The sports development program was introduced a decade ago at the University of Debrecen and has served as a model for physical education and sports in Hungarian higher education. The university offers support for athletes with both sports and academic talent and so draws attention to the importance both of regular exercise and presenting traditional and new types of sports, as well as taking into consideration the specific cultural needs of the university generation.
Today the University of Debrecen has become one of the most successful institutions in national university championships, and what is more, we can find Olympic, World and European champions among our students. By creating uniform sports requirements, everyone can be involved in regular physical exercise (with required physical education coordinated by the Institute of Sports Science being a prerequisite to receiving the pre-degree certificate – see the PE regulations for more details). A special feature of the courses is that we offer sports which Hungarian and international students can take freely and so truly multicultural programs have emerged in recent years.
The range of sports-related services has been continuously extended so that those in the later years of their courses can also do sports, while we have not forgotten the university staff either.
The University of Debrecen is considered a flagship in many respects in terms of the Alfréd Hajós national university sports development program. We already offer sports-related optional credit courses and we have also started the sports science program in which there are many opportunities for development. Its true value lies in the fact that it offers opportunities for cooperation for each faculty as well as independent educational, research, and development activities.
During the academic year the teachers and the sports office organize various sports programs, competitions, and camps, mostly on university sites. Students can register to these events on the sportreg.unideb.hu website or in person.
There is also a great demand for mass sports events as there are more than a thousand people competing in the Jenő Buzánszky football and Tibor Zsíros university basketball championships; more than a hundred people go skiing regularly, but the aerobic, spinning, and workout centers also continually feature on the university’s sports website and in the university magazine. The Engineer’s Cup and the Medical Cup with a history stretching back over almost four decades, as well as the Sports Days at the Agricultural Center, are main events in the calendar but we are even prouder of our achievements in the field of university sports competitions. Besides our amateur athletes, we are National Champions in basketball and have also participated in the European Universities Championship. In 2015 our men’s basketball team made history several times as early in the year they won the HEPP Cup, before reaching the Final Four of the International Student Basketball League in March, taking the name of the university all the way to Moscow.
Two hundred of our best athletes receive a sports scholarship which is a good indicator of how both the student union and the university encourage sports. This has also led to the dynamic development of the sports facilities on the four campuses of the university. There are not only tennis courts, artificial turf fields, and Tartan tracks available for lovers of sports but also a lively sports life in the renovated sports halls and gyms.
We take great pleasure from the fact that our students regularly take part in continental and global competitions organized by the university and the city. As a result of the collaboration between the university and the city, the institution (with support from the city) is responsible for basketball, futsal, and volleyball; in this way competitive sports can develop in a coordinated manner and the university and the city can build on each other’s work.