Student traditions

At our university, we are saveguarding and fostering nearly 270 years old student traditions. These traditions developed at the former Academy of Selmecbánya, and, at present, are fostered at four Hungarian higher education institutions.

The Academy of Selmecbánya was Europe's number one technical higher education institution, where training in mining, metallurgy and forestry was supplied. The student arrived here to study from all corners of the Habsburg Empire, and even from other countries of Europe. From their living places and from their former schools, they brought along with them their own traditions, the customs and songs of the guild-based industrial society of the time, and melted them together to form what we now call "the Selmecbánya traditions". The situation of the newcomer student, the "fresher" of the time differed radically from that of a modern student of our time. In Selmecbánya there was no student hostel, nor medical care or canteen, and even the closest railway station was 23 km far away from the town. The destiny of the just arrived first-year students was in the hand of the older fellow students. It was them who helped the freshers find lodgement, they showed them the town, and were helping them in all respects. From all this, the bases of our traditions were born, which are the friendship, the conscious feeling of belonging together, helping each other in everything, and the common love of their trade.

For those who follow the Student Traditions of Selmecbánya, one of the most important events is the so-called Trade Evening, which has preserved its genuine atmosphere and established form, schedule throughout the elapsed centuries. For a student who was "canonized" according to the spirit of Selmecbánya, a Trade Evening shall always be a feast, a festivity that expresses the friendship, the collegiality and the strong feeling of belonging together. During the trade evenings all earthly ranks, titles and positions are neglected, everybody is equal. The highest official is the Praeses (president) elected by the participants to the trade evening, whose word is saint, and whose person is invulnerable - he is the omnipotent ruler of the trade evening. Besides him, only the appointed office-bearers have a distinguished role during the ceremony.

If someone decides to share and to follow the Selmecbánya Traditions, he/she can be sure that they pervade all his/her student years, and he/she will get a send-off valid for all his/her lifetime. After graduating, the whole lifetime of our students will be accompanied by the memories of the self-forgetting celebrations of the late mediaeval students, their eternal joy, and their - perhaps - too prodigal way of life, but also the appreciation and love of their trade, and the comradeship and life-lasting friendship of the hard-working miners who were facing death day by day.