Apor Vilmos Catholic College

Past and Present

Apor Vilmos Catholic College offers training programs in Hungarian language on two campuses located in Vác and in Budapest. In Vác BA, MA and postgraduate courses are offered. Training fields encompass BA programmes in teacher education, social science, religious studies and MA programmes in educational science and social pedagogy, mental health and community development. Besides the up-to-date theroretical knowledge, the BA programmes of Infant and Early Childhood Education, Pre- and Primary School Teacher Training and Social Pedagogy provide practice-oriented training to prepare students for their prospective vocation and for the requirements of the labour market.

The 2-year Educational Science MA programme prepares students for educational research and governance in public and higher education and education management. The Social Pedagogy MA programme targets at the imporvement of the circumstances of disadvantaged children and youth and their families. The Expert in Mental Health and Communitiy Development MA programme is aimed to train professionals who will develop and lead supportive and protective communities in the different fields of society.

Religious studies programs (Chorister and Catechist-Pastoral Assistance) deepen the students’ vocational commitment by the transmission of solid professional knowledge and Christian values.

AVCC offers a range of postgraduate courses in Budapest and Vác providing an opportunity for all those who want to deepen their knowledge or want to learn something new. These courses include postgraduate specialist training courses, course supplementing specializations and accredited postgraduate courses for teachers.

AVCC is planning to launch a variety of vocational training courses in the fields of pedagogy and social care in Budapest. Those who have successfully accomplished a vocational course will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in the related BA programmes of the college.

AVCC also offers a Part-time Training Program in Early Childhood Education ( BA) in English language. In Hungary we are the first to offer a BA training program in Early Childhood Education in English. This degree entitles the holder to fulfil positions at preschools with an English language programme (for example, bilingual and international preschools), and also provides an opportunity for students to acquire a proficiency (C1) level knowledge of English.

History. The Swiss Ingenbohl-based Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross established themselves in Hungary in 1865. Their first novitiate was founded in Zsámbék, a village 30 kilometres west of Budapest, in 1901.

In 1904 the order got a derelict building from the municipality for educational purposes. They undertook the task of renovation and founded a Roman Catholic girls’ school and a kindergarten, where the language of education was Hungarian. The higher elementary girls’ school opened in 1905. In the years 1921-25 the sisters also ran a higher elementary school for boys. The scope of education widened continuously, and in 1929 a teacher training institute was started.

The sisters turned the Baroque building of the one-time Zichy mansion into one of the most modern, best equipped teacher training institutes of the country. Not only did they rebuild the ramshackle mansion but also extended it with new wings, more storeys and bought additional buildings, gardens, a park, a lake and some land.

The first graduation ceremony took place in 1934.

In 1938-39 the sisters opened a lyceum and on a newly acquired land they had a playground and a tennis court built.

On 30 June 1948 the teacher training institute and the lyceum was brought under state control, its equipment was taken away and given to other, state owned teacher training institutes.

In 1948 the process of teacher training in Zsámbék was broken.

In September 1977, in order to reduce a teacher shortage of long years, the Minister of Education gave permission for the establishment of an affiliated department of the Esztergom Teacher Training College in Zsámbék. The firs academic year was started with 78 students and 10 teachers. The institute developed year by year, and soon there was a new, 16-classroom school built in Zsámbék, which complied with the contemporary requirements of practical training.

From 1 September 1983 the institute could perform its activity as an independent college called the Zsámbék Teacher Training College. It trained primary school and kindergarten teachers.

The third period began on 1 July 1993, when the College was taken back by the Catholic Church in Hungary. The properties were returned to the previous owners, the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Management duties were undertaken by the Székesfehérvár Diocese. As a further stage of development, five new departments were established between 1992-94 in addition to the already existing seven.

At that time the number of students attending primary school and kindergarten teacher training, the newly started social pedagogy training, the religious and postgraduate courses was nearly 1000.

The ever-increasing number of the students of teacher training required a continuous development of the system of practical training. In 1993 the college management decided to establish a practice school of its own the first year of which started on 1 September 1995. Later on, two more church-owned primary and secondary schools became the practice schools of the College.

From the mid-1990’s kindergarten teacher training played an increasingly important role. To establish a practice kindergarten was a pressing necessity, as the Zsámbék local kindergarten was not able to see to the growing needs. This plan was only realized in 2001 when a Budapest kindergarten was taken over by the College.

In the year 2000 the College was named after the martyr bishop Vilmos Apor. So, the College is now called Apor Vilmos Catholic College.

August 2004 brought a dramatic turn in the life of the College. The roof of the building caught fire and more than 50% of it burnt down. Because of this extensive damage the school could not be run any longer in Zsámbék.

The College moved to Vác, a town 25 kilometres north of Budapest, where buildings of suitable size were provided.

The year 2017 saw a great development: the inauguration of the new Budapest campus where part-time and postgraduate training is offered with cutting-edge equipment for the professionals of education of the 21st century.