About Benedek Elek Faculty of Pedagogy

University of Sopron
Benedek Elek Faculty of Pedagogy




Sopron, one of the most ancient towns in Hungary, lies on the Western border of the country at the foot of the Alps, about 60 km far from Vienna and 220 km far from Budapest.  It builds a bridge to the neighbours in the West and, as shown by the coat of arms of the town, it welcomes its guests from near and far with open gates.

The Benedek Elek Faculty of Pedagogy

“The Sisters Named after the Redeemer” trained teachers and kindergarten teachers at the secondary level in Sopron in 1899. The secondary level was replaced by a tertiary level in 1959, and by a college level in 1989. The institute bearing the name of Elek Benedek, the children’s story writer, has operated as a faculty of the University of West Hungary since 1st January, 2000.

The institution has played a key role in Hungarian pre-school education since 1899. The building, which belonged to “The Redeemer” congregation of nuns, housed secondary level pre-school and primary education from the 1899/1900 academic year till its secularization. The impressive main building, which serves as the present campus of the faculty, was built in 1927 by the Ministry of Education. Starting in September 1959, the Institution for Kindergarten Teachers provided higher education courses for students. Since the 1989/90 academic year, students have been trained on the basis of the new six-term college curriculum. Since the 1990’s social education courses are also provided. In 1992 the college was named after Elek Benedek, the famous Hungarian publicist and story writer.

The faculty is not only the best-known but also the most respected institution with long traditions in pre-school education in Hungary. The skills and knowledge of graduating students are accepted and highly regarded nationwide. The faculty’s professional education for infant and child care is very popular, and courses start with the highest number of first year students in Hungary.

  • It originates from the Sopron Kindergarten Society
  • First course in 1899
  • Education was extended to a two-year training and the society owned two schools for practice
  • The faculty offers BA, MA, PhD courses (full time, correspondence evening – age 20 - 60) for 900 students
  • Teaching Staff: 30
  • The institution has played a key role in Hungarian pre-school education since 1899.
  • The impressive main building, which serves as the present campus of the faculty, was built in 1927 by the Ministry of Education.
  • Starting in September 1959, the Institution for Kindergarten Teachers provided higher education courses for students.
  • In 1991 the college was named after Elek Benedek, the famous Hungarian publicist and story writer.
  • The faculty has invested in development which has created a multimedia room, a large auditorium, a demonstration room for infant and child care students, several rooms for drama, social sciences and social service education, as well as offices, lecture rooms and public areas for students.
  • The faculty offers special rooms for different courses. Theatre performances and puppet shows can be practised and performed on the small stage of the drama room.
  • Lifelike dolls in the demonstration room help acquiring infant and child care skills.
  • The psychology room ensures appropriate conditions for self-knowledge training and conflict management practice.
  • Courses on leisure management and game pedagogy are also given in specially designed rooms.
  • There are also 5 auditoriums and several seminar rooms with broadband Internet access, a gymnasium, a fitness room, a student centre, a library with 60,000 books, a canteen.
  • The student residence, built next to the faculty’s main building, accommodates 118 students.
  • The park surrounding the building offers excellent sport facilities: handball, basketball and volleyball courts as well as a jogging track.

Research Areas

Basic and applied research in the following science areas:

sociology, political science, law, historical sciences - culture and education, psychology, sports sciences, linguistics, theory of literature, information science, music, arts, project education, digital curriculum development, developing e-learning materials.


Some Research Fields

  • Care for Children with Special Needs
  • Reform Pedagogies
  • Constructive Theory in Learning
  • History of Childhood
  • Early Childhood Development, Importance of Childhood
  • Emotional and Social Intelligence
  • Early Childhood Neuropedagogy
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Competency – based Education
  • Inclusive Education
  • Early Childhood History and Conception
  • Talent Education
  • Bilingualism – Theory and Practice


Research Groups

  • Talent Education
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Multicultural and Early Childhood Education
  • Drama and Education
  • Early Childhood and Development
  • Sport Education
  • Music and Art in Early Childhood


Institutes and Centres

  • Institute of Educational Sciences and Psychology
  • Institute of Social Sciences and Communication
  • Institute of Arts and Sports
  • Secretary for Teacher Training
  • Centre for Adult Education
  • Humanities Research Centre
  • Scientific Student's Association

Faculty offers BA courses for students who want to be

  • Kindergarten Teachers (Pre-school teachers), Year 3-6
  • Social Educators
  • Teachers of Ethnic German Kindergartens,
  • Infant and Early Childhood Educators, Year birth - 3
  • Vocational School Teachers
  • Social Sciences Experts

MA courses

  • Teacher of Economics
  • Teacher of Engineering
  • Human Resource Consultant


The BEFP also organizes

  • Refresher courses for teachers
  • Special exam preparatory courses
  • Professional development programs
  • Adults’ training (drama pedagogy, inclusive education, competency-based education, music therapy, recreation, pedagogy for talented people, puppet pedagogy, bilingualism in kindergarten …)

Our international partners

  • University of Birmingham Newman University College, Birmingham, England
  • Alpen-Adria-Universität, Klagenfurt, Austria
  • Hochschule für Agrar- und Umweltpädagogik, Wien, Austria
  • Kirchliche Paedagogische Hochschule Graz, Austria
  • Pädagogische Hochschule Steiermark, Graz, Austria
  • Pädagogische Hochschule  Salzburg, Austria
  • Private Pädagogische Hochschule der Diözese, Linz, Austria
  • Pädagogische Hochschule Burgenland, Eisenstadt, Austria
  • University of Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • University of Patras, Greece
  • Gori University, Gori, Georgia
  • University of Zadar, Croatia
  • Jesuit University of Education Ignatianum, Krakow, Poland
  • University of Szczecin, Poland
  • University of Warmia and Mazury, Poland
  • Katholische Stiftungfachhochschule, München, Germany
  • Fachakademie für Sozialpädagogik der christlichen Jugendhilfe , Kempten, Germany
  • Queen Maud University College, Trondheim, Norway
  • University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
  • University of Catania, Italy
  • Universitá degli Studi di Salerno, Italy
  • University of the Azores, Portugal
  • Universidade do Minho, Institute of Education, Braga, Portugal
  • Universidade da Madeira, Portugal
  • Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Romania
  • Partium Christian University, Romania
  • Teleki Educational Center, Szováta, Romania
  • Association of Hungarian Teachers, Romania
  • Association of Hungarian Teachers, Romania
  • University of Valladolid, Spain
  • University of Barcelona, Spain
  • University of Cordoba, Spain
  • Camilo José Cela University, Castillo de Alarcón, Spain
  • University of La Laguna, Canary Islands, Tenerife, Spain
  • University of Granada, Faculty of Education, Spain
  • Universitat de Valencia, Spain
  • University of Applied Sciences, Brugg, Switzerland
  • Szabadka Summer School, Serbia
  • Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Association of Hungarian Teachers, Romania
  • Selye János University Faculty of Education, Slovakia
  • Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia
  • Catholic University in Ruzomberok, Slovakia
  • Univerzita J. Selyeho, Komárno, Slovakia
  • University of Presov, Slovakia
  • Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia
  • University of Maribor, Slovenia
  • Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
  • Istanbul Commerce University, Turkey
  • Istanbul Kemerburgaz University, Turkey
  • Necmettin Erbakan University, Turkey
  • University of Yüzüncü Yil, Turkey
  • II. Rákóczi Ferenc Kárpátaljai Magyar Főiskola, Beregszász, Ukraine
  • Munkácsi Humán-Pedagógiai Főiskola, Munkács, Ukraine
  • Kijevi Szlavisztikai Egyetem Kihelyezett Tagozata, Ungvár, Ukraine
  • Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida, USA
  • SUNY State University of New York at New Paltz, School of Education, USA
  • Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand
  • Phitsanulok University, Phitsanulok, Thailand

Practice Institutions

  • Students taking part in Pre-School education can accomplish their practice in the kindergartens of the West Hungarian University. Infant and Child Care students do their practice in the Methodology Nursery of the town.  

Two kindergartens belonging to the faculty

  • Aranykapu Practice Kindergarten
  • Lewinszky Anna Practice Kindergarten - pre-school English and German language teacher education and the ethnic German early childhood studies


  • Partnerships – 25 institutions
  • Erasmus+ – 50 Institutions


Our Faculty has all facilities at hand to offer professional level education. The geographic location of the town, its touristic importance, its cultural life and its social networks all encourage us to educate our students not only in order to become professionals in their own fields but also to become intellectual citizens of the country.

Benedek Elek Faculty of Pedagogy is committed to

  • Provide students with education of a high quality and standard, promoting access to basic degree (BA), to master degree (MA) and later to PhD programs, and also promoting professional and special trainings,
  • Preparing its students to develop a special competence that meets the challenges of modern knowledge-based society and also of national and European labour market,
  • Be recognised as the regional centre of basic and applied research on Humanities,
  • Promoting access to lifelong learning,
  • Working in collaboration with the Faculties of the university to support the national, cultural, scientific and artistic development of our region,
  • Promoting equality of opportunity.

Our Philosophy

Interpretation and understanding the first years of human life, early childhood and childhood have undergone paradigmatic changes in the last few years. The latest national and international researches emphasize childhood as a key factor in the course of life of the individual. Developing and educating children is crucial for the progress of a nation and the development of the economy, since only happy, well-balanced, talented children are able to build a prospering and sustainable society. In case the investment in children and families happens in a bright way, the next generation will surely pay it back. Looking at our children from a wide perspective we can say that they are the citizens, workers, parents of tomorrow, the founders of the society of the future and   the basis of the development of the economy. It is a central question what to give and what not to give to our children in their first years. Intelligent investment is a kind of key in establishing a happy life, so there is an unlimited chance and extreme responsibility on our shoulders, since early years last forever.


Subjects Taught in English and Course Descriptions for Incoming Students


Course descriptions

Early Childhood Pedagogy

The aim of the course is to introduce students that the first years of life are important, because what happens in early childhood can matter for a lifetime. Science shows us what children must have, and what they need to be protected from, in order to promote their healthy development. Stable, responsive, nurturing relationships and rich learning experiences in the earliest years provide lifelong benefits for learning, behaviour and both physical and mental health. Interpretation and understanding the first years of human life, early childhood and childhood have undergone paradigmatic changes in the last few years.

Theory and Practice of  Innovation in Pedagogy

This course examines the theory and practice of innovation in various specialty of pedagogy. Participants will be learn about how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures and get acquainted with the success criteria of the innovation. Students will be facilitated and inspired to create mind maps and work out project ideas.

History of Childhood

A look into the history of childhood shows that childhood is constructed differently in different times and places. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a base of knowledge regarding the changing historical experiences and meanings of childhood, in both the western and non-western world.  In this course we will explore the highly variable ways childhood has been constructed both across cultures and throughout history. We will research the culture children create and transmit for themselves, including their folklore, art, writing, activism, and responses to the world. We will also investigate cultural products created for children.

Kindergarten Pedagogy

Main topics of the course: Early childhood education in Hungary and across Europe. Personality, knowledge, skills and competencies of kindergarten teachers. Planning strategies and the method and practice of project based learning in the practice of early childhood education. Working with families: formal and non-formal ways of discussing parents. Responsibility, tolerance and care. Different ways of thinking and learning in early childhood. 

Comparative Kindergarten Pedagogy

Topics of the course: Social, cultural, cognitive, emotional etc. aspects of differences in children’s communities in the kindergarten. Talented children, children with special educational needs and care. Multicultural aspects of early childhood education. Principles and practise of inclusion in education.

Theory and Practice of Bi- and Multilingualism

Students will acquire the theory of bi- and multilingualism which will be used in practice later. First they will get familiar with the basic sociolinguistic terms and phenomena like the types of bilingualism, code-switching and code-mixing, the dominance of the English language, the role of EFL, ESL, EAL etc. Then, they will deal with the different language policies and language rights in Europe and how they are manifested in the practice of early childhood language development. Each term ends with a mark, except for the last one after which students will take an examination. The subject is also a part of the English comprehensive exam at the end of the kindergarten trainees’ BA studies.

English Communication

The course aims to prepare students to widen their professional phraseology in communication so that they could use it in different areas and in different situations. They should be able to cope with communication challenges in and outside the kindergarten on intermediate and advanced language level. The themes are made up of the topics of everyday communication and the technical terminology for pre-school teachers. Each term ends with a mark, except for the last one after which students will take an examination. The subject is also a part of the English comprehensive exam at the end of the kindergarten trainees’ BA studies.

English Literature

The course outlines the major trends and the most outstanding representatives of English and American literature together with familiarising students with the culture of English-speaking countries. Students should understand and analyse, in a communicative way, the given literary works. The course will introduce the beginning of the English and American literature, their past and present, and will provide students with extracts from English and American literature. It is a one-term subject which ends with a mark. The subject is also a part of the English comprehensive exam at the end of the kindergarten trainees’ BA studies.

Methodology of English in the Kindergarten

The course is based on the differentiation of foreign language teaching and foreign language acquisition. Therefore, students should get acquainted with modern theoretical and practical tendencies in pre-school education where foreign languages are developed. The different areas of early foreign language acquisition will be discussed in details with a special stress on English songs, rhymes and tales in the kindergarten. Students should also get acquainted with international technical literature and be able to apply it. Mastering technical vocabulary is a must. Each term ends with a mark. The subject is also a part of the English comprehensive exam at the end of the kindergarten trainees’ BA studies.

Use of English

The correct use of the language is in focus. Grammar points, speaking, listening – in cohesion. Attention is directed to accuracy by recognizing prepositions, expressions, phrases, idioms different from the native language.

Intercultural Studies

A new approach of getting to know other people/other cultures. The course is built on students’ own experiences in the first place. Through self-knowledge we can get to understand other nations. The course is a very communicative and interactive introduction into intercultural studies.

Practice in The Kindergarten

The course aims to prepare students for their profession by applying theory in practice, by humane pedagogical attitude and by developing skills necessary for conscious pedagogical work. Each term has its different tasks in the area of early childhood education related to visual, musical, and mother tongue, literary and physical development. On top of it, all this should be completed with foreign language acquisition. Students should lead an observation diary throughout the terms and should take an active part in the life of the affiliated kindergarten of the university. Their interim practice is closely connected to this subject as well. Each term ends with a mark, except for the last one when students will take an examination in the kindergarten. The last exam contributes to the final evaluation of students’ BA degree.

English language improvement seminar

The main aim of the Language Improvement seminars is to improve the students’ personal command of spoken and written English and their communicative competence while paying special attention to the language content, namely grammar and vocabulary, as well.

Children’s literature

The main aim of the course is to familiarize students with folk tales and children stories in English through drama practice.

Physical Education






The subjects focus on the theoretical and practical basis of sports. The aim of this course is to train students who are able to use and teach the theoretical and practical value of sports. Theory: history, objective, exercises, and fields of application of sports.  Practice: the base of exercises, basic and combined movements of sports. Exercises with equipment. Students will acquire the teaching methods of various elements and get a clear picture of the required skills. Sport pedagogy is also taught during the course.

Visual Education




The aim of the course is to introduce students that children love art because it's fun and provides them with authentic self-expression: the freedom of choice, thought, and feeling. Art has traditionally been an important part of early childhood programs. The purpose of this course is to discuss the importance of art in young children's learning and development. Art engages children's senses in open-ended play and develops cognitive, social, emotional and sensori-motor skills. Art is a cooperative learning experience that provides pleasure, challenge, and a sense of mastery. Instruction in the arts is one of the best ways in which to involve the different modes of learning; through art, children learn complex thinking skills and master developmental tasks.



Dr. Habil. László Varga
Dean, Associate Professor
University of Sopron
Benedek Elek Faculty of Pedagogy
9400 Sopron, Hungary
Ferenczy János u. 5.
Phone: +36-30-4437116
E-mail: varga.laszlo@uni-sopron.hu
Web: www.bpk.uni-sopron.hu

International & Erasmus Office:

Réka Kissné Zsámboki, PhD. , Vice Dean, Erasmus+ academic coordinator

Tamás Németh, Erasmus+ coordinator