The Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the second largest university in Hungary with more than 20 000 students established in 1997 its Distance Education Centre which since May 2003 works with extended responsibility, including the tasks related to adult learning activities. Since January 2007 the Centre works within the Institute of Applied Pedagogy and Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences.
The BME Centre for Learning Innovation and Adult Learning aims at facilitating the introduction of new technology and e-learning at the University. It co-ordinates and supports the University and its faculties in demonstrating their adult learning activities providing a comprehensive and constantly updated database of information on adult learning courses offered at the University. One of its main focus is to promote the concept of lifelong education and the equal access to education by fostering links and cooperation between existing local institutions and experts in the field of distance education, furthermore promoting links with similar units in the EU member states.
The Centre is experienced in distance and e-learning especially course development: between 1997-2003 it developed altogether 12 teacher’s further education courses accredited by the Ministry of Education. The subject of the courses are information technology (Use of Internet, European Computer Driving License, School Computer Network Manager), Development of Multimedia and Use of Multimedia course materials in the primary and secondary schools, Training of Open and Distance Learning Tutors and Developers in ODL, Practical Psychology course for teachers, Project Management in Education.
The Centre is member in the most comprehensive European association in open and distance and e-learning, the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) and hosts the Secretariat of EDEN. Know-how, in the form of advice, consultancy, learning and studies, is the main part of services provided by the Centre to educational institutions, small and medium sized enterprises and private persons. The Centre is the advisor of the Hungarian National Institute for Vocational and Adult Learning in methodology, strategy and policy development issues.Recently the Centre has 6 full-time and 2 part-time staff, including experts of ODL technology and IT, course developers, training co-ordinator, project managers and secretarial staff. Further experts for carrying out special tasks are occasionally hired by the Centre.
The Centre has been participating effectively in a number of European Union projects and national projects as well. Within the framework of these projects the Centre is continuously monitoring and systematizing the main international and national trends, policies and developments of e-learning and distance education carrying out information collection, analysis and research. The Centre develops courses of distance and e-learning, procurement of distance education or open learning materials and applies evaluating and quality assurance systems.