Name giving ceremony: the Albert Kázmér Faculty of Széchenyi University

The symbolic naming ceremony, which took place last Friday, marks the academic, educational and infrastructural renewal of the faculty that found a new home at the university six years ago. The faculty will serve students and the region with a much greater emphasis on sustainability, agricultural digitisation, rural development and modern food technologies.

Prince Albert Casimir of Saxe-Teschen died just two hundred years ago this year, in 1822. In 1818, he founded Europe's first agricultural institute of higher education, the predecessor of the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Széchenyi István University, Mosonmagyaróvár, which is still in operation today and will continue its activities under the name of Albert Kázmér Faculty, Mosonmagyaróvár from this academic year. To mark the occasion, the institution held a spectacular ceremony within the walls of the faculty's home, the castle of Óvár, which was renovated last year.


A growing capacity for innovation

Speaking at the event, Dr Erzsébet Knáb, President of the Board of Trustees of the Széchenyi István University Foundation, said that, like its founder two hundred years ago, they believe that only by striving for continuous improvement can they achieve new results.

"By exploiting the synergies of the different disciplines at the university - ranging from plant and food science to engineering, telecommunications, digitalisation and economics - our staff can effectively respond to the most topical challenges by helping each other and complementing each other. I am confident that building on the combined expertise of our excellent professionals will further strengthen the innovation capacity of our institution, while equipping our students with even more advanced, practical knowledge," she stressed.


Dr. Erzsébet Knáb Chair of the Board of Trustees (Photo: Bálint Szajki)


Both the faculty and the university benefit from the integration

Dr. Bálint Filep, President of Széchenyi István University, and Dr. Éva Szalka, Dean of the Albert Kázmér Faculty, Mosonmagyaróvár, gave a joint presentation on the past and future of the faculty. "The symbolic act of naming the faculty marks the renewal and rebirth of the faculty, which found a new home at Széchenyi István University six years ago", said Dr. Bálint Filep.

He added, "the renewal of the content will serve students and the region with a much greater emphasis on sustainability, agricultural digitisation, rural development and modern food technologies. Alongside this, the faculty is undergoing an infrastructural renewal, as demonstrated by the planned and already completed investments, in the castle and its surroundings.

He recalled that the Óvár community had taken the initiative as one, and the management of Széchenyi University together with the Senate had unanimously supported the integration. "The vision, which is now a reality, has created synergy between the two institutions. Thanks to this, we have been able to launch international research and development programmes that we would not have been able to do separately," he said.


President Dr. Bálint Filep and Dean Dr. Éva Szalka (Photo: Bálint Szajki)


Dr. Bálint Filep stressed that in order to achieve their common goals, they count on the commitment and partnership of all colleagues, which is perhaps more important now than ever before.

"The change in the maintenance and structure of our university, which was initiated more than two years ago with the support of the government, means greater freedom for us, but also greater responsibility. We can only meet this challenge through dedicated work and shared responsibility. We can now also see that this has given us a new chance to shape our university, in which our greater financial security serves a single purpose: to achieve the highest possible quality. It is also an incentive for university communities to work independently, from the bottom up, to strive for excellence rather than mediocrity," and he went on to thank the faculty, staff and students.

Dr. Éva Szalka said that from the 204-year history of the faculty only six years has been in the cooperation with Széchenyi István University, but in such a short time, extremely positive developments have taken place that strengthen the faculty's vision.

"The situation of the faculty has stabilised and it is now on a solid financial footing. Major developments have been carried out with the help of national and EU funds, and new strategic focus areas have been defined in response to future challenges," she remarked.

She went on to emphasize that the colleagues of the newly created Department of Applied Sustainability provide the basis for sustainability training and research while the new Department of Regional Sciences and Rural Development will focus on the sustainable and harmonious cooperation between economy, environment and society in rural areas.

"The integration was a good decision, as both the faculty and the university have benefit from it," she pointed out.


Specialised knowledge is provided by local and regional research

Dr Tibor Navracsics, Minister for Regional Development, said in his speech that it was the responsibility of every university to carry out local and regional research in the greatest possible depth. He said that this was the way to provide sufficiently sensitive answers to the problems of local societies and regions.

"I wish that the faculty of Mosonmagyaróvár and Széchenyi István University would help us to acquire this special knowledge, so that we can make higher quality decisions that are more in line with Hungary's strategic interests and better serve the quality of life of the people living here," he said.


Dr. Tibor Navracsics, Minister of Regional Development (Photo: Bálint Szajki)


Dr. István Nagy, Minister of Agriculture, Member of Parliament from Mosonmagyaróvár, also addressed the audience in a video message, as a graduate from Óvár.

"I am proud of the fact that the faculty is actively involved in supporting domestic sustainability efforts in the fields of research, education, professional work, knowledge sharing and awareness raising. The origin of Hungarian agricultural education is the research and knowledge base that is here in Magyaróvár."

- The entry of Hungarian agriculture into the 21st century - digitalisation, precision farming, automation, robotisation - requires a new type of agricultural engineer.

Dr. Péter Sótonyi, Rector of the University of Veterinary Medicine, addressed the audience as a committed supporter of Széchenyi István University. In his emotional speech, he recalled his strong attachment to his hometown, Mosonmagyaróvár, and to the Óvár faculty, where his father taught and where he and many of his relatives graduated.

Six years ago the decision to belong to Győr put the faculty in is the best possible place," he said, asking everyone to continue to stick to their roots.


Dr. Péter Sótonyi, Rector of the University of Veterinary Medicine (Photo: Bálint Szajki)


Dr. István Árvay, Mayor of Mosonmagyaróvár, in his toast, expressed his pleasure that Széchenyi István University considers the faculty as a valuable asset.


Dr. István Árvay, Mayor of Mosonmagyaróvár, gave a toast (Photo: Bálint Szajki)


At the ceremony, Kelemen Sárai-Szabó, Prior of the St. Mór Benedictine Priory in Győr, and Viktor Zsódi, Principal of the Piarist High School, Primary School and Kindergarten in Mosonmagyaróvár, blessed the new nameplate of the faculty, which was placed on the castle wall, and Dr. Erzsébet Knáb, President of the Board of Trustees, presented the honorary certificate of the new name of the faculty to Dr. Bálint Filep and Dr. Éva Szalka.


The new nameplate was blessed by Viktor Zsódi and Kelemen Sárai-Szabó (Photo: Bálint Szajki)



Dr. Péter Zoltán Baranyi, Rector of the University, Dr. Zsolt Kovács, Chancellor of the University, Dr. Erzsébet Knáb, President of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Éva Szalka, Dean of the Faculty of the University of Mosonmagyaróvár and Dr. Bálint Filep, President of the University with the certificate of honour.


At the event, a cooperation agreement was signed by Dr. Tibor Navracsics, Minister of Regional Development, Dr. Erzsébet Knáb, President of the Board of Trustees of the Széchenyi István University Foundation, Dr. Bálint Filep, President of Széchenyi István University and Dr. Zoltán Agg, President of the Comitatus Social Research Association.

Based on this, the Prime Minister's Office intends to draw on the knowledge base and innovation ecosystem of the university in its decision-preparatory work, while the university considers the introduction of new courses and specialisations adapted to the changing needs of regional development and the launch of short-cycle training courses to meet the needs of regional development professionals as a strategic direction.

In addition, the journal “Comitatus Municipal Review”, which the university will support, can be a forum for the publication of the institution's educational and research results.


Participants at the signing of the cooperation agreement (Photo: Bálint Szajki)



On the occasion of the celebration the castle was decorated with light painting (Photo: Bálint Szajki)

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