History of the Department


The history of the Department of Transport and its legal predecessors dates back to the 3rd law passed in 1961 regulating the Hungarian educational system. The law initiated an unprecedented reform regarding state-controlled education. The basic objective of the reform was to modernise education, improve professional training, strengthen links between education and industry/transportation and to raise the standards of scientific education. There can be a number of stages defined from the viewpoint of the Department of Transport after the law entered into effect.

  • the operation of post-secondary technical schools (1962-1967)
  • the formation of the Transportation and Telecommunications Faculty of Technical Sciences and its operation as a one-faculty institution (1968-1971)
  • the operation of the Transportation and Telecommunications Faculty of Technical Sciences as a multi-department institute (1971-1992)
  • the operational period of the Széchenyi István College prior to its transformation into a university (1993-2002)


At the first stage the Post-Secondary Motor Vehicle Transport Technical School in Budapest and the Post-Secondary Railway Traffic Technical School in Szeged started to operate with the Ministry of Transportation and Post being the supervisory authority of both institutions. It was a notable event when an independent course of maritime navigation in the Post-Secondary Motor Vehicle Transport Technical School of Budapest was launched in 1966. The post-secondary technical schools carried out their training activities basically in a departmental structure. The following departments played a major role in the management, planning and organisation of the professional field of transport operation while increasing its efficiency:

  • Department of Motor Vehicle Operation Organisation (Motor Vehicle Transport Branch)
  • Department of Railway Operation Organisation (Railway Transport Branch)


The second stage derives from the issue of decree-law No. 16 of 1968 by the Presidential Council of the People’s Republic of Hungary. Based on this decree-law a new academic institution was established named the Transportation and Telecommunications Faculty of Technical Sciences with its new supervisory authority being a different one than before, the Ministry of Culture. The establishment of the new academic institution in Győr was an important step towards training engineers possessing a practical knowledge for the transport profession and towards improving the effectiveness of education by institutional integration. The first executive of the academic institution, Director-General Dr. Gyula Hegedűs, Candidate of Transport Sciences, deserves undying credit for preparations of the establishment and functional plan of the college, and for carefully remedying the difficulties arisen during the relocation of the multi-department institute.


The first years of stage three saw the completion of some additional works and the implementation of the relocation process. In the academic year of 1973/74 the Department of Motor Vehicle Operation Organisation and the Department of Railway Operation Organisation started to operate under the domain of the Transport and Post Operations Institute in Győr. The quality of the professional training of transport engineers was ensured by college professors Dr. Emil Szántó, Dr. Endre Papp, Dr. László Benkõ, Dr. István Nagy, Dr. György Westsik, Dr. Béla Borsi, Dr. Pál Mészáros and Kornél Szomor among others.

In 1975 the course of Navigation was relocated to the Transportation Engineering Faculty of the Budapest University of Technology where students could opt for the college course of Navigation and specialise in Inland and Maritime Navigation or  study at the college course of Ship Engineering. The Transportation and Telecommunications Faculty of Technical Sciences acknowledging the legacy of István Széchenyi and paying tribute to the “greatest Hungarian” adopted István Széchenyi’s name in 1986. In the meantime, departments were transformed into divisions but this did not affect education. The courses of Navigation and Ship Engineering were relocated to Győr once again and started to operate in 1988. In order to look after the two aforementioned courses the independent Department of Navigation was established in 1989, supervised by the Director-General directly. The structure of the departments remained unchanged until 1993.

In 1992 the College Council accepted an institution development plan, the realisation of which paved the way for the higher education development efforts and enabled the introduction of the normative financing in Győr as well. This resulted in the courses being accommodated in a new system. When these changes were followed by organisational restructuring in 1993 a new institutional unit, the Department of Transport was born as a result of the merger of the Motor Vehicle Operation Organisation Division, the Railway Operation Organisation Division and the independent Department of Navigation. The first head of department of the newly-created department was Dr. István Prileszky, college professor.


During stage four, besides fulfilling its educational and research tasks, the main task of the Department of Transport was to take part in the training-, staff- and institution-related preparations of the university accreditation process. From January 1st, 2002, after successfully completing the accreditation process, the institution carried on its operation as Széchenyi István University pursuant to the decision of the Hungarian Parliament. After the change of the institutional circumstances the Department of Transport went on with its activities within the new structure of Széchenyi István University, Faculty of Engineering Sciences, Institute of Transport and Mechanical Engineering.