Legal training in Miskolc was formally established in 1980, and teaching started in September 1981 with 120 full-time students and 60 part-time students. The decision was preceeded by years of preparation, the summary of which was that the supply of legal professionals in Hungary, a country turning towards the market economy, could be solved most effectively by establishing a Faculty of Law in Miskolc.
The establishment of the Faculty was a milestone in the history of the University of Miskolc. Until then the University had only three technical faculties, and by opening to the humanities, first of all to the law and political sciences, it made a strategic and future-forming decision. This step was followed by the opening of the faculties of economics and arts, so that today it is possible to study in any of eight faculties and an institute in a wide range of study areas. These changes proved to be positive ones, because they allowed the University of Miskolc to react in a well-prepared manner to the economic, social and political changes that occurred after the change of regime.
The main tasks of every university and every faculty are education and research – and this is true of us as well. But we must include our third pledge, our duty: the service of the community that gives place to us. It is the city of Miskolc, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, and the North-eastern region of the nation that we would like to serve. We would like to act in the interests of the economy, the public institutions, the people and families, the young people who are willing to learn and the employers that are looking for educated young people. We are always searching for ways to contribute and waiting for requests to fulfill in order to show our commitment to this region.
A vital part of our commitment is that we take over – as a spiritual heritage – the tradition that was left to us by the former Miskolc Lutheran Academy of Law. The Academy, with the principle “of the city, from the city and for the city”, gave us a fine example to follow. We strive to honour our predecessors by trying to meet their high standards.
The challenges accompanying the change of regime and European Union integration did not pass our Faculty by. The first challenge was the multiplying number of students without a change in infrastructure. This growth followed the changes in higher education, as a result of which 40% of an age-group can study in institutions of higher education. The second demand came from the socio-economic environment, expecting us not to be limited to legal education, but to admit other majors in the field of law and administration. This we complied with by establishing new majors. The third challenge came from Brussels and brought along the integration to the European higher education system – also known as the Bologna process. The point of the system is that it divides the education into bachelor and master levels and it arranges the education levels – advanced vocational training, BA, MA and post-graduate specialist training programmes – in a linear range that enables moving forward and backward as well, so that everyone can leave the university with a qualification best suited to their abilities.
That is the point we are at now. We do not know what the future might bring – but we know that we await it prepared and determined to face the ever-changing challenges.