Faculty of Arts (Savaria Campus)

The Faculty of Arts was established in 2002. From that time on it has had a wide range of degree courses in arts and social sciences. The education of teachers for primary schools started in Szombathely in 1959 followed by several decades of development. There was an unprecedented boost in Hungarian higher education in the late 1980s, which brought about the constant updating of the curriculum, including majors in arts and humanities. The Berzsenyi Dániel College founded new departments of modern languages (such as the Department of Russian, Croatian, Slovenian, English, French, German and Italian Language and Literature as well as for Uralistics) in order to meet changing requirements.

A demographic peak meant that an increasing number of students required an enhanced infrastructure. Most of the faculty’s departments were moved in 1990 to their current location at Berzsenyi Square. Funding from the FEFA and Phare programs facilitated the development of majors in arts and social sciences, especially the improvement of foreign language instruction. Hundreds of millions of Hungarian Forints were spent on the development of human resources, education programs and infrastructure at the faculty. The faculty’s internal management and the setting up of the institute system were both important issues. Arts and humanities, including Hungarian Language and Literature and foreign language majors, were coordinated by the Institute of Philology. Other fields of arts and social sciences were incorporated in the Institute for Social Studies.

 

Functioning as an independent unit, the faculty currently offers a broad spectrum of degree courses in classic majors like Hungarian language and literature, history or majors in frequently spoken foreign languages. There are also courses unique in Hungarian higher education, such as Slovenian language and literature. The study of liberal arts is experiencing a revival. There are new highly sought after fields like communication and media studies, librarian IT studies, and international studies. The B.A. courses in arts and social sciences ensure students a smooth way to move on to subsequent M.A. studies, in line with the new multi-cycle degree system in higher education. In addition to the on-going accreditation of its M.A. degree courses, the key objective of the Faculty of Arts is the establishment of a doctoral school.

 

In addition to providing education and services, the faculty is recognized as a major research and innovation centre in arts and social sciences. The harmonisation of R&D activities and education is a cornerstone of the faculty’s research strategy. The research directions pursued at the faculty are closely related to its education program. Scientific activities are pursued within the framework of its research groups: Slavic philology, applied linguistics, intercultural communication, experience-based and innovative teaching of literature, sociolinguistics, mass media, visual communication, regional development and micro-integration (supported also by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), national, ethnic and religious minorities, Judaistics, Italian studies, terminology, philosophy and Uralistics. The lecturers of the faculty publish their research results in Hungarian and in international journals as well as in the faculty’s own publications.

 

Due to the constant infrastructural development, education facilities include well-equipped lecture halls and seminar rooms, computer labs and a foreign language library facilitating language education. The faculty meets all the requirements of higher education in the 21st century. Broadcasting at 98.8 MHz, the studio of Radio Berzsenyi and a video studio work as parts of Ancillary Technical Department of the Institute for Communication. Equipped with cutting edge technology, both studios are available not only for broadcasting programs made by the students but also for course-related practical training.

 

The faculty has a large number of international relations in the scientific world, from inter-institutional agreements and programs such as Erasmus or lecturer and student mobility schemes facilitated by the Life-Long-Learning program. A number of research projects or joint education programs are arranged under the aegis of the international relations of the faculty, such as the linguistic project SLANG MASTER and the project MIREES in political science led by the universities of Maribor and Bologna. Established in 2004, the Maribor Network of Inter-university Cooperation wishes to start M.A. degree courses in several fields involving seven institutions of higher education (Bielska Bia³a, Klagenfurt, Maribor, Osijek, Szombathely, Trnava, Udine) to maximally utilize the resources of each partner. In addition to cooperation within West and Central European networks, increasingly good relations are being developed with Eastern countries (Russia and Turkey). The participation in the establishment of the Federation of Finno-Ugrian Universities provides the faculty with even more opportunities.

In addition to strengthening its positions in Hungarian higher education, the Faculty of Arts of the University of West Hungary wishes to establish itself as an acknowledged member of the European arena of higher education.