The Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungarian: Budapesti Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem or in short Műegyetem), in Hungarian abbreviated as BME, English official abbreviation BME, is the most significant University of Technology in Hungary and is also one of the oldest Institutes of Technology in the world, having been founded in 1782.
BME is considered the world’s oldest Institute of Technology which has university rank and structure. It was the first institute in Europe to train engineers at university level.The legal predecessor of the university was founded in 1782 by Emperor Joseph II, and was named Latin: Institutum Geometrico-Hydrotechnicum (“Institute of Geometry and Hydrotechnics”).
The “Berg-Schola,” the world’s first institute of technology, was founded in Selmecbánya, Kingdom of Hungary (today Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia) in 1735. Many members of the first teaching staff of BME arrived from Selmecbánya.
In 1860, the Hungarian language replaced Latin as the language of instruction.
It was reorganized in 1871 as Royal Joseph Technical University and was elevated to equal rank with other universities in the country. In 1910 it moved to its current site near Gellért square (next to the Art Nouveau Hotel Gellért). In 1934 it was reorganized again as Palatine Joseph University of Technology and Economics and it played a dominant role in the interwar industrialization process, together with engineering and economist training in Hungary.
The university was restructured again after the Second World War. The 1956 Hungarian Revolution was partly launched by students at the university, followed by many professors. In 1967, the two technical universities seated in Budapest were merged to form the Technical University of Budapest, with six faculties. In 2000 – two years after the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences was established – the official name changed to Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
At present the university has eight Faculties (founding date in parentheses):
- Faculty of Civil Engineering (1782)
- Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (1871)
- Faculty of Architecture (1873)
- Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology (1873)
- Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics (1949)
- Faculty of Transportation Engineering (1955)
- Faculty of Natural Sciences (1998)
- Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences (1998)