Rector’s report by Ildikó Orosz on the Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute named after Ferenc Rákóczi II in 2015-2020

The Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute currently has 12 BSc/BA and 7 MSc/MA programs accredited in Ukraine. Since 2015, the Institute has been granted a license for Bachelor’s programs in the fields of Chemistry, Tourism, Accounting and Taxation, and for a Master’s program in Mathematics. During the same period, in addition to the 4 existing bachelor’s programs not accredited in Ukraine, further 9 were successfully introduced to the Institute in the form of joint training with Hungarian higher education institutions:

– Agricultural Engineer (Szent István University);
– Food Industry Engineer (Szent István University);
– Nursing and Patient Care (University of Debrecen);
– Social Pedagogy (University of Debrecen);
– IT Engineering (University of Debrecen);
– Economy IT (University of Debrecen);
– Catechist (Greek Catholic Theological College of St. Athanasius);

– Hungarian as a foreign language (professional training, jointly with Gáspár Károli Reformed University);
– Mental Hygiene Assistant (professional training, joint training with Gáspár Károli Reformed University)
In the academic year 2020/2021, acting education will begin in cooperation with the University of Kaposvár and the National Theatre, as well as a four-semester specialized postgraduate training for teachers in singing, music, visual education, physical education, folk culture and dance, after which those who successfully complete the course may receive an appropriate degree.

In the 2014/2015 academic year, after a long negotiation and licensing process, the Vocational Training Centre of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute began its work.

We began the academic year 2014/2015 with 102 students and 28 teachers in five major specializations.

During the five years we received more applications that we could accept for the kindergarten pedagogy program. We started each school year with a full group of 25 students. We successfully accredited the degree program in 2017, with a total of 73 graduates by now. After completing a complex state examination, chaired by a specialist from an external pedagogical college, the young professionals can receive their diplomas. So far we have had three graduations in kindergarten pedagogy. We are pleased to note that there is little drop-out. There were 23 graduates in 2017 and 25 both in 2018 and 2019. Of our 2017 graduates, 4 are working in kindergartens, also 7 graduates of 2018 work in kindergartens and 2 at schools, 7 graduates from the class of 2019 worki in kindergartens and 1 works at a school. The others carried on to study at various departments of our institute.

We started every academic year with a total of 20 students in the programs in social pedagogy and, since 2015, in social work. This program was also accredited in 2017 and we awarded a total of 55 diplomas. So far, we had three graduated classes in the program. The majority of the students continue their studies at the Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute named after Ferenc Rákóczi II in various degree programs (teacher and kindergarten teacher, Hungarian language and literature, Ukrainian language and literature, English language, history) and at the University of Debrecen, where they can use their knowledge and skills acquired at the ‘young specialist’ training level.

A number of applications over the quota were received for the tourism program every year, and we always started the academic year with a full group of 25 students. Also accredited in 2017, we have awarded 60 degrees in Tourism since then. We can meet our graduates accompanying tourist groups.

Applied Mathematics was accredited in 2018. During the training, students will also participate in programming, system programming, database management, computer networking and technology practice, so they will have the opportunity to apply the acquired knowledge and test their knowledge in real situations. So far, 35 students have completed their degree during the four-year training.

The Accounting and Taxation program was accredited in 2017. The interest in the profession is evidenced by the current number of students: 21 third-year students, 10 second-year students and 24 first-year students in the Accounting and Taxation program. We are pleased to see this interest. Over the past 5 years, 20 young professionals have graduated.

In the 5 programs, 243 students have graduated in five years.

In the first two years, most of our students study high school subjects and obtain their high school diplomas. We are also one of the most successful schools in Transcarpathia in terms of the Independent External Examinations. Our students passed 98% of their exams in the selected subjects in 2019.

In addition to the serious theoretical and professional training, we also place great emphasis on talent management. Our institute pays great attention to exploring the individual talents of the students. They participate in many prestigious competitions at home and abroad. They take the podium at fairy tales, rhetoric and poetry, ballad, pronunciation competitions, and they are active participants of the Profession Star competition in Budapest. Their knowledge and talents enrich and enhance the reputation of our institution and the Transcarpathian Hungarian student community.

In the 2019/2020 academic year, after two years of preparation, we succeeded in starting vocational education in cooperation with Hungarian vocational training institutions. We have created the Egán Ede Vocational Training Centre, which in will cover all the Hungarian-populated areas of Transcarpathia as a network. First, the Egán Ede Vocational Training Centre’s establishment in Nagydobrony began to operate with 95 students who can study various professions in 7 programs: car mechanic, agricultural mechanic, welder, cook, hairdresser, and cosmetologist. In the Centre in Petrovo, training begins in September. Students study for one week at home, and for one week at the partner institution.

The College has 1,552 students in all forms of training in the 2020/2021 academic year. In addition, in 35 settlements of Transcarpathia, with 74 instructors, 228 groups, 3,138 participants study in Hungarian language courses and 886 study Ukrainian (62 groups, 20 settlements with 32 instructors), which was organized by the Adult Training Centre. So, a total of 4,024 people attend language courses held by 106 teachers in 54 settlements, in 290 groups.

Since the academic year 2016/2017, scholarships are available to the students of the institute:

Academic year Semester based on grades
social scholarship Vocational Training centre,
students’ scholarship
Vocational Training centre,
social scholarship
Egán Ede 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  
ÖSSZESEN   2 806 577 2 021 392 172 46 6 014

During 2015–2020, the Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute has signed cooperation agreements with a total of 48 Hungarian, foreign, and Ukrainian higher education and other establishments, as of March 19, 2020. The distribution of these partner institutions is as follows:

– 13 foreign higher education institutions or their organizational units (faculty, institute, etc.);
– 13 other foreign institutions or organizations;
– 11 higher education institutions in Ukraine;
– 5 other Ukrainian institutions or organizations;
– 6 consortium agreements (tripartite or multilateral) have been signed.

Since 2015 the Institute has signed ERASMUS+ contracts with 18 higher education institutions in 6 countries (Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Turkey, Portugal), in terms of which 147 student, teacher and administrative staff mobilities has taken place/are ongoing, as follows:
– 33 students participated in full semester training;
– 3 students travelled here for an entire semester;
– 46 teachers worked at foreign institutions as guest teachers;
– 55 teachers travelled here;
– 5 non-pedagogical staff members participated in the exchange of experience at a foreign institution, and we welcomed 5 people as well.

In the framework of the Makovecz Program, which runs from the academic year 2016-17, the Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute has concluded 20 bilateral co-operation agreements (with 5 so-called ‘host’ institutions and 15 ‘partner’ institutions in Hungary). Based on these, 140 college students have been or are currently participating in 1 to 5 month study mobility (part-time training) and 9 students from abroad and from Hungary have come to the Rákóczi Institute for a similar period of time. The annual distribution of outgoing students was as follows:

– academic year 2016/17: 40 outbound students (22 in Hungarian, 18 in foreign institutions);
– academic year 2017/18: 47 outbound students (41 in Hungarian, 6 in foreign institutions);
– academic year 2018/19: 53 outbound students (48 in Hungarian, 5 in foreign institutions);
– academic year 2019/2020: 43 outbound students (36 in Hungarian, 7 in foreign institutions).

During this period, 51 major scientific conferences and symposiums were organized or co-organized by the Institute: 33 international ones, 5 with participants from all over Ukraine, and 13 student conferences.

Some of the most important completed and ongoing infrastructure investments of the Institute between 2015 and 2020 are the following:

In 2015, the three-storey building of the Vocational Training Institute with a total area of 1,742 m2 was completed in Berehove. By covering the inner courtyard of the main building, the 450 m2 atrium was built, the buildings were made accessible by wheelchair and lifts were installed.

In 2016, we opened a dormitory with a total area of 360 m2 for the Vocational Training Centre in Nagydobrony for 45 persons, and we built-in a 226 m2 loft on the 4th floor of the Vocational Training Centre building in Berehove.
In 2017, a new four-storey building with 1,908 m2 floor space accommodating approximately 145 students was built in Berehove, including 11 teacher’s guest apartments on the 4th floor. The second floor of the 354 m2 rented building on the Meliorátor street in Nagydobrony was renovated, where the training kitchen of the Egán Ede Vocational Training Centre and the ‘Tulip’ School of Hungarian Folk Art founded by the Institute are situated.

In 2018, the Institute’s sports hall of 2,200 m2 was built in Berehove, the landscaping of the college’s yard with an area of about 2 hectares was completed, including the construction of an outdoor sports field sized 15×30 meters, and the 1,857 m2 two-storey building of the Institute , with its 733 m2, two-story dormitory for 90 persons.

In 2019, in Nagydobrony, we renovated two buildings of the former forestry house with a total area of 430 m2, in Lipovec village of the Perechyn district a 522 m2 three-storey building was built to serve as a high altitude field practice base for the Institute. Both locations will serve as field practice bases in biology and geography, but will also serve as forest schools and as locations for the summer camps of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Pedagogical Association. The renovation of the 360 m2 building of the former Perényi mansion in Berehove has been completed, and about half of the 1 370 m2 area of the old dormitory has been completely renovated.

In 2020 in Berehove, the entire loft of the main building of the college, with a total floor area of 831 m2, was fully accommodated, and the reconstruction of the three-storey building of 1,300 m2 belonging to the Institute of Vocational Training was completed in Petrovo, Vynohradiv district.

Ongoing projects: The left wing of the former school No. 2 with a floor area of 3,052 m2 is under reconstruction in Berehove. The construction of a new swimming pool and sports centre on the former “Mebelschik” course with a total area of 3,700 m2 has begun. The 255 m2 building of the former Buttler Castle in Serednye, Uzhgoros district, is undergoing a complete reconstruction. In Berehove, the construction of 10 small teachers’ guest apartments has begun in two properties. The outdoor areas around the completed buildings in Petrovo, Lypovec and the extension of the József Szikura Botanical Garden in Nagybereg are nearing completion.

In 2019, in accordance with the new Ukrainian Law on Higher Education, we have developed and approved the Institute’s new by-laws, which will also result in structural changes. On the basis of the performance of the institution and the number of its students it reached a higher level. This completes a phase in the life of the Institute, and it is required by the law to act according with the new by-laws in the future.

In 2015, following the unexpected death of Rector József Szikura, in view of the current situation, I undertook to fill the position of the Rector in addition to my presidency.

I have reached the age of retirement today, so I will resign as Rector on March 20th. I will continue to hold the presidency.

In order to comply with current Ukrainian legal requirements and the Institute’s new by-laws, and to ensure continuity, I requested the Board of Trustees of the Charity Foundation of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute to appoint a commissioned rector and to authorize the rector’s election.

Ildikó Orosz, rector of the Institute