Tuesday, 20 October 2020

History of the Faculty

The roots of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Social Studies go back to the State Nurse and Health Visitor Training Institute.


In our country, the health visitor training began in 1930 in Budapest with the help of the Rockefeller Foundation within the framework of the National Public Health Institute (OKI) that was established in 1925. OKI was responsible for the organization and management of preventive health protection and promoting the practice of public health science. The Green Cross Health Service fit into this profile. The main objective of this organization was to fight against infant mortality and maternal and infant health protection. At the beginning, the Green Cross health visitors worked in villages. (In the cities, the protection of infants and mothers was in the hands of the Stefánia Szövetség, established in 1915.) Their functions covered school health, the fight against sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis, the home care of poor patients and the social care for families. The development of general health work made it necessary to train more health visitors, so in 1938 the institute in Szeged was founded within the framework of OKI.

The institute began its operations in the existing main building of the Faculty. The building was erected in Újszeged, at the side of the town park, in the middle of a large garden. The building was qualified by the town’s architectural authorities as a building that has townscape importance.

From its beginning, the content of the training has adapted to the changes in health visitor work, the professional and social needs. Thus, after World War II, when health visitors, keeping the focus on mother and child care, also joined in the healing work, the training of the students also had to change accordingly.


The biggest change was in the year 1973, when the health visitor training was elevated to college level and with the start date of 1975 the training extended to 3 years. This study period gave the opportunity to put more emphasis on the foundation subjects: anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, etc and for social sciences such as philosophy, sociology, education, social policy to appear in the syllabus as independent subjects.


The beginning of the college level health visitor training, and its continuous development, is closely linked to Professor Dr. Éva Szél and her activities. During her fifteen years of leadership, the off-site department achieved fame on a national level. For a further nearly ten years of work as Head of the College Faculty, she earned merits in the foundation of new courses and fulfilling the material and personnel conditions of these courses.


In 1989, the off-site college of OTKI was taken in by the Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University as a College level institute, and in addition to the health visitor training, physiotherapist training and general training for social workers were launched.


The concrete preparation to launch the Physiotherapist specialist training began in 1987 at the College level. In addition to Director-General Dr. Éva Szél, the expert advisory activities of Gardi Zsuzsanna (President of the Hungarian Society of Physiotherapists) ensured that with the professional foundation decree, received in 1989, the specialist training started its operations in the fall of 1990. With this, the large traditional university welcomed within its walls another higher educational training of a needed profession. The foundation of the specialist training and the organization of its operations enriched our university, the city, and, we can say without arrogance, the Southern Great Plain region. From the beginnings, emphasis has been put on the further training of physical therapists working in the region. The teachers began to organize successful and attended post-graduate further training courses and trainings began ensuring a continuous personal training for physiotherapists working in the region.

The general training of social workers started at our Faculty in collaboration with József Attila University, which on a full-time and correspondence basis, after four years of successful study, offered a bachelor's degree recognized by the state. The teachers, working in the helping profession, have soon organized child and youth care counsellor specialized training courses, short professional courses and skills development groups for people with higher education degrees and for colleagues working in the field of personal care.

In 1992, in health sciences, the college-level training, such as health visitor training was raised to 4 years. With the introduction of the 4-year-long health visitor training, with the development in the natural and social sciences, and the change in social needs, the range of subjects simultaneously and continuously expanded. It included in the curriculum: natural healing, communication training, childbirth preparation, gerontology, rehabilitation, management and the prior specialization of youth health visitor training and mental health has been introduced.

At the same time, the organization of nurse training started in Hungary. The Council of the Medical University of Szeged established the nursing department on 1 July 1993, with the main aim to serve the training of nurses and contribute to the development of nursing practice and nursing research. At the same time the Department identified as a task the organization and management of the training. The training was correspondence at first and also started full-time form in 1995. From the beginning, it is a training that gives the students a bilingual, Hungarian and English, nursing diploma that is recognized without a homologation procedure in the European Union countries.

Taking into account the legislation and the institutional resources and possibilities, from September 2000, the Nurse Department and the Health Visitor Department launched a joint training program. The common foundation program was two years and on this was built, because of the shown content differences, the two-year specific programs. The competency based modular and credit-based curriculum offers a wide range of modules and opportunities to move between majors, and the use of the credit system allowed the preliminary studies to be accounted for.

Since 2000, as a result of institutional integration all over the country, our Faculty works as an independent unit in the University of Szeged. It was the Faculty of Health initially, and then in November 2006 it is The Faculty of Health Sciences and Social Studies.

The diagnostic imaging and interventional post-secondary vocational education assistant training expands the training range of the Faculty since September 2000. The major was launched on the initiative of dr. Professor Éva Szél.

In 2002/2003 the scope of the academic year higher vocational training has expanded with the training of midwives in a sided form of education in Kecskemét. From the next school year, Szeged and Szolnok, in autumn of 2005, also started the training of midwives. The latter gives student status, which means the same rights (e.g. scholarships) and duties for a student as any citizen of the university.

From September 2006, the former dual training: college and university training systems existed side by side, was taken over by a multi-cyclical, linear, cascading structure that at the end of each cycle offers options for closed degrees and qualifications.

This new degree structure maps the Anglo-Saxon training model in Hungary, and works to help join the single European Higher Education Area.

On our Faculty, from September 2006, three basic Undergraduate courses were launched: Nursing and Patient Care (nurse and physiotherapist specialization), Health Visitor and Prevention (health visitor specialization), as well as Social Worker degree.

From September 2014, jointly with the Faculty of Dentistry, dental hygienist training also takes place in our Faculty (in the form of BSc Health Care and Prevention specialist training). Currently this training is only available in Hungary at the University of Szeged.
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