Text which the school asked us to publish:
Why is Hungarian speaking higher education needed in Romania?
One of the main tools of the Romanian policy of assimilation has been the gradual - at least partial - elimination or Romanianisation of Hungarian speaking education at every level. Aware of this and taking advantage of the political and social changes brought about by the events of 1989, the ethnic Hungarian community in Transylvania began its struggle for restoration of mother tongue education.
Higher education is an extremely important field of education in the Hungarian language. Higher education in the mother tongue is increasingly important for the formation of a competitive Hungarian intellectual echelon. Without this, the social structure of the Hungarian community in Romania will be distorted, and resistance to forced assimilation will be impossible. The loss of Hungarian speaking higher education also has negative effects on lower level education in the mother tongue, and only encourages the mass emigration of the ethnic Hungarian population of Romania. Thus, the provision of its own higher education in the mother tongue is a vital priority for the Hungarian community in Romania.
Why is a Hungarian private university needed in Romania?
The Romanian Law on Education of 1995 that was finally adopted in 1999 does not provide for the establishment of independent Hungarian speaking State university institutions. On the other hand, the existing framework of state higher education is still limiting, repressive and discriminative of education in the Hungarian language. That is how approximately 15,000 ethnic Hungarian students attend Romania's institutions of higher education, despite the fact that given the ethnic Hungarian nation's size as a proportion of general population they should number around 25,000. Furthermore, only 5,000 out of the 15,000 Hungarian students have the opportunity of an education - at least in part - in their mother tongue. For this very same reason, thousands of Transylvanian ethnic Hungarian young people study at universities in Hungary, and experience has proved that the great majority of them will not return to their native land.
We are trying to find a way out of this unfortunate situation by the establishment of Hungarian speaking private system of education, albeit that we would also, of course, wish to take advantage of the limited possibilities provided by the state higher education in the Hungarian language.
The establishment of independent Hungarian speaking private university in Transylvania and Partium
As a response to a real need and in order to fulfill their common objectives, the Hungarian historic churches in Romania (Roman Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran and Unitarian) - in consultation with and supported by the government of Hungary decided to establish a private ecclesiastical university system. The main pillars of this university system will be in Nagyvárad/Oradea, Kolozsvár/Cluj and in the Székely-land (eastern Transylvania). This year, they endowed the Sapientia Foundation. The two thousand million Hungarian Forint capital of the Sapientia Foundation in Kolozsvár/Cluj has been provided by the government of Hungary. In the run-up of this year, competent experts began drawing up comprehensive plans regarding the Hungarian private university system in Romania. It is expected that with the coming of the new academic year the first institutional investments will be made and new faculties and department will be started along existing lines.
The Partium Christian University
Bearing in mind the difficult educational conditions and with the intention of the future foundation of a university, the Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District had already established the Sulyok István College in Nagyvárad/Oradea in 1991. As the successor of the Sulyok István College, the Partium Christian University came to existence in September 1999, as the first active institution of the planned Hungarian speaking private university system in Romania.
The Partium Christian University was established by the Pro Universitate Partium Foundation. Church leaders and politicians initiated its foundation.International standards being what they are, it is a pressing necessity that the approximately 600,000 Hungarian speaking people of Partium (this historic name refers to the western and south-western part of Romania) have their own university institution.
The Partium Christian University, developed from the Sulyok István College, has obtained the operating licenses prescribed official accreditation procedures, and it operates on a regular basis with a professional teaching staff.
As with the Sulyok István College, the Partium Christian University has an ecumenical character. The religious make-up of its students is in line with the religious make-up of the ethnic Hungarian population in Romania. 1049 students are attending the Partium Christian University in the 2004/2005 academic year.
The Partium Christian University operates in the Headquarters of the Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District and in rented classrooms. Two other buildings, the Arany János Hostel and the Library belong to the University.
The following departments are functioning as part of two university faculties:
Teacher of Religion Training - Social Work.
Teacher of Religion Training -German Language and Literature.
German Language and Literature.
Primary School Teacher Training.
English Language and Literature.
Romanian and English Language and Literature.
Economy, Tourism and Commercial Services.
The financial situation of the Partium Christian University
The Sulyok István College was run by the Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District from its own funds, as well as from contributions of the Hungarian state and donations from foreign churches.
We enjoyed and appreciated the goodwill and support of our western sisters and brothers during the process of the university's establishment. That is how it was possible to support a developing educational institution without any contribution from the Romanian State.
New opportunities will be created by the accreditation of the university, which was approved by official government edict in December 2000. The western sister churches are invited to help the Partium Christian University in any way in which they are able. Any and all institutional or personal assistance will constitute a further vital step on the road towards the ecclesiastical private university system.