The speech given by István Csernicskó at the opening ceremony of the new academic year at the Ferenc Rakoczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education
Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear guests, colleagues, first-year and senior students
The Ferenc Rakoczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education has a history of a quarter of a century. Over the last two and a half decades, this institution has undergone significant development, but since the patience of the audience and the time given to us are limited, I will not analyse this period in detail, I will only highlight some data that indicate where we are headed.
The first number I would like to share with you is that in 2020, 178, and in the summer of 2021, a few months ago, 222 students were able to receive a diploma confirming their knowledge and qualifications. There was also a significant increase in the number of submitted applications: last year 1181 applications were registered, and this year 1390 applications were registered in our application department. The number of accepted and enrolled students has also increased significantly: from 393 last year to 415 this year. The total number of undergraduate and graduate students increased from 939 as of September 1, 2020 to 987 as of September 1 this year.
Our teaching staff has also undergone significant development over the past year: at the end of the academic year2019-20, 59.9% of our full-time teachers had a degree, by the end of last academic year, this number had risen to 63.2%. During the last academic year, 6 people received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and one of our employees successfully obtained a habilitation and received the degree of Doctor of Science. Although the share of our teachers with the title of associate professor and professor has increased by only 1% in the last academic year, if we take into account that 6 associate professors and 1 professor were appointed in one year, we can say that our indicators have improved.
When we started the previous academic year, the total area of our school buildings was 7614 m2, this year we already have 9581 m2, which is almost enough, sometimes with more or less problems. The holdings of our library have increased from 117,775 volumes to 133,462 in one academic year. I think our focus on students is obvious, as the number of places in dormitories has increased from 137 to 235 in the past academic year. And the number of catering establishments in the college building has increased by about 50%, which means that last year we drank coffee or ate only in two establishments, and this year we can do the same in three places, without leaving the area of the college.
We also try to provide comfort for our teachers, as evidenced by the fact that during the summer holidays, our young colleagues who needed it, were able to move to 14 service apartments. As a result of the work of our main sponsor, the Government of Hungary, as well as the President of the Foundation, László Brenzovics and President Ildikó Orosz, the conditions of teaching and research are constantly improving, and this, of course, affects the effectiveness of scientific work. This is evidenced by the fact that the number of publications of our teachers in the international scientific databases Scopus and Fellows Science increased from 35 to 51 in one year.
Summing up the achievements of the last period, let’s look a little further, because the opening of the academic year is always the beginning of a new stage, a new period, especially for 415 young people who are now starting their studies and will receive a bachelor’s or master’s degree. First of all, I would like to address those who will be studying in the first year of the bachelor’s program: I congratulate you on your successful admission and thank you for choosing us, the Rakoczi College.
Since I have already listed specific figures, let’s continue and summarize some more basic data. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought, dear young people, that during the normal period of basic higher education, that is, at best, over the next four years, you need to complete a total of 240 credits to get a diploma. If translated into the language of an ordinary person, one credit means 30 hours, so you will have to spend a total of 240 times 30 hours studying to get a diploma at the end of your chosen program, which means in a total of 7,200 hours. Although I see horror in the eyes of some, believe me, it’s not that much. Dividing this number by twenty-four hours, it immediately turns out that in total it is only 300 days. That is, in fact, good news – in the four years you need to study for less than a year, and you will have a diploma in your pocket. To fulfil these 240 credits, 7,200 hours and 300 days of hard training, I wish you a lot of strength, perseverance, diligence and, of course, even more luck. I also wish you to spend the rest of your time at the Rakoczi College usefully. For us, the teachers of the college, I want the academic year 2021-22 to be at least a little better, more productive, calmer in all respects than any of the previous 25 years. And finally, before thanking you for your attention and patience, the latest information for fans of numbers: 715 words were said in this speech; those who does not believe me, may check it themselves.
Berehove, September 24, 2021
István Csernicskó, rector of the Ferenc Rakoczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education
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