Program objectives: To provide complex support for educational, scientific and cultural activities at university or college dormitories which are initiated and organized by the dormitories’ student leadership; to help the applicants become special colleges, and thereby strengthen the special colleges’ role in the training of intellectuals, in supporting higher education, and in organizing communities.

Program description: Special colleges and units intending to become a special college could submit applications once a year for a single academic year. The Soros Foundation provided complex and differentiated support through open and invitation-based application schemes for the educational, academic, and cultural activities initiated and organized by the colleges’ student leadership. In 1998 the Foundation commissioned the elaboration of a set of requirements titled Special College Requirements (SCR), which defined the criteria for, and process of, qualification as a special college, and which may also serve as a set of quality assurance criteria and a sort of “accreditation norm”.

The institutions eligible for support under the Program include:


Special college institutional support

An invitation-based application scheme for a group of institutions defined by the Foundation (special colleges that have established reputations and are well run).

The purpose of the support is to uphold and extend special colleges’ activities at a uniformly high level. Support can be requested for basic infrastructure improvement, for educational and cultural activities, book purchase, publication costs, etc. The Foundation recompiles the list of eligible institutions annually, on the basis of “accreditation” against the SCR. The special colleges invited to submit applications for the 2001/2001 academic year include BKE Rajk László Special College, Széchenyi István Special College, Social Studies College, BDTF Németh László Special College, ELTE Bibó István Special College, Bolyai College, JPTE Humanities Kerényi Károly Special College, PPKE Prohászka Workshop Special College.

Expanding the network of special colleges

An open application scheme to support special college candidate institutions with the purpose of helping them become special colleges by meeting the SCR requirements within a set period of time. The institutions are required to progress in this direction by aligning their operations, organizations, requirements, and activities. The Foundation supports the implementation of any missing elements.

Social scholarships for special college students

An invitation-based application scheme for the eligible institutions defined under the 240-1 Subprogram. Support is aimed at needy students who are resident or day members of well-run, acknowledged special colleges, so that they need not seek paid employment and can concentrate their energy on their studies. The assessment criteria and system of disbursement were drawn up by the special colleges’ student self-governments, thus the applicants are not the students but the special colleges themselves.