Past and Present

Last modified: 2016. October 27.

A short history

The roots of higher education in Eger can be traced back to the beginning of the 18th century. Legal instruction started in 1740, while teaching of philosophy was launched in 1756 along with the establishment of the College of Theology in 1700. The implementation of theological, legal, philosophical, and medical training was followed by the construction of an educational building capable of hosting a four-faculty university meeting all contemporary demands. While the Lyceum building complex, commissioned by Count Bishop Károly Eszterházy of Eger has been dedicated to higher education purposes since 1774, the Ratio Education is issued in 1777 hindered the education promotion efforts. Instruction in philosophy and law was eliminated in 1784 and the seminary was transferred to Pest in 1786. However, Bishop Eszterházy remained faithful to his original goals and following the death of Joseph II in 1790 he launched the philosophy and law training again in addition to achieving the return of the seminary to the city. In 1828 Bishop László János Pyrker established the first Pedagogical College offering instruction in Hungarian, aiming at the training of primary school teachers (schoolmasters) and cantors, while providing students with an overall preparation for the pedagogical profession.
The institution was transferred to the Lyceum Building in 1852 where complemented by a demonstration elementary school functioned as an Archdiocesan Teachers' Training College until 1948. Furthermore, at the initiative of Bishop Lajos Szmrecsányi and Canon Károly Subik since 1921 the Lyceum building has hosted a Four year Roman Catholic Vocational and Commerce School for Boys as well.
Following the transfer of the Debrecen-based pedagogical institute established by Parliament in 1948 to Eger in the next year, the Lyceum has hosted the Teachers' Training College since 1949.
During its more than fifty years history, the Teachers' Training College became a significant contributor to college level teacher training in Hungary. In addition to training over 30,000 professionals enriching Hungarian education and culture it has offered educational programs encompassing virtually the total spectrum of teacher training schemes and in several instances it has fulfilled a pioneering role in the launching of certain educational programs. The College has not only a national, but international reputation attracting students from all counties of the country and from abroad as well.
As a result of the restructuring efforts warranted by strategic plans prepared in the 1990's, the College experienced substantial changes. Due to a training profile expansion, the institution was transformed into a general college meeting a wider spectrum of educational needs.
Following the requirements of the Bologna Process and the attendant integration into the European Higher Education Area derived from Hungary's membership in the European Union, the College's goal was issuing domestically and internationally acclaimed valuable degrees and diplomas via the continuous improvement of its educational services and the elaboration of transparent, flexible academic programs providing a freedom of choice and meeting student demands.
On 1st of December 2015, the Parliament amended the Higher Education Act stating that with the merger of Eszterházy Károly College, Károly Róbert College of Gyöngyös, the Faculty of Applied and Professional Arts of Szent István University, and an upgrade in organisational status, the new institution continues its dedicated work under the name of Eszterházy Károly University from 1st of July 2016.

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