ELTE Save Face

ELTE Save Face

ELTE - a prestigious and promising word indeed, but only for people with an external viewpoint. Those who get a chance to have a look from the inside would think twice before saying that ELTE is \'prestigious\' or \'promising\'. The institution behind the word, \'ELTE\' is losing its prestigious nature due to such factors as the slowness of student administration, the infeasibility of the curricula or the state of the copying facilities. The balance between the offers on part of the university and the realisation of these offers is lost and with it the prestige of the university is going up in smoke.

We can obviously consider the Registrar\'s Department the heart of the administrational system, as it is the place where the students\' problems should be dealt with. Hardly anyone, besides the students themselves, knows that it usually takes a month to have the smallest matter settled.
According to the official opening hours, the registrars are at our service from 10 AM to 3 PM Monday to Thursday and from 10 AM to 1 PM on Friday. These are undoubtedly regular opening hours for such offices but they should have taken into account the fact that most students have classes at that time, and the majority of those classes are held in other buildings. If some students can arrive in time by chance, they often find a closed door with a notice saying \'out for lunch\'. Quite a long one indeed. Having to wait hours until someone opens the door is not rare, not to mention how many times they say \'Sorry, we cannot help you right now.\'
The only conclusion one can draw from his or her experiences concerning the \'heart of administration\' is that the system is suffering from serious cardiac diseases.

It is enough to flip through the Catalogue of Course Descriptions to see that most of the courses are designed to cover all-out, intensive topics. Titles, such as \'English Novel\', \'Applied Linguistics\' or \'US History\' are definitely expressive titles.
The curriculum of the course called \'American Literature II\', for example, is fundamentally impossible to be dealt with in the fourteen lectures of a one semester, as it is intended to cover all literature (poetry, prose, drama, criticism, etc.) from the beginnings to the end of the 19th century. What is more, to this lecture course no seminar is offered.
On each lecture on the American Literature course the teacher has to deal with 3-4 authors if she wants to cover everything that is included in the schedule. Sometimes she has to cancel a lecture for various reasons, whereas the course is designed for 14 sessions. In fact, each course has 2-3 cancelled lectures per term, which the lectures even more \'concentrated\'.
Seminars are different. It is obligatory to attend them, and a group discussion or simply being closer to the material itself facilitates the intake of the information.
The lecture course is useful, since it summarises the key facts and gives a general picture. The seminar course is practical, as it brings the material closer to the student and provides some personal experience as well, which raises involvement in the subject matter. However, the obvious tendency at present is that lecture courses are becoming increasingly general, and thus more and more material is included in the curricula for each term, while the seminar courses are disappearing rapidly. Where does this lead?

It would be useful if there were books which cover the same material as each lecture course but there is no such thing at the moment. Instead, students are required to photocopy hundreds of pages of lecture notes and library material while all the copying facilities are either closed or out of order.

Some might say that all these problems are rooted in financial grounds, that the university does not have enough money to develop or at least maintain the level of its services and facilities. They are right and wrong at the same time.
Right because a major money injection would solve many of these problems by recruitment of teaching and administrational staff and the proper maintenance of technical facilities.
However, they are also wrong. By a radical change in teachers\' and employees\' attitude, complaints could be reduced in quantity and in quality. If a student wants to settle something with