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August 20, 2014   
Introducing the University > History of the University

History of the University

University chronology, 1735-2005

  • 1735: School of Mining and Metallurgy established in Selmecbánya
  • 1770: School elevated to the rank of Academy
  • 1846: Mining and Forestry Academy
  • 1904: College of Mining and Forestry with four departments
    (mining engineering, non-ferrous metallurgical engineering, ferrous metallurgical engineering, and forestry engineering)
  • 1919: College moves from Selmecbánya to Sopron
  • 1949: Technical University for Heavy Industry founded in Miskolc

    (Faculty of Mining Engineering, Faculty of Metallurgical Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering) 
  • 1985: Faculty of Law established 
  • 1990: Faculty of Economics established 
  • 1990: name of the institution changed to University of Miskolc
  • 1997: Faculty of Arts established 
  • 1997: Bartók Béla Music Institute attached to University
  • 1998: Research Institute of Mining Chemistry of the Hungarian Academy of Science attached to University under the name Research Institute of Applied Chemistry
  • 2000: Comenius Teacher Training College Faculty in Sárospatak attached to University
  • 2001: Institute of Health Sciences attached to University
  • 2005: Institute of Health Sciences elevated to College Faculty of Healthcare 
  • 2008: Research Institute of Applied Earth Sciences (change of name)
  • 2009: Faculty of Healthcare

Short summary 1735-2005

Act 23 of the Hungarian Parliament in 1949 decreed: "for the advancement of higher educational technical training, a Technical University for Heavy Industry shall be established in Miskolc. The university shall include faculties of mining engineering, metallurgical engineering and mechanical engineering."

However, the new technical university at the centre of the Borsod industrial zone actually already had a two-and-a-half-century-long history owing to its Faculties of Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering. The predecessors of the two faculties were operating in Selmecbánya until 1919, and then in Sopron until 1949. The departments of the Faculty of Mining Engineering and the Faculty of Metallurgical Engineering gradually moved to Miskolc between 1949 and 1959.

In 1735 the Court Chamber of Vienna founded a school of mining and metallurgy (Bergschule) in Selmecbánya in order to train specialists according to the requirements of the unfolding industrial revolution for the purpose of upgrading precious metal and copper production in Hungary from mines owned by the treasury, playing an important role also on a European scale. In the Hapsburg Empire the school of Selmec was the first educational institution founded by the state and operating under non-ecclesiastical control. One of the first professors of the school was Sámuel Mikovinyi, a highly cultured engineer and mathematician and an outstanding personality in Hungarian cartography.

The first page of Curriculum order of 1735 (Hofkammerarchiv, Wien)

Between 1762 and 1770, with the establishment of three departments, the school gradually became an academy of mining and metallurgy (k.k.Bergakademie), training specialists for the whole of the Hapsburg Empire. In 1763 the antiphlogistonist chemist N.J. Jacquin, later to become professor and rector of the University of Vienna, was appointed head of the first department, the Department of Metallurgy, Chemistry and Mineralogy. His successor was G. A. Scopoli, a chemist and mineralogist, who was invited to the University of Pavia (Italy) from Selmec. In 1765 N. Poda, who gave an expert description of the world-famous mining machinery of Selmec, was appointed head of the second department, the Department of Mathematics, Mechanics and Machinery. In 1770 the establishment of the third department, the Department of Mining, completed the organisational structure of the three-year academy. The first professor of this department was Chr. T. Delius, who had been a student of the University of Göttingen and the Mining School of Selmec, and was the author of an epoch-making work on mining in the international mining literature. Delius, as well as his successor at the department, J. Peithner, was later called to the Court Chamber of Vienna to manage the mining and metallurgical activities of the entire Hapsburg Empire.

Empress Maria Theresa approves the establishment of a three-year academy in Selmecbánya, 22 October 1772 (Hofkammerarchiv, Wien)

Selmecbánya was the first place in the world to start a higher education programme in mining and metallurgy for specialists (Freiberg followed in 1765, Berlin in 1770, St. Petersburg in 1773, then Clausthal, Madrid, Paris, Mexico, etc.). Its world-wide fame was created by the metallurgical-chemistry laboratory teaching method of Professors N.J. Jacquin, G.A. Scopoli and Antal Rupprecht, which was based on the independent work of students in small groups and which brought about a radical change in the teaching of science. In 1794, when the technical university in Paris was organised, the laboratory teaching method of Selmec was used as a model.

In 1786 the first international technical society in the world was established in Szklenó near Selmec under direction of the professors of Selmec. The Societät der Bergbaukunde included 154 specialists from 13 European countries, as well as Mexico and Bogotá, as its members, among them such universal notabilities as Lavoisier, Goethe and Watt.

In the first part of the 19th century, the scope of the activities of the academy continued to increase. Two-thirds of the 500 students came from the various provinces of the Hapsburg Empire and from abroad. In 1846, after reorganisation into a higher education institution, the forestry school (k.k.Berg- und Forstakademie) of the treasury-owned mining enterprises, founded in 1808, was attached to the academy.

In 1848-49 the students from Hungary took sides with the revolution and war of independence, while the majority of students from Austria and Bohemia and Moravia left Selmec. The academy came under the direction of the minister of religious and educational affairs of the Hungarian government and attempts were made to introduce Hungarian as the language of instruction in forestry. Owing to the developments in the war situation and then as a consequence of the autocracy, teaching was suspended at the academy until 1850. Several of the professors and students had been killed in action, had suffered imprisonment or had been dismissed. New schools were established for the students who had left Selmec: in Leoben for the Austrian students and in Pibram for the students from Bohemia and Moravia. Later on these institutions rose to the rank of academies and then universities.

With the Austro-Hungarian Compromise in 1867 the academy became a Hungarian state institution called the Hungarian Royal Academy of Mining and Forestry (Magyar Kir. Bányászati és Erdészeti Akadémia). Hungarian as the language of instruction was gradually introduced between 1868 and 1872. In 1872 the structure and academic programmes of the academy were dramatically reformed. The so-far uniform ‘mining’ training, which in the professional language of the time covered mining, metallurgy and minting equally, was divided into four branches: mining proper, non-ferrous metallurgy, ferrous metallurgy and machinery and civil engineering. Training in forestry included two branches: general forestry and forest engineering.

At the turn of the 19th century the academy was considerably extended: new buildings and up-to-date laboratories were built. From 1904 on it operated as the College of Mining and Forestry (Bányászati és Erdészeti Főiskola). In the academic year 1913-14 the College had 20 well-equipped departments and 580 students. No tuition fees were paid. Approximately 20% of the undergraduates in the higher years received grants. Close to two-fifths of the students came from the working class, artisan and farming families.

The most notable professors of the second century of the Selmec era were Chr. Doppler, Antal Kerpely, István Farbaky, István Schenek, Ottó Cséti, Emil Herrmann, Hugó Böckh and Géza Zemplén.

World War I disrupted the rising path of the College. Four-fifths of the students were called up for service in the field and more than fifty of them died in action on the various battlefields of Europe. Even more were able to return to their alma mater only after they had suffered serious injuries or inhumane conditions in prisoner-of-war camps.

In 1919, after Selmecbánya became part of the newly formed Czechoslovakia, the College moved to Sopron. It is mostly owing to the armed resistance of the students that the peace treaty did not disannex Sopron from Hungary. The name of the institution was the College of Mining and Forest Engineering (Bányamérnöki és Erdőmérnöki Főiskola) from 1922. Academic programmes were offered in four branches: mining engineering, non-ferrous metallurgical engineering, ferrous metallurgical engineering and forest engineering. The head of the College was the rector, and deans were the heads of the branches. The College was granted the right of privat-docent and doctoral habilitation in 1931. In 1929 Publications in foreign languages of the branches of mining engineering and metallurgical engineering were begun and they continue to be published under a different title even today.

In 1934 the College joined the newly organised József Nádor University of Engineering and Economics (József Nádor Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem) with a national scope as its Faculty of Mining, Metallurgical and Forestry Engineering, comprising twenty-seven departments.

The branches of mining and metallurgical engineering operated in this form of organisation until 1949, when they became the Faculty of Mining Engineering and the Faculty of Metallurgical Engineering, respectively, of the newly founded Technical University for Heavy Industry (Nehézipari Műszaki Egyetem). In 1952 the departments of metallurgy moved to Miskolc. The mining engineering training was divided between Miskolc and Sopron until 1959: the first two years were taught in Miskolc, while the upper years received their training in Sopron. This division ended in 1959, when the professional departments of mining moved to Miskolc. Based on the departments of fundamental courses and forestry, the one-time College taking over all the university buildings in Sopron eventually became today’s University of Forestry and Timber Industry.

Act 23 of 1949 on the establishment of the Technical University for Heavy Industry with its seat in Miskolc

Among the many excellent professors of the Sopron era of the University, special mention must be made of the following: József Finkey, whose books on mineral dressing were published in the United States of America, Germany and the Soviet Union; the ferrous metallurgist Ernő Cotel and the analytical chemist József Mika, whose works were also published abroad, Géza Boleman, author of the classic work on electrical engineering in Hungary, János Mihalovits, who explored the history of the University and mining in his works, Antal Tárczy-Hornoch, professor of geodesy and mine surveying, Károly Simonyi, professor of physics, and Simon Papp, István Vitális, Miklós Vendel and Elemér Szádeczky-Kardoss, professors of geology.



Source information
Source: Szendi Attila (konsendi@uni-miskolc.hu)
Editor: Web Administrator (w3admin@uni-miskolc.hu)
2012-02-09 08:53:34

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