The University of Sopron

The University of Sopron, which is at the forefront of the Hungarian higher educational institutions, has the fifth largest number of students in the country. Its campuses in five historical West Hungarian cities offer up-to-date knowledge for almost twenty thousand students, who benefit from the high standard of education and advanced infrastructure.

The university’s ten faculties are located in Sopron, a jewel city situated at the meeting point of Fertő Region (part of the world heritage) and the start of the Lower Alps, in Győr, a historic and festival city which won the Europa Nostra prize, in Mosonmagyaróvár, wedged in between Szigetköz and Hanság, which is famous for its medicinal water (acknowledged as one of the five most effective mineral waters of Europe), in Székesfehérvár, the coronation town of our mediaeval kings and in Szombathely with its 2,000 year history, the birthplace of Saint Martin, home town of Europe’s biggest historical carnival, the cultural and educational centre of the region.

In each campus there is a vivid student life. Some of them cherish the student traditions originating in Selmecbánya, which are unique in Europe and whose roots go back to the mysterious Middle Ages; others have found their own way in forming a community.

Among the legal predecessors of the university there are some institutions with a great past, like the School for Training Mining Officers, founded by Charles III (1735), which was raised to an academic rank by Maria Theresa, and the Magyaróvár Private School of Agriculture, founded by Prince Casimir Albert Saxony-Teschen (1818), which gave birth to the Vienna College of Agriculture in 1872 (today’s Universität für Bodenkultur Wien).

All the faculties of the University of Sopron offer something interesting. The cradle of the 230 year old Hungarian teacher training was at the Apáczai Csere János Faculty in Győr. The new profile of the faculty is tourism, which has placed the faculty at the top rank of the higher educational institutions providing training in tourism. Students of the faculty gain practical experience doing all the jobs in the most modern training hotel in Hungary which serves business guests and hosts conferences.

The Faculty of Arts in Szombathely (Savaria Campus) is integrated into the European arena of higher education and research through its international relations. In the course of the training special emphasis is placed on direct, personal collaboration with the students. Besides traditional courses in humanities, a wide range of courses in social sciences are also offered at the faculty. In addition to frequently spoken foreign languages, students can study the languages of the peoples living in the region.

The Benedek Elek Faculty of Pedagogy in Sopron is the best-known institution with the longest traditions in pre-school education in Hungary.

Education of forest engineers at the Faculty of Forestry originated in Selmecbánya, and now it looks back on two hundred years of history. It is unique in Hungary even today. The Faculty of Forestry was the first in Hungary to start a Wildlife Manager training program. The city of Sopron awarded the Civitas Fidelissima prize to the faculty for its great services rendered in the life of the city.

Creativity is the common feature of the educational areas – engineering, information science, and applied arts – at the Faculty of Wood Sciences in Sopron. Training in applied arts in Sopron enjoys the second highest national reputation after Budapest. Recognition of the faculty is also supported by the achievements of the students – like the creators of the air propelled vehicle (penumobil), which won a national second prize, or the constructors of the boat “Fireant,” who rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in the boat designed and built by themselves, and which won the prize for design.

The Faculty of Geoinformatics in Székesfehérvár has been educating land surveying and land management engineers exclusively in Hungary for almost fifty years. The Ministry of Agriculture and Regional Development presented the faculty with the title of Land- and Geoinformatics Science Centre.

Education at the Faculty of Economics in Sopron has advanced and reached a leading position ahead of 22 other higher educational institutions.

The legal predecessor of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences was one of the first agricultural higher educational institutions in the world. Its professors created the entire Hungarian professional research network. The experimental stations which they established (the Meteorological Observatory, the Sowing Seed Testing Station, the Experimental Station for Plant Cultivation, the Veterinary Station, etc.) are still operating all over the county.

The Faculty of Artistic, Pedagogy and Sports Sciences in Szombathely (Savaria Campus) is famous for its Music Workshop and the Berzsenyi Dániel Mixed Choir, which is nationally and internationally recognized for its religious music repertoire. Recently a sound recording series has been made at the faculty, presenting the several hundred year old religious music of Hungary. The mixed choir, a constant participant of Hungarian and European music festivals, and proud winner of distinguished prizes, also sang at an audience of Pope John Paul II.

The faculty is the second most important sports training centre in Hungary. The training is supported by the Sports Association, which offers the largest variety of sports activities in the region. Sports education has been expanded by the health development program. The faculty also incorporates the teacher training of the Savaria Campus.

The Faculty of Natural and Technical Sciences in Szombathely (Savaria Campus) established a high tech observatory to assist education and research. The Kövesligethy Radó Educational Observatory takes part in a joint research program on solar physics with the Slovakian Central Observatory (SUH).

Besides high quality sports education the university is also proud of its competitive sports. The Sopron Sports Association of the University of Sopron, SMAFC – made legendary by its basketball players - was founded in Selmecbánya in 1860. From that time it has continuously operated as one of Europe’s oldest sports association. Today excellent results have been achieved in the association’s karate (European Championship gold medals), riding, chess, ski (World Championship silver medals) and orienteering sections too. The other sports association of the university, the Szombathely University Sports Association, with its fourteen divisions and almost 1,500 participating sportsmen and sportswomen, is one of the country’s most important university sports associations.