The ELTE PPK is twenty years old

The ELTE PPK is twenty years old
On 18 and 19 October, the Faculty of Education and Psychology at ELTE celebrated its 20th anniversary with an assortment of programmes, including exhibitions, commemorative speeches, award ceremonies and other interactive activities. The series of events, spanning two days, ended with a dance and theatrical performance as well as a concert.

Several speeches given at the opening ceremony of the anniversary events (Oct 18) emphasised the achievements and success that ELTE PPK had recorded during the last twenty years. As Dean Anikó Zsolnai highlighted in her opening speech, the faculty today is ranked high among both Hungarian and international higher education institutions, has become Hungary’s chief educational institution in several professional disciplines, and has grown into an organisation that is resilient and quick to react to challenges and issues. She further emphasised that the solidarity and dynamism that characterise PPK could not have been achieved without our strong community, which comprises students, teachers and all the administrative, operational and service provider employees, as well as the Student Union (HÖK) that traditionally has a good working relationship with the leadership at the faculty and PPK. The synthesis of all this is what we call PPK, summarised Anikó Zsolnai, who also expressed her gratitude towards her predecessors and all university citizens.

In his speech, Lénárd Darázs, vice-rector of General Affairs at ELTE, reminded attendants that although PPK, founded by merging multiple organisational units in 2003, can still be considered a young institution, the disciplines taught and researched here had formed an integral part of our university for centuries. He argued that considering the merits achieved by the faculty, the decision made twenty years prior proved to be entirely justified: PPK has reached adulthood and the activities it currently engages in mark PPK as the most progressive and innovative faculty at ELTE. Lénárd Darázs called special attention to those activities that benefit the entire university community: the outstanding results PPK has achieved in the field of open science and generative AI, its participation and active engagement in the CHARM-EU university association, the support it offers to university citizens through its network of consultant psychologists, and its contributions to the third mission.

Reflecting on the vice-rector’s thoughts, Péter Niedermüller, mayor of District VII, highlighted the fact that over the last twenty years, PPK has become an institution famous throughout Europe as well as the most important educational institution in Erzsébetváros. The general motto of the faculty – “Everything that is human” – represents an important approach for the whole of Erzsébetváros as well: this district is a central meeting point of education, culture, science and art, a welcoming environment that allows everyone to feel at home here. As the mayor went on to say, the goal of the local municipality is to provide a home to cultural diversity, with PPK’s achievements and attitude being the example.

Zsófia Fejes, president of the faculty’s Student Union, pointed out that the series of anniversary events at PPK, made possible by the collaboration of coworkers, teachers and students, genuinely reflects the mentality and cooperative attitude of the faculty. She explained that the palpably high quality of student community life here is not only a result of the voluntary association of and common identity shared by the students, but also of the daily interactions with the faculty teachers and coworkers, who provide the framework in which a community with such an attitude could thrive in the first place. The Student Union is very proud of this method of operation which the students attending the faculty twenty years ago began to create within this framework and which the community at PPK continues to develop up to this day.

After the inaugural speeches, certificates of appreciation were awarded to former deans György Hunyady, Attila Oláh and Zsolt Demetrovics, the professors emeriti of the faculty, and those colleagues who had started working here twenty years ago. A reception closed the ceremony with a performance by the ELTE University Chamber Orchestra.

On the second day of the anniversary festivities, the Kazinczy building hosted a multitude of exciting programmes. Current and former coworkers of PPK as well as Hungarian and international students all could participate in a visit to the library stocks, a thematic walk around the building, health maintenance and assessment activities or a panel discussion, but an instant photo (polaroid) corner, bag dyeing and a unique rendition of the board game Manage Your Money! (Gazdálkodj okosan!) were also on offer. After cutting the anniversary cake, the results of the PPK “Sense of Life” creative competition were announced. A total of 21 works had been submitted in the individual or the team category. 

The Rose Line Dance ensemble of PPK alumnae also performed at the event, and the “theatre specs” – graduates of the theatre education and pedagogy MA specialised programme – gave an unorthodox performance. The closing event was held in Kossuth Klub with a quiz and a concert by Lord Vader’s Dogs, some of whose members are teachers at PPK.