In Hungary there are 2 universities offering LIS training (Budapest 1949-, Debrecen 1989-) as well as four teacher training colleges (Szombathely 1962-, Nyíregyháza 1975-, Budapest 1 984-, and Szeged from 1989 on.) LIS programmes are offered in the frames of double-major programmes. Graduates acquire competencies both in LIS and in an other discipline, usually a teacher training programme. BC is the largest teacher training college in Hungary with more than 4000 students, 30 departments, and a staff of 280. The LIS Department is also the biggest in its category: the numbe r of full-time students totals to 180, that of part-time students to 80, and that of second degree students to 30. The Department has prepared more than 1600 students for the B.A. programme so far, ( earlier also 900 for medium-level professional qualifications.) The number of full-time staff is 10. (6 of them have doctoral degrees). (1)
The present double-major programmes were introduced at BC in 1972. First there were fixed combinations of programmes, but from 1993 on applicants themselves can decide which other programme to combin e with LIS studies.
There have been a lot of efforts taken in this direction, but we are still facing a number of problems:
Disintegration of LIS education and training, few staff at the individual LIS Departments (the Royal School of Librarianship in Copenhagen alone has more staff than the 6 Hungarian schools altogeth er)
No real integration of traditional and modern knowledge and skills within the LIS curriculum.
Insufficient technical infrastructure (2) (e.g. until 1995 BC LIS Department had only two PCs to serve a large number of students, the situation has improved by now, there is a computer laboratory w ith 8 PCs, but links to national and international networks are rather slow due to lack of Hbone connection).
Lack of skills of staff and students to use new information technology, local, national and international network services.
These problems have been identified also by EC-partners. As Ian M. Johnson sums up in his TEMPUS individual mobility report (3), free flow of information is being hindered by the lack of expertise in using information technology as a direct result of the poor training facilities available.
All these efforts are supported by our EC partners, with the aim of transferring to Hungarian staff the ability to educate and train information professionals to the best contemporary standards in terms of curricular aims and content, teaching methodologies, assessment practices and quality control.
International contacts have intensified since the early 1990s in the following forms: Individual TEMPUS mobility grants Ian M. Johnson investigated LIS situation in Hungary, Mihály Pálvölgyi studied the use of English in LIS education at the Royal School of Librarianship, Copenhagen.
In 1994 a co-operation agreement (BOBCATSSS) was signed between 7 Western European and two Hungarian Schools (Budapest, Oslo, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Tampere, Stuttgart, Sheffield, Szombat hely).
Since 1993 links to DIALOG CIP have been intensified as well as to software producing companies and vendors. (Swets Co., Baker and Taylor Co., Thompson Co., Chadwyck/Healey Co., ekZ, for supporting teaching and learning.
In the followings two major projects and their impact on course development is presented:
The LISTEN TEMPUS-JEP in operation from 1994 to 1997 is based on the co-operation of 5 Hungarian schools (Szombathely, Nyíregyháza, Budapest, Veszprém, and Zalaegerszeg) supported by 5 EU partners (Copenhagen, Aberdeen, Leicester, Stuttgart and Boras. The Joint European Project focuses on the creation of a national network of LIS training and education to enhance the development of basic, continuing and postgraduate LIS education. JEP activities include as follows:
The JEP also includes strong student mobility(one-month practical placements).
The Catching UP With European Higher Education (CEF) - World Bank Project (from 1993 on) focuses on the further development of modular programmes in foreign language teacher training and spe cialised foreign language training e.g. to give students of English the opportunity to specialise in Information Studies.
History of libraries and library materials (56), Introduction to communication (28) Information and society (56),
Introduction to research methods (56), Word processing (*28)
Information sources (28), Collection development (28), Collection development practice (56),
Cataloguing (96), Classification (70),
Sociology of information use (14), Sociology of special user groups (28),
Psychology and pedagogy of information use (28), Applied psychology and pedagogy of information use (56),
Library services and their management (14), Seminar in library services (28),
Library reference (56), Library reference practice (56),
Information retrieval systems (*28), Information technology, database creation and management (28), Information technology practice (56)
Information services and their management (14), Information services seminar (70),
Management (42), Seminar in management (42).
The total number of class hours is 1202, that of library practice 520. The other programmes of students (combined with LIS) have also a similar number of class hours. General subjects (philosophy, so ciology, logic, psychology, pedagogy, foreign languages, physical education) are also thought although in less hours.
In addition to these new courses, many of the earlier ones have changed intensively, to integrate more technical, communication and management skills. (e.g. Information Services, and the Management courses have been updated quite intensively). The Local Area Network (a Regional Information Centre from 1994 on) offers a variety of services (e-mail, news board, word-processing, language teachi ng software, database services, links to national and international networks) and maintains a Gopher service (since March 1995) of its own. All these create better learning and working conditions fo r the above courses to integrate theory and practice. An International compact seminar supported by CEF on Applications of information technologies (Oct. 1994) designed and carried out by a 6-member expert team from Stuttgart, FHB transferred know-how to Hungarian staff in cost-effective using of local, national and international networks, and CD-ROMs.
The Business information course was first offered in 1993/94, in partnership with the College of Finance and Accounting, Zalaegerszeg. (6) During the first semester the colleagues from the p artner school give students a basic introduction into small and medium size businesses (types, functions, structures, information needs), the second semester, taught by BC staff, is devoted to busi ness information services and management issues. Searching online and CD/ROM business databases is emphasised in the course. (DIALOG CIP, COMPASS etc. ) Special Business English terminology is acq uired. There are promising signs for developing this course due to a national Business Information Project that started in 1992 upon the initiative of the Association of the Hungarian Librarians, and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Education. (7) The LISTEN-TEMPUS JEP also has an activity focusing on the further development of this course both in basic and continuing education.
The major idea underlying the Information Studies module, a joint effort of the Department of English Language and Literature and the LIS Department, is that English has become a global language of communication and information services, and special skills of information retrieval and mediation combined with knowledge of English can be very „competitive” on the job market (in libraries, inform ation centres, companies, media etc.)
The Information studies module, first offered in 1993-94, includes the following courses: Information sources, Mass media, Cataloguing and classification, Indexing and abstracting, Online sea rching, CD-ROM searching, Information services, Business information, Information resources management, Management Project work, and two electives. All courses are taught in English in 28 class hour s, altogether in 336 class hours. Individual work and preparation is not included.
This module plays a lot of emphasis on the electronic medium, as it will increasingly become the medium of choice for an increasing number of people world-wide who will create, store, access, retrie ve and distribute information in electronic form, e.g. the Classification and Cataloguing course concentrates (after theoretical considerations) on online cataloguing that provides bibliographic in formation essential to library and information activities and serves as the basis for other subsystems and related services and activities (interlibrary loan, searching databases, etc.) Students are expected to learn the fundamental skills to process (classify, index, and abstract) English language materials as well as search English language databases by various means (classification codes, d escriptors, subject headings, and keywords.
There are strong co-operation links within the CEF project to the Royal School of Copenhagen, to Stuttgart HBI, De Montfort University, The Gordon University, and other schools. This project also i ncludes the development of communicative language teaching materials of specialised language training: self-study packages are created for the students to learn on their own. Open learning materia ls are produced for this module (for the Cataloguing and Business information courses). They include examples, self-assessment questions, checklists, references to other teaching aids, etc. thus g uiding learning events.
The course in Information resources management focuses on understanding the modern theory and methodology of IRM, understanding and application of the special English terminology of IRM. Dev elopments of the LIS professionals new roles and functions in the mediation of information and the impact of information technology on the development of modern library and information services are emhpasised. The course includes lectures, group discussions, case studies, as well as project work. The course was first presented by Prof. Irene Wormell from the Royal School of Librarianship, C openhagen in February/March 1995 and the FID IRM Training manual was tested. Students and staff of Hungarian partner schools may participate in these intensive courses.
It is hoped that these new experiences in curriculum and course development will have a lot of impact on LIS education in Hungary, and the links with both Hungarian and European partners within the LISTEN-network will serve as solid basis for further actions, towards harmonisation and modularisation of curricula in Europe and world-wide as well as towards training students to comply with the diversifying and growing information needs in our region. (8)