„We develop so we can feel better at the faculty”

26 April 2022

Those who visit the area of the Pécs Medical School will surely wonder at the imposing new buildings. The new education and research building and the Dental Education Centre were created in the scope of a cutting-edge technology development; the Preclinical Research Laboratory got an elegant new exterior and interior and the expansion and renewal of the Simulation Education Centre is underway. A 6000 square metres parking complex is under construction between the Janus Pannonius Clinical Centre and the old medical school building, and thanks to the constant monitoring of community needs, the plan packages for the renovation and modernisation of long-existing medical bases and their environments were also born. We can witness a giant transformation, regardless of if we are looking from the outside or the inside – this is without precedent for multiple reasons. We have discussed the process, progress and true goals and background thinking about the developments with the dean of our faculty, dr. Miklós Nyitrai.


written by Rita Schweier


“There are many ongoing developments at the faculty, and all are worth talking about, but first we have to think about why we are developing. The answer is simple: those who come here to study and work will feel better. I reality, this is more complicated of course: everyone feels good for different reasons. We have conducted surveys about this, and they support the needs we have received feedback about for years” – starts dr. Miklós Nyitrai.

As he says, they are thinking in a development package, that is only good if it reflects needs; they are developing what and how its needed. But it has to provide perspective as well, because planning the location of a singular brick does not mean a thinking frame for the comprehensibility and facilitation of future developments. Another important factor is ensuring that everything should be viable in the near future.

“Our package can be divided into multiple parts, in what we thought and think to be worth developing. Our flagships were the new theoretical and dentistry blocks, the skill lab and the Preclinical Research Centre, also known as the Animal House. These were both highly needed and requested. The Department of Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery will fully moce to the new Dental Education Centre in the summer; the Animal house is structurally complete and its equipment requisition and official authorisation is underway; the skill lab is expected to be technically serviced by September and fully functional by next summer; the two-story parking complex will hopefully be ready by this summer, providing 105 parking spaces. The biggest challenge is surveying, discussing and developing the pre-existing stocks: buildings, equipment. This is a difficult task because we cannot tell what sources will be available and when. Therefore we have to be flexible in our planning, involving those experts who are following the changes” – he thinks.

There are places in the world, where people wait until the sources are available before they start planning – the dean thinks differently. He believes that it is important to have ideas on paper that are somewhat concrete, ideas that can be revisited anytime, and when the time comes – because the area is freed up, or the funding arrives – the implementation can begin. Nowadays this is doubly important, since changes are happening rapidly.

He emphasizes that the opinions of five thousand people have to be aligned at the Medical School in order to make shared, good decisions. This means serious deliberation, since the necessary professional viewpoints have to be taken into consideration, and it is important to set priorities – what is the most important, and what are things that can follow.

He is happy to know that there will be flagship developments in the next 2-4 years as well: the Gádoros-building, to be replaced by a central, clinical pharmacy and the connecting industrial-biotechnology facility under the leadership of dr. Lajos Botz, dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy; the Department of Medical Genetics will be relocated to a new building; there are thoughts about a new in vitro diagnostics block as a separate new cubature large building to house the Pathology, Forensic Medicine, Microbiology, Laboratory Medicine and Immunology and Biotechnology departments. The latter are in close collaboration, that could be useful to patients as well if they were in one, organised unit, due to being more accessible and efficient. Naturally, their moving out of their old locations would allow further developments to start in the now empty areas. The renovation of the Honvéd street 3 building into a student service centre is also part of the package – the student service offices from the old main building would be moved here.

“Restructuring our old main building is a serious, costly technical task. Its engineering, air techniques, water-, gas-, and sewage systems are outdated, and we need to rethink its main function as well. The communal bathrooms and toilets must be renovated alongside with their ventilation, since these are things that make an impression in visitors. We already have funding for this. Four of our departments have moved into the new theoretical building and three more will move elsewhere, so we can think about finding a use for the now empty places. Our library will be renovated and expanded to ensure there is enough space for diligent studying; the Public Health Department will be replaced with a several hundred square metres modern, open office, where we can house the units currently under relocation, or guests. Focusing on the aula, we will “relocate” our community spaces as well, at least for furnishings and lighting: we will develop the audio-visual system based on the system already in place in the new building, making sure the two could be used in tandem. Harmonising and connecting campus buildings with each other is an important factor, keeping in mind the faculty image and transportation. Our central southern park will have its new face with this in mind: with flowers, walkways, security camera systems. We plan to have this be the next big financial commitment aside from the library” – he lists the ideas of the near future.

Thanks to the developments, the problem of parking will gradually ease; aside from the currently under construction two-story parking complex, the over a hundred places closed off due to the construction will be freed up again, too. More parking spaces will be developed between the Department of Biochemistry (also waiting to be renovated) and Szigeti street, keeping the trees and saving the green areas.

“During conversation with our students and employees, developments can change at any time, but the main directions are set. For example, the park will definitely remain a park in the near future, but it’s unsure if the community furniture will stay where it is, or what they are now. This is a shared planning, like with a family house, but much larger in volume – there too, there is always something to improve and change” – he explains.

As he says, the Campus Cooperationis was developed in 2020 with employees of the Budapest Minusplus architecture and designer office: it shows an architectural vision with an outlook on the world and history. Now, as a continuation, Locus Cooperationis will be born, showing the localised implementation of this vision. This won’t primarily be about what colours the walls were painted – but of course will also contain that – but more about a complex, synchronised process that contains the factors of liveability, lighting technique or the types of appearing spaces.

He expands upon funding that they are coming from multiple sources, therefore keeping them in tune together is important. Thankfully, now it is possible to spend on developments from their own budget. The types of government funding are varied, there are big tenders – the EFOP 3.6.1 funded the new Dental Clinic, the Animal House and the skill lab -, the new theoretical and education block was funded by the Modern Cities Program. There will be a source directed at lessening the damage of COVID-19 – called RRF – that can be used for digitalisation and energetics developments.

“Developing our funding will let us reach our true goal: to be able to meet happy people on campus. It is important to not lose the main characters in this process, since then we have built all of this for nothing. The PotePillars concept helps us keep this in mind, since its pillars do not focus on the bare walls, but on the learning culture, the renewal of education, innovation-scientific factors and on ensuring we are happy at the faculty – which is probably the most important of these developments” – summarises dr. Miklós Nyitrai.


Lajos Kalmár

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