The University of Debrecen (DE) is initiating the transformation of the higher education institution into a university maintained by a state-owned asset management foundation. The university senate decided on this at its extraordinary meeting, with 65 votes in favor and no votes against, on Thursday.
According to the decision adopted at a closed-door meeting due to personal issues on the agenda, the University of Debrecen will initiate the transition to a new organizational form at the maintainer, continuing all the university’s previous activities, including patient care, the university press office said.
The Senate resolution confirms that “in addition to the traditional university disciplines, the University of Debrecen continues to give priority to the focus areas of the health industry, multidisciplinary agricultural and food sciences, technical sciences, and teacher training”.
According to their announcement, the institution-building plan for the period 2021-2024, one of the annexes of which is the idea of a model change, was preceded by a wide-ranging consultation from December, thanks to a large majority of three abstentions by the Senate.
After the decision, Zoltán Szilvássy, the rector of the university, and Zoltán Bács, the chancellor of the university, told reporters about the importance of the model change:
The foundation’s maintenance will increase the competitiveness of the University of Debrecen and the institution’s revenue-generating capacity by creating a more predictable, flexible operating environment than at present, thus creating an opportunity to achieve the six-year goal of making the university self-sustaining.
Zoltán Szilvássy and Zoltán Bács said that in the new form of financing, the institution can respond more quickly to the economic needs of the region, so Hungarian young people can receive more competitive training and more valuable education in the labor market.
The rector recalled that in recent years DE has developed a nationally unique, structured cooperation with economic actors, the financial sector, practically the university has been integrated into the region’s economy, but progress has already been hindered by the state’s institutional form.
With the change of model, the condition is created for DE to be a real center of regional economic and industrial development, finance, education and science – emphasized Zoltán Szilvássy.
According to Chancellor Zoltán Bács, the University of Debrecen has been “talking about nothing but model change” for the past 7-8 years. At the same time, in this process – in the utilization of knowledge or in the development of the university industrial park – new operating conditions and a more flexible environment are needed.
According to the chancellor, the operation of the foundation will make the university more negotiable for the actors of the economy. “According to their hopes”, they can switch to the new operating model in Debrecen on August 1, the university leaders said.