National University of Public Service

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National University of Public Service
Nemzeti Közszolgálati Egyetem
Ludovika frontispiece.jpg
Facade of the main building at the Ludovika Campus of NUPS
A haza szolgálatában
Motto in English
In Service of the Homeland
RectorProf. Dr. András Patyi
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Address, ,

The National University of Public Service (NUPS; Hungarian: Nemzeti Közszolgálati Egyetem) is higher educational institution in Budapest, Hungary. Established in 2012, it is one of the youngest universities in Central and Eastern Europe, however, its faculties as former independent colleges look back much earlier.

The university was officially founded on 1 January 2012 through the merger of the Zrínyi Miklós National Defence University (becoming the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training), the Police College (becoming the Faculty of Law Enforcement) and the Faculty of Public Administration of Corvinus University of Budapest (becoming the Faculty of Public Administration at NUPS). In addition to these faculties, NUPS includes institutions that function as educational organs and think tanks and is initiating its fourth faculty of European and international studies.

The university’s primary goal is to educate future public administration officials, military and law enforcement officers (through BA and MA programmes) and to develop the skills and know-how of current members of public service (through further training programmes). Moreover, NUPS also functions as a think tank for public service (through PhD programmes, joint conferences and individual research activities of lecturers).


While modern Hungarian higher education has always included programmes focusing on the education and training of people primarily preparing for public service, NUPS is the first university in the country exclusively dealing with HR in the public sphere.

The National University of Public Service is one of the youngest higher educational institutions in Central and Eastern Europe. The university was officially established on 1 January 2012 through the merger of three separate higher educational institutions: the Zrínyi Miklós National Defence University, the Police College and the Faculty of Public Administration of Corvinus University of Budapest. Accordingly, these institutions became the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training, the Faculty of Law Enforcement and the Faculty of Public Administration at NUPS respectively.

Principles of establishment[edit]

Rector's symbols and the Founding Declaration of NUPS

The merger of the three higher educational institutions, focusing on military officer, law enforcement officer and public administration official training respectively, was directed by the aim of establishing a university where all main branches of public service training are present. This reflects a comprehensive approach which enables the efficient and effective cooperation of future servicemen in these respective branches. In addition to the students’ understanding of each other's field of expertise and service, the concept includes the opportunity for mobility (cross-career paths) in civil, military and law enforcement services.

Accordingly, the National University of Public Service plays a crucial role in the HR development of Hungarian public service. In accordance with this mission, NUPS’ core tasks include the provision of university education (from undergraduate to Ph.D level), further training programmes (aimed at public service officials including executive civil servants) and think-tank analyses that are synchronized with the requirements of the Hungarian government. This exceptional role is also reflected by the fact that the university is governed by the Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Justice of Hungary.

Predecessors and heritage[edit]

Since NUPS was officially established on 1 January 2012, it is listed among the youngest universities in Central Europe. However, through their merger the Zrínyi Miklós National Defence University, the Police College and the Faculty of Public Administration of Corvinus University of Budapest became the legal predecessors of NUPS which also inherited the experiences and knowledge in their respective fields of expertise.

Regarding the training of law enforcement officers and public administration officials, the predecessors of NUPS have been present in Hungarian higher education for 40 years with the Police College being funded in 1970 and the College of Public Administration established in 1977 (and functioning as the Faculty of Public Administration at the Corvinus University of Budapest since 2005). Although the Zrínyi Miklós National Defence University was officially established in 1996, it had several predecessors dating back to the early nineteenth century. The most notable is the Royal Hungarian Ludovika Academy which was established on 8 November 1808. The academy was not only the first Hungarian military higher educational institution but was acknowledged to be on an equal level as the Theresian Military Academy in Austria in 1897 making the Ludovika Academy an internationally renowned centre for military sciences and officer training.

The efforts of NUPS in building on this legacy include the university’s return to the Ludovika Campus that used to give home to the Royal Hungarian Ludovika Academy.

The Ludovika Project[edit]

Since NUPS was established through the merger of three separate higher educational institutions, the university has started its operation on three different campuses at once. The integration of the faculties includes their inclusion in one single campus.

Following the traditions in Hungarian public service training, the headquarters of NUPS is the Ludovika Campus: in May 2012 the Hungarian government decided to renovate the main building of the Ludovika Academy and the nearby Orczy Park thus establishing the central campus for NUPS. The renewal of the main campus building was realized following a dual directive: the building was to be modern yet preserving its heritage. Accordingly, the campus centre was equipped with up-to-date technology and infrastructure while keeping its original trademarks in a neo-classicist style. The Orczy Park and its surroundings provide altogether an area of 73,700 square metres (18.2 acres) for the new campus.

The Ludovika Project received high priority, since it has offered several additional advantages for Budapest, most notably a growth in green areas within the city and increased security within the district. Moreover, the campus will offer additional cultural and leisure activities for the citizens, as the supplementary facilities – such as swimming pool and a riding course – would be available for the public as well.

Organisation and operation[edit]


In parallel with its academic portfolio, the National University of Public Service is governed by the respective Ministers of the Hungarian government: the Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Justice of Hungary. The management of the university is led by the rector who is supported by vice-rectors with separate portfolios: the vice-rector for strategic and institutional development, the vice-rector for education and the vice-rector for continuing education and international affairs. In addition, the internal administrative and financial issues are managed by the secretary-general and the chief financial officer, respectively.


Through its establishment the National University of Public Service began its operation with three faculties: the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training, the Faculty of Law Enforcement and the Faculty of Public Administration.

Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training[edit]

The Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training carries forth the mission and responsibilities of the former Zrínyi Miklós National Defence University. Accordingly, its exclusive core task is to train future officers of the Hungarian Armed Forces. The cadets’ studies in military sciences are realized through the departments which are located within institutes of the faculty. In addition, the preparation of cadets includes physical exercises. Therefore, the campus of the faculty functions as a barracks as well.

The Institute of Military Logistics with its four departments (the Department of Logistics of Military Operations, the Department of Maintenance, the Department of Supply and Military Transportation and the Department of Natural Sciences) focuses in the training of future staff officers commanding logistic subunits within the Hungarian Armed Forces.

The mission of the Institute of Maintenance is to train future military officers commanding the Hungarian Armed Forces’ subunits in the respective fields covered by the institute’s three departments (the Department of IT and Electronic Warfare, the Department Air Force and the Department of Signal).

The Institute of Military Leadership Training approaches the education of future military officers with a distinctive emphasis on strategic level issues. Its training activities are realized through the Department of Strategy and Military Theory, the Department of Joint Operations, the Department of Operations and Support, the Department of Military Leadership and General Subjects and the Department of Military History, Philosophy and Cultural History.

In addition to these institutions, the faculty realizes its mission through the work of its centres (Military Training and Retraining Centre, Military Physical Training Centre, Military Exam Centre, Foreign Languages Training Centre and Language Exam Centre) focusing on different areas directly related to the training of future and current military officers.

Faculty of Law Enforcement[edit]

Similarly to the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training, the Faculty of Law Enforcement has the exclusive task of training future law enforcement officers in Hungary. In accordance, the faculty’s graduates can begin their career as police officers or public officials of related organizations, including the Hungarian Police Force, the National Tax and Customs Administration, the Hungarian Prison Service, the National Directorate-General for Disaster Management and the Office of Immigration and Nationality. However, the knowledge and know-how acquired through the trainings can be applied in the private security sector as well.

The faculty consists of two main institutes: the Institute of Criminal Sciences (including the Department of Criminal Law, the Department of Criminal Procedure Law, the Department of Public Administration Criminal Law and the Department of Criminology) and the Institute of Public Law Enforcement and Applied Management Theory (including the Department of Applied Law Enforcement Science, the Department Law Enforcement Management Theory and the Department of Behavioural Science). The latter also consists of departmental sections focusing on law enforcement legislation and administration, law enforcement sociology and social history, and on cross-border law enforcement operations.

Faculty of Public Administration[edit]

The core task of Faculty of Public Administration is to provide professionals for the administration at the central and local government level in Hungary. While the students’ education primarily consists of general knowledge and skills related to the operation of Hungarian public administration, their studies also includes the basics of political and legal sciences and foreign language training with a wide spectrum of languages to choose from.

Accordingly, the faculty consists of several institutes and a Foreign Language Training Centre with the latter helping students to acquire general language skills and to get acquainted with legal and public administration terminologies. The Institute of State and Social Theory focuses on providing the students with a clear view on state science by reviewing the progress of the institutional framework of public administration while highlighting on its social and political background. The tasks of the institute is carried out by the Department of State Theory, the Department of Public Administration History and the Department of Social Theory. The faculty’s Institute of E-Public Service Development focuses on providing students with relevant IT skills and know-how and familiarizing them with the IT systems used in Hungarian public administration.

The aim of the Institute of Career and Human Resources is to establish the interoperability between careers in public administration by supporting the harmonization of related trainings. Its efforts are carried out through the work of the Department of Public Service Law, the Department of Career and Personnel Systems and the Department of Public Service Ethics and Communication.

Faculty of International and European Studies[edit]

Although the various training programmes at the departments and institutes of these faculties prepare students for public service on an international level, a fourth faculty is to be established exclusively focusing on international aspects of public service. The Faculty of International and European Studies concentrates the university’s resources and capacities in European and international law, security studies and international relations.


In addition to its faculties, NUPS activities in education, training and research are realized by its inter-faculty institutes. Due to the university’s crucial role in HR development for national public service, these institutes are in co-operation with their respective partners within Hungarian public service.

Institute of Executive Training and Continuing Education[edit]

The mission of the Institute of Executive Training and Continuing Education is to provide training programmes for current public servants in Hungary. This includes further training programmes available for public service officials from central and local government level, however, the institute also provides retraining programmes for those defence and law enforcement employees who would change course in their respective careers and decide to enter the public administration branch.

Institute of Disaster Management[edit]

The Institute of Disaster Management carries forth the education and training activities of the university’s predecessors in disaster management. Accordingly, it is responsible for the preparation of future professionals in fire protection and rescue management, disaster management operations and industrial safety. The institute operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior and the National Directorate-General for Disaster Management.

Institute of National Security[edit]

The Institute of National Security is responsible for the education and training of military and civil professionals in national security including intelligence and counter-intelligence professionals.

International outreach[edit]

While graduates in the field of military, law enforcement and public administration sciences primarily begin their career in national public service, this also includes career paths with international aspects. Therefore, the educational and research activities of NUPS are embedded in various forms of international relations.

Memberships and partner institutions[edit]

NUPS is a member of several international organisations dealing with public administration and law enforcement education, such as the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), the Networks of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe (NISPAcee), the Association of European Police Colleges (AEPC), the European Police College (CEPOL), the European Security and Defence College (ESDC). Furthermore, NUPS has relations with the NATO Defence College (NDC) and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC). As a higher educational institution NUPS has many bilateral relations with other European universities with their cooperation primarily focusing on the mobility of students and lecturers. NUPS has bilateral agreements with the following institutions:

Academy of Diplomacy Budapest[edit]

In addition to receiving international students within mobility programmes, in the fall of 2014 NUPS initiated its separate international certificate programme “Academy of Diplomacy Budapest” exclusively for international participants. The single semester educational and research programme in English focuses on various topics that are connected to international relations, diplomacy and public service. Students receiving a thorough view of good governance, international organisations, regional security challenges, international protection of human rights, e-public service and info-security can select a specialization in either European Studies or Security and Defence Policy. In addition to their studies and individual research, students visit relevant players of international relations, such as ministries, central and regional authorities and agencies, international organisations and NGOs.

NUPS launches the second cycle of the programme in the spring of 2015 while working on its International Relations in Public Service MA programme which focuses on political, economic and security issues in Central and Eastern Europe. The programme offers specialization in European Studies, Policing and Law Enforcement, Security Studies and International Administration.

Student life[edit]


Students at NUPS organize their own respective societies of which the Special Student Communities receive particular attention due to their mission of organizing both open scientific events and leisure activities. These communities are located at each faculty of NUPS and have their own set of focus with the Special Student Community for Security Policy dealing with contemporary issues of foreign and security policy, the Ostrakon Special Student Community focusing on governance and management, the Magyary Zoltán Special Student Community dealing with public administration related issues and the Szent György Special Student Community including students interested in law enforcement studies.

Main events[edit]

Students, lecturers and administrative staff of NUPS can participate at several official events organized regularly throughout the academic year. For students, the first major events are the Freshman Camp offering an opportunity for first year students to meet each other in a friendly environment with several joint activities and concerts, and the Students’ Ball where the symbolic inauguration of first year students is held. At the end of the academic year, official events are held where students can socialize with their professors. These usually take form of a ball organized by the special student communities and the related institutes or departments.

Since November is considered as the month of science at NUPS, the university organizes an official ball to which students, professors and members of the administrative staff are both welcome. This event is harmonized with the Hungarian Science Festival which is a nationwide set of programmes: universities have open lectures to the public and young researchers and Ph.D students can give presentations on their respective research topics and results.

Bachelor and Master level students with potential for additional research can participate at conferences where they can present their respective papers which they prepared with the guidance of professors. These conferences are organized by the faculties’ scientific students’ associations separately on the faculty level after which a similar conference is held on the university level. This is synchronized with the organization of the National Conference of Scientific Students’ Associations held biannually. These events offer great opportunities for those BA and MA level students who wish to publish their research results and have the intention of continuing their studies on a Ph.D level in the future.

The university offers several recreational programmes, from which the largest one is the University Sports Day when students, lecturers and members of the administrative staff can participate at various physical activities. Similarly, the Faculty Days and Dormitory Days offer sporting activities as well, however, these events last 2–3 days with each day having a different theme.


External links[edit]