On 1 September 2017, the University of Pécs will be celebrating the 650th anniversary of the founding of Hungary’s first university. Starting from 2017, this day will also be celebrated as the Day of Hungarian Higher Education.
In a document dated 1 September 1367, Pope Urban V permitted Hungary’s King Louis the Great to found a university in Pécs. This institute of higher education (studium generale) founded at the episcopal seat began operations with three faculties, and marked the beginning of a new era in Hungarian education and culture, despite its brief existence. Due to the turbulent times, higher education only started again in Pécs at the end of the 18th century, but real university education commenced with the relocation of the University of Bratislava to Pécs in 1923. Between the two world wars, the University of Pécs had many internationally renowned professors, such as Károly Kerényi, Tivadar Thienemann, and József Halasy Nagy, just to mention a few.
With the integration of the Teacher Training College, the University of Pécs became the Janus Pannonius University in 1982. The University was later complemented with the Mihály Pollack Technical College, and then the Medical University of Pécs and the Gyula Illyés College of Pedagogy in 2000. It now has ten faculties, covering all areas of higher education with the exception of agriculture. The University of Pécs is currently one of the largest Hungarian institutions of higher education in terms of students. It evolved as the result of a gradual process of integration and has become one of the country’s most renowned universities, offering top quality instruction in ten faculties covering the entire range of higher education. Thanks to the Bologna Process, students can participate in a dynamically developing, pan-European system of higher education. Instead of the traditional college and university training, the students receive basic degrees (BA, BSc) and then master level degrees (MA, MSc). If they wish to continue academic studies they can proceed to doctor level studies (PhD, DLA).
The University of Pécs is one of Hungary’s leading research universities, with a massive base of researchers. Research in numerous fields of natural and medical science is underway at the János Szentágothai Research Centre. There are 22 doctoral schools at the University’s faculties, covering a wide range of scientific and artistic areas. The University of Pécs pays special attention to promoting talented students. The objective of the specialised colleges and student science groups is to support academic work.
Marking the 650th anniversary of the founding of the University, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank is issuing a large 10,000-forint silver and a 2,000-forint non-ferrous commemorative coin. The main motif on the obverse is the coat of arms of Bishop William of Pécs, with the original founding document in the background. The reverse bears a depiction of the main entrance of the Rector’s Office, showing the north façade of the building. On the right, an excerpt from the founding document can be seen, divided by a line with Anjou lilies. The coin was designed by the sculptress Virág Szabó.
Denomination Quality Metal Issue limit Diameter Weight
10000 HUF Proof .925 silver 5,000 38.61 mm 31.46 g