. The presentations took place in 4 sections with 20 opponents who arrived from 9 foreign educational institutions. In May, the XII Transcarpathian Hungarian Student Conference took place. We received 42 applications, 39 of which were accepted. The papers were assessed by 50 opponents. The presentations took place in 7 sections with 28 experts. Some of the presenters of this conference are authorized to participate at the XXXIV State Student Conference in Hungary.
Our students were successful at the student conferences.
Eszter Balog, a student of the mathematics department won second place at the Sánra Márton student conference. Miklós Sztároszta won second place at the Scientia Denique conference in Uzhgorod. Gábort Szanyi, a student of the Hungarian department won second place of the philology section at the XII Student Conference. A poem by Tamás Nagy was published in the periodical of the Hungarian Writers’ association. Veronika Puskás and Alexandra Nagy presented their research at the international scientific conference that took place during the Rákóczi days. Katalin Szabó, a student specializing in social pedagogy won first place in the final of an oratory contest at the ELTE. At a specialized contest, Alex Livdánsz from the department of tourism was awarded by the professional jury. Our geography students represented the institute at a state contest in Kyiv, Lívia Nagy and Edina Tar received prizes at the XVI State Ecology Conference for College Students.

Every year, Andrea Bocskor, a former student of out institute and now a member of the European Parliament rewards the best historian student and the student with the best average grade with a trip to Brussels. This year our historian graduate Tamás Baranyi and Vivien Gréta Gál from the English department received a certificate of merit and the trip to Brussels.
In the Makovecz student program 47 students participated in the exchange program for 1-3 months. Two foreign students arrived to the Institute for a full semester training. In the Makovecz Teachers’ program 6 foreign college teachers arrive here as guest professors. Due to this program 200 students of 7 departments participated in a 1-day practice trip or a 4-5-day training trip at the partner Institutions.
In terms of the Erasmus+ mobility program our students spent a semester in three different colleges. This year we did not have incoming mobility in this program. The mobility program for teachers and administrative employees provided an opportunity for 8 teachers and 1 administrative employee for a 5 or 10-day trip. Also, 4 teachers and administrative employees arrived to out institute for 5-day mobility.
The adult training centre of our institute arranged its traditional language courses in English, German, Russian and Hungarian. 4317 people applied for these courses, including the employees of Hungarian Consulates in Berehove and Uzhgorod, who applied to study Ukrainian. The language trainings took place in 45 settlements of 12 districts, 120 hours for each group. In the second semester 3997 applications were received from 41 settlements in 11 districts; the trainings began in 209 groups with 87 teachers. For those, who completed level A2 successfully, we provided an opportunity to keep studying to reach level B1. 1305 students chose to go on, so the training continued in 17 locations of 15 settlements in 9 districts. Thus, in this academic year 9471 people applied for the language courses. In the ECL language assessment centre 25 students passed their language exams in Russian, English, Hungarian and German on elementary, intermediate and proficient levels.
Our departments and research groups conducted research reflecting local problems:
The Tivadar Lehoczky research centre continued to research, digitalize and publish the archive materials from World War I, as well as the research on the “Cemeteries as the “live” witnesses of the past”, “The victims of communism between1944 and 1953” and “Minority monitoring”.
As a result of the work of the Fodor István research centre there are now 495 species and varieties in the Nagybereg flora collection, our Scientific Herbarium has stored and managed 3500 herbarium sheets of 450 species, the 1902 categorized items of the zoological collection are under preparation and taxonomic processing.
Research of the Department of Geosciences and Tourism: Demographic Relations of Transcarpathia; Ethnic geography and political geography of Ukraine; Environmental problems in the settlements of our region; Vulcan complexes in Transcarpathia; The peculiarities of tourism in Transcarpathia.
The Department of Accounting and Auditing participated in the research of the Hétfa Research Institute and in the joint research of the Department of Finances of Kharkiv National Economic University.
The results of our research have been published by our colleagues in a number of publications. During the academic year 202 publications were published as a result of their work. 12 of them appeared in Web of Science, Scopus and other high impact periodicals, also as independent monographs, book chapters, methodological publications, as well as in domestic and foreign scientific journals.
Publications in the scientific journals of our institute:
– ACTA ACADEMIAE BEREGSASIENSIS: papers by 24 Transcarpathian and foreign researchers on 248 pages.
– LIMES: papers by 29 Transcarpathian and foreign researchers on 174 pages.
We also arranged a number of conferences. In terms of the Rákóczi Days our Philology Department in cooperation with the Department of Multicultural Education and Translation of the Faculty of History and International Relations of Uzhgorod National University a conference on Multiculturalism and Diversity in the 21st century took place on March 27-28, 2018. 122 participants form 16 countries (the USA, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Canada, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Russia, Romania, Syria, Slovakia, Ukraine) presented at the conference
Our PEPSY (pedagogy and psychology) department participated in the organization of the III. Networking Conference of the Carpathian-Basin Relief Service, as well as the workshop “The night of spiritual renewal” of the Transcarpathian Mental Hygiene Society.
The department of History and Social Sciences in cooperation with the Lehoczki Tivadar Research Centre arranged a scientific conference for the 150th anniversary of the Austrian-Hungarian Compromise titled „Indivisibiliter ac Inseparabiliter – Indivisibly and Inseparably”.
The Vocational Training Institute has organized a vocational training conference in terms of the Year of Vocational Training.
During the past academic year, our staff members participated in 129 national and international conferences in Kyiv, Mikolajiv, Pereyaslav-Hmelnyickyj, Lviv, Dnipro, Drohobics, Uzhgorod, Mukachevo and other Ukrainian cities. A number of lectures were presented in Hungary, Romania, Finland, Holland, Belgium.

Our events
PEPSY organized championships in football, basketball, handball, table tennis, a chess competition, a traditional Easter egg festival, and a folklore day.
The teams of girls and boys won second place also in the street ball regional championship. In the swimming championship, the girls won second and the boys won third place.
The staff and students of the History and Social Sciences department participated in archaeological practice in Rakaso and Bene, as well as in a museum and archive practice in Budapest.
The students of the Ukrainian Department participated in s translators’ camp in Lakitelek, a meeting with the actors of the Ukrainian Folk’s Theatre of Berehove, arranged a professional day, a contest for the Day of Ukrainian Writing, a fan meeting with Ukrainian writers Ksenia Zastavska and the winner of the Shevchenko award Miroslav Dochitets. They also participated at an event of the Native Language Literary Society in Mukachevo. The students staged a play based on the novel “Kaydash’s family” by Ivan Nechuy-Levytskyj nd participated in a study trip to Lviv.
The Hungarian department arranged the Homecoming Hungarian Professional Day, the Advent Charity Crafts Day, and the Hungarian Spelling Contest. They also made celebratory programs for the International Day of Native Language, the Day of Hungarian Language and the Day of Hungarian Poetry.
The students of the Department of Audit and Accounting, together with the Department of Corporative Economy Management of the Saint István University, participated in professional practice training. During the autumn semester dr. Péter Forgáts, founder of a US scholarship program gave a lecture on the international experience of the founding of new businesses and the possibilities of American scholarship programs.
The Department of Earth Sciences and Tourism was visited by a delegation from ELTE Meteorological Department and the National Meteorological Service. A hiking tour was organized to the White-Tisza spring.
The teachers from the Biology and Chemistry department participated at the Moleculars Frontiers / Medinprot Symposium and an event organized by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the ELTE, where they attended lectures by Nobel-prize laureates. The participated in field trips to the Nyíregyháza Zoo, the Fertő-Hanság National Park, the National Agricultural and Food Exhibition and Fair, the BODY exhibition, an eco-study trip to Hungary, a field trip to an Eco-centre at the Tisza lake, chemistry practice at the Department of Chemistry, University of Miskolc, a practice trip for gardening and agricultural engineers in Gödöllő, as well as a Transcarpathian field trip. The arranged programs for the Researchers’ Night, Student’s Eve, a creative chemistry contest, as well as the day of botanical and dendroparks. Other events arranged by the students include the Advent Floristic Professional Day with a guest, who is a European champion florist, a conference at the day of Science, a scientific lecture about evolution. The Fodor István Research centre participated in the professional Forum for School Gardens of the Carpathian Basin.
Main events of the English Department: a Spelling Competition, Christmas in Europe, a Quiz afternoon titled Fasching im deutschsprachigen Raum und in der Welt (Fasching in German-speaking countries and in the world), as well as an English-speaking Student conference. During the academic year English-speaking teachers Eric and Stacey Hoeksema held lectures for the students. Dr. Granville Pillar English-speaking lecturer held a proficient speaking skills development course. Due to the partnership with the Claygate Christian Mission our students will participate in a one-week camp in Akli and Diula, where they will practice as interpreters between the teachers, missionaries, doctors arriving from abroad and the locals.
The Institute of Vocational training, in terms of the program Without Borders welcomed student groups from Budapest, Mátészalka, Miskolc, and Kaposvár, then our students travelled to these cities as well. Study trips were arranged with the Rakóczi Society to Sárospatak, Kecskemét és Ópusztaszer, Budapest, Nyíregyháza, and Eger.
The Apáczai Csere János Library provides significant assistance to our Institute, it has a total of 114 556 documents. During the academic year 4981 items were added to the collection of the library. We spent
57 448.61 UAH on periodical subscriptions. We purchased 811 Ukrainian textbooks for 148 656 UAH. We also spent 456 924 HUF on digital database-development. In total, we spent 206 104.61 UAH and 456 924 HUF on development.
Our collection of minerals and rocks serves educational purposes and contains 2500 items. A drone purchased in 2017 gave new momentum to the research of the department. Also, we now have a new agrochemical lab and have just built a dorm for 145 students.
With the assistance of the Bethlen Gábor Foundation our infrastructural development goes on and on.
The new health and sports centre will be ready by September; it will contain a 1130 m2sport ground, a 338 m2 gym, two dressing rooms, a fitness and dance rom, four classrooms, a storeroom. In total, there will 23 rooms in this complex. In the yard there will be a 15×30 meter open-air sport ground. This will finally solve our problems with the PE classes. In the backyard, a park and a parking ground was arranged.
To develop the vocational training in Nagydobrony, a new building was built with 14 classrooms, a gym, an aula and a dorm for 70 students. Recently we purchased 9 laptops, 8 interactive boards, 2 tablet PCs, 27 PCs, 7 multifunctional laser printers, the building in Nagydobrony received active and passive computer network elements. We also obtained 30 copies of the Windows 10 operational system and 50 Microsoft Office 2016 licences. In the film club of the dorm, the ceremonial hall (Esztergom hall) and the central conference hall (Győr hall) of the institute, we installed modern audio and video equipment. We purchased a Hyundai cargo minibus, and for the teachers to travel easily, a Hyundai 16-passenger minibus.
This is what happened in our institution during this academic year, but the most important event is that today 102 graduates begin their adult life. Today, this event is about and for them. Congratulations, you already are winners. First, when you were admitted to the institute despite the overwhelming obstacle, the advanced level Ukrainian exam, because you are not Ukrainian native speakers and studies the language in a smaller number of hours than the native speakers, and yet you successfully passed that test, which was tailored for the Ukrainian native speakers applying to Ukrainian departments. Many of the young people your age might have been better and more gifted in their chosen subject, but they were excluded from higher education because the system does not recognize that people living in the minority must always work twice as hard as the majority nationals to be accept as equal partners. On the other hand, you have completed the requirements set by the institution; you have passed the obstacles of the exams and reports, papers and exercises. Be proud of this because many people have given up the competition. Some interpret this as the education not being effective enough, but we think that those who are admitted to our institute must consistently develop, grow and become better year after year, to reach a higher standard. We offer the opportunity for science and culture on a tray, for everyone to take it to an extent that is sufficient for them to develop. We do not believe that anyone who enters an institution of higher education instantly has the right to get a diploma. It’s for those who worked hard, and today it is you. Congratulations, and let me some advice before you leave. Use them whenever you need them. The first message is from our King of St. István, whose greatness was acknowledged by Rome and Byzantium, who found the right way between them. In the letter to his son, prince Imre he writes: “Listen, my son, to the words of your father, and do not neglect the teaching of your mother!” Today, as fresh graduates, you might think that you know better than your parents, but believe what they say because they have life experience and wisdom. Another thought is from János Bólyai, a world famous Hungarian mathematician when he finished the foundations of non-Euclidean geometry: “I created a new, different world from nothing”. His greatness was not being accepted for a long time, even by the king of mathematics Gauss himself, but he was persistent and eventually it turned out that he was right. I wish you to create a new world from scratch, to have creativity, strength and perseverance, because, as Rákóczi said, and as it is written read on the flag of our institution, “God does not leave a good cause”. In your lives, always maintain the path of the law and moral order within the ten Commandments. Do not wish to take anything from others, because you will not become richer, but you will get more enemies and lose even more friends. Always protect your own interests, at all times and in every circumstance, because it is our obligation to our ancestors. As members of Europe’s most tolerant and inclusive nation, which in 1568, 450 years ago, formulated a law of the freedom of religion; you too preserve the right of diversity, develop and pass on this spirit to the next generation. I wish you good luck, great opportunities, a good path. Thank you for listening.

Berehove, June 22, 2018

Ildikó Orosz, rector