The roots of the organization date back to the end of 60s, when a bunch of university students made up their minds to help high-schoolers with their studies just before applying to an institution of higher education. The work done proved to be so effective that in 1969, the KISZ (a youth movement) requested the members to continue the activity in a more formal and official way and as a result, the name Studium Generale was adopted (henceforth referred to as SG). Initially, the aid of children dwelling beyond the boundaries of Budapest was highlighted and prioritized since the founding fathers believed that these students were more poorly endowed with opportunities and considered handicapped in contrast to the ones living in the capital city. Their point of view coincided with that of KISZ, whose flagship motive was to support the families of disadvantaged blue-collar workers. Nonetheless, the help only came in the form of letters.

A gargantuan milestone was the introduction of the Saturday seminars held within the walls of Karl Marx University of Economic Sciences in 1971. The university ensured its assistance by providing an own office and rooms to hold the lectures at and last, but not least allowing the use of printers making it possible to reach the targeted audience. The importance of seminars increased gradually, triggered by the growing number of voluntary teachers.

The same year, the tradition of week-long camps commenced, which have been organized each spring and summer from then on. The education and other leisure activities offered there remained mainly unaltered to this day. In the beginning, 120 educators dealt with the preparation of 800 students via mail, whilst 40 instructors taught the 200 most diligent and talented attendees in the camps.

The organization appointed 3 different people to be responsible for each university faculty (general, commercial, industrial), who were assigned to stay in touch with the members under them. As time passed by, the significance of these figureheads waned only to be abolished and replaced by a new system, where the classification was based on the subjects taught rather than one’s faculty. The person accountable for its division is called a section leader, whose job is to keep track of the members’ performance and contribution, and to compile the list of teachers entitled to participate in the camps.

Professionalism and aptitude were constantly surveilled by the actual university lecturers; however, SG’s authority was barely restricted. The organization always endeavored to maintain its independence, although it was mildly undermined when the ongoing activity was placed under governmental supervision. The Ministry of Education intended to popularize and introduce this form of education in every university and as a consequence, the operation emerged in the legal, technical and economic sectors. The title ‘Committee Preparing the Children of Blue-collar Workers’ was added to Studium Generale, which later was modified to Admission Preparatory Committee (FEB).

The FEB considerably improved the financial situation of SG by helping it receive regular subsidy by the state. By the mid 80s, the support had happened to be insufficient and after 1989, it nearly vanished. Thus to keep SG alive and still functioning today, it is indispensable to find sponsors and other sources, such as grants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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