The one-time Rector of the University of Szeged, Albert Szent-Györgyi, set the following goals for our institution: “the gathering, spreading and enhancement of human knowledge”; the teaching of future scientists “who will eventually take over this profession from us ...” and the raising of citizens who are “well equipped with intellectual weapons ...”; and “our institution has another special mission: to be the intellectual centre of the Great Hungarian Plain”. This description of our mission phrased by the Nobel Laureate remains valid today and perfectly reflects the aims of the modern research university. The dedicated researchers and talented students at the University constantly prove that we are worthy of the heritage of Szent-Györgyi.
The 2,500 instructors and researchers at the University of Szeged are actively involved in national and international research projects. We have 19 Doctoral Schools and a numerous internationally renowned research teams. In 4 Faculties at the University, there are 14 research groups supported by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA). Since 2011, 5 MTA Momentum research teams have been operating here and a number of research teams have been granted European Research Council support. All of them are conducting pioneering activities in their own fields. Our researchers are also taking part in the National Brain Research Programme.
The University of Szeged is a research university, where outstanding research, development and innovation work is conducted. Continuous, strategic basic and applied research is of defining significance. Talent management is a priority task at all levels of training. In addition to the high standard of education, the research work carried out here, is internationally competitive, and there is also a broad range of cooperation in both research and training. The expression research university says it all, as does the term priority higher education institution. The latter qualification is granted only to those universities that possess high-level training and research capacities; that achieve research results in a number of scientific fields that qualify them to play significant roles in implementing strategic national objectives; that are capable of demonstrating outstanding attainments in international higher education rankings; and where international student mobility is prominent.
The research work continuing in these fields are internationally significant, and nationally defining. The researchers at the University regularly report on their results: the past 5 years, approximately 25,000 publications appeared in national and international journals and in connection with conferences. We are extremely proud of the fact that the intellectual portfolio of the University comprises 40 patents and 7 know-hows, a number of which have already been marketed through licence agreements and spin-off companies established for this purpose. Numerous research projects are conducted in the Szeged Biological Research Centre and in the Albert Szent-Györgyi Health Centre, and we are additionally in close contact with the ELI-ALPS Laser Research Centre, participating in a project currently under construction that is unique in Europe.
Thanks to the world-famous laser physicists and the laser physics school at the University, Szeged (together with Prague and Bucharest) received the opportunity to implement the ELI-ALPS Laser Research Centre, one of the largest scientific investments in Europe. The purpose of the Extreme Light Infrastructure Attosecond Light Pulse Source project is to establish a laser-based research institute where laser pulses and light sources generated by them will be accessible for international researchers. The Centre, which is being built in Szeged with European Union support amounting to over 60 billion HUF, is outstanding by being capable of generating an extremely large number of impulses of very short duration within one second. The facility is not only capable of examining ultrafast elementary physical processes, but also permits the attainments of outstanding research results in biology, medicine and material sciences. The staff at the Laser Research Centre and at the University collaborate in organizing their research projects and training programmes on the basis of cooperation agreement. The first stage of the construction and technological developments will be completed in 2015 and research work can start in 2016. The entire complex is planned to be ready in 2017, and the laser technology will become fully operative in 2018.