Why Does One Build a University?
"The problem of the university,
the true university, is once again in the foreground of European thinking.
As a matter of fact, we could even go as far as to say that Europe is not
capable of intellectually rebuilding itself if it does not rehabilitate,
revive, the institution of the university, the real one, first. If we look
at Europe's second millennia it's no accident, that all social crises and
need for change was preceded by a crisis of the university as an institution."
"In the teleutai sense:
to lead into death. To initiate means bringing into death, the induction
of death. However, death is considered an exit, a door leading to somewhere
else. The exit is followed by an entrance.
In the Christian sense:
the transgression from one state of being into another is always linked
to suffering, which with its various tests leads from the man of old to
University and Society
The Problems of a Modern
"...Today universities have
turned to industry and science, have set up an alliance with them, all
the more so since industry has a symbiotic relationship with the state.
Therefore universities, which award great prestige to the exact sciences,
is financed by the generosity of the state. The triple fortification: state
- industrial companies - universities has overwhelming power and takes
the place of culture as the "new university" and "new knowledge".
...The greatest danger today
is the industrialization of the university. It's as if instead of educating
for a calling or a profession, universities have turned into huge laboratories
or manager offices. People, whose sense of vocation is an integral part
of their post at a university, should be running them, people who view
their profession in much the same way a good priest views the spiritual
service of his congregation."
University and Academy
"Ever since the change of
regime the system of higher education and scientific classification is
in a state of perpetual transformation, not lacking contradiction and clumsiness,
and lagging far behind the demands. Though several important intellectual
centers have formed during the past ten years, the positions of old are
steadfast. While according to the opinion of financial professionals problems
of the state budget render the compensation of the inefficiencies in public
and higher education impossible, the necessity of profound change cannot
Is This the End?
"It seems as though anti-national
politics in Hungary isn't specific to one party or another: it's continuous.
During the 47 years of 'temporary' Soviet military presence anti-nationalist
politics were mandatory. Due to the pressure of dictatorship it's no wonder
that a veritable army of executors faithful to the party was 'produced'.
But there's no explanation for anti-national politics after the last Soviet
soldier has left Hungary. And yet it continues in several areas, even the
most important one: at the roots of the nation, the fostering of the inborn
talents of children in schools and universities."
The System of University
Entrance Exams and Scholarships
"The well from which the
intellectuals of the future will draw their successors is growing shallower
and shallower. The possession of talent does not rely on social class,
a city environment, or financial status: it's unfolding and expression,
"Today the majority views
initiation as something from which it is left out, whatever the original
intention. Revision awaits not only the political style, but communication
as a whole as well. The proud universal process tolerates and exhibits
the restriction and ridicule of universality in its rude practice of leaving
College in the Highest
"...This was where the college
stood, the Ferenc Páriz Pápai Public College for Medical Students. (...)
It was blown up, and the plot is empty still. (...) Our schools have time
and again been the prisoners and fugitives of our derailed history. (...)
In 1982, under a huge tree in Vámosmikola, we revived the college. It was
as if the indestructible spirit of the college had broken forth during
a breakdown of the education industry."
The Goals of the Academia
"It's cliché: The world
today is developing at such a fast pace, (...) which is why there is a
constant need for new information. Traditional education, however, is limited
and not efficient enough in providing this information: the search is on,
world-wide, for new ways to pass on knowledge meeting the challenges of
increasingly globalises life. The multitude of methods can be divided into
two major groups: goal oriented, quick to master, specialised knowledge
which finds immediate reimbursement, and educational strategies which aim
at a broader goal both in the sphere of knowledge and related to time.
The latter builds on tradition and does not give up on embedding knowledge
in the horizon of universality.
It is in the spirit of the
latter that the Academia Nova Budapestiensis Foundation was created. The
goal of both the foundation and its intellectual workshops is the maintaining
of the great traditions of Central European, and on a more specific level
Hungarian, education - especially university education - including adult
education and the experiences of the public college system. The foundation
strives towards renewing education, making use of available modern technical
Ethics and Economy, or
the Idea of Humanistic Economist Education
"Complex economic problems
require a multidisciplinary approach in which economics, leadership skills,
psychology, and ethics all play an integral role. At the same time the
ecological, feminist and communitarian viewpoint can also help understand
and analyse the problems of the present."
David W. Orr:
Education for globalisation
"Western education today,
which has successfully displaced local educational systems all over the
world, prepares students almost exclusively for urban existence, dependence
on mineral fuel, and world trade. Children are taught how to compete most
effectively from a very early age. They are not taught, however, how to
live in a truly sustainable society."
University and Ecology
An Intellectual Farm
by the Aegean Sea
"Located on the southern
part of the Turkish Aegean Sea's west bank, the Gümüslük Academy is not
a school, and not a university. Rather it is an intellectual farm, where
art, philosophy, ecology and science encounter each other as possible solutions."
The Building of an Ecological
"The Ecological Academy
of Linden lies just outside of Dietramszell on the highway leading to Baiernrain.
The goal of the architectural plan was to expand the capacity of the Academy
in the form of an auxiliary building built aside the original one erected
in 1906. An important aspect which needed to be taken into account while
drawing up the plans, was the desire on the behalf of the Academy to take
part in the building process. In accordance with the building's function
ecological considerations also had to be followed: the utilisation of solar
energy and rain water, the grassing of the roof, and the usage of ecological
Ways, and Ways Out
"Small is Beautiful!"
"In Hungarian society today
the tendency of settling is towards the 'small'. The rich have long brought
their houses in the illustrious sections of town, and have recently built
houses in the nearby villages of Budapest, with dogs and armed guards.
The less well to do with some money in their pockets have moved out of
the city into villages farther away, but within a forty kilometre radius.
Only the poor, penniless masses have remained in Budapest in dilapidated
housing projects, with unpaid bills or even water, gas and electricity
that has been turned off.
A partial solution to this
problem is the creation of a culture I refer to (after Imre Lázár, Csébfalvi
Károly, and the mission statement of the College of Zsámbék) as the manor
house culture. The goal is for every Hungarian home and institution to
be a manor house, with its own workshops, spirituality, hospitable, all-accepting
universality. Not an island, which outsiders cut off from the rest of the
world, but not a ghetto either, locked in unto itself. May culture art,
education, Christian humanity, environmental management and information
science find a home in these manor houses, which at the same time are our
Small is Bountiful
"Economists have declared
over a hundred years ago that small farms are old fashioned and ineffective,
and are doomed to perish. However, small holdings project a productive,
effective and ecological way of farming for the future. The economic system
of today has a damaging effect on small scale production. We must therefore
teach economists and politicians why they should prefer small farming.
But are the small farms capable of competing with the large ones? And what
are its advantages, anyway?"
Oedipus, the Solver of
"The essence of the process
of being reborn is suffering - inner confrontation, struggle, and dying
- during which (after which?) one accepts as a part of life that, which
one previously refused with all his might: illness, pain, poverty, insanity,
cruelty... The story of Oedipus is not about sin, it is about fate. Sin
is an ethical question. What we're talking about here is much more basic,
much more fundamental: the process of confrontation."
Excerpts from the book.
The Educational System
Trains Us to Obey and Compromise.
Bryan Lesseraux Talks
with Noam Chomsky
"Chomsky is a harsh critic
of the political activities of the United States all over the world, but
especially in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. He casts
light on the social and economic policies which emphasise profit before
the interest of the worker, and keep the process of decision making a secret.
The interview was given to be published in University newsletters."
The Scenes of Our Lives
Master and Disciples
"The most basic process
of learning is when one learns with the help of someone who is truly an
expert in that area. This is the most simple and effective way of learning
something. Compared to this, learning from books is unbearably dry. And
yet the form of learning from someone has completely disappeared from modern
day society. Schools and universities have adopted a method of learning,
and provide abstract learning material, which previously belonged to the
work of specialists, businessmen, artists, and independent scholars."
The Market-Like University
"The closed administrative
order and official procedures of concentrated universities organised in
groups, which define who may hold courses, destroys the possibility of
Two things are needed if
we are to reinstate the freedom and possibilities of the academies of old
with their free exchange and increase of thought.
First of all, the social
and physical environment must provide surroundings which stimulate personal
and free thinking, instead of hindering it. Second, a motivating environment
must be ensured in which the individual is receptive to various thoughts,
which provides the maximum opportunity and possibility for becoming oriented
in a wide range of thought, and enables students to develop their own way
These circumstances are
best exemplified by the picture of a traditional marketplace, where hundreds
of tables offer their interesting and unique wares, drawing customers with
their original quality, and set up in such a way that the customer is free
to look around and scrutinise the goods before purchasing."
Masters and Workshops
A Discussion With Diana Schumacher.
"Small is beautiful. Ernst
Fritz Schumacher, the German economist's book published in 1973 is, to
this day, a fundamental ecological work, and has been translated into almost
eighty languages. Why is this book still so important? This was my first
question to Diana Schumacher, the spiritual successor to the famous economist
who died in 1977, and president of the Shumacher Society in England, with
whom I met in London."
A review of the thematic
edition of the journal Világosság, which discusses the origin, the meaning,
the importance and the future of the university, as an institution.
Book review of:
Hastings Rashdall: The
Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages.
"It is a difficult task
to introduce a book over one-hundred years old to the readers of today."
The book, published in 1895,
introduces the history of the three most prominent universities in Europe
at the time (Paris, Bologna, and Oxford) in three volumes.
The Ads Tell the Story
of the Universe
"I did not expect to find
a rousing accusatory indictment against modern advertising in a book on
the birth of the universe, but I did, right here in the physicist Brian
Swimme's new book, entitled The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos. Humanity and
the New Story."
"Finally David Pearson's
book on ecological architecture, The Natural House Book. Creating a healthy,
harmonious, and ecologically-sound home environment, has been published
The Shadow of the Butterfly
Review of a selection of
works in the spirit of phenomenology (by Husserl, Fink, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty),
hermeneutics and art history, among others, on the topic of representation
and depiction, entitled Kép, fenomén, valóság (Image, Phenomenon, Reality),
edited by Béla Bacsó.
In this column we introduce
works published abroad dealing with the theme of our current edition, as
well as new purchases made by the Cultural Innovation Foundation's library.