The talent management programme of the University of Debrecen was launched in 2001 after long preparations.
The underlying concept was that the programme would provide additional benefits for the best performing and most talented students at the university, with the help of which the participants could engage in independent research projects via the help of mentors. The aim was to contribute to the education of the next generation of researchers and faculty members by creating a uniform framework for the various forms of talent management at the university.
Naturally, talent management was not a new activity, since the honours programmes, the system of teaching activities, workshops preparing for student research group (TDK) competitions all have a long history at the university; however, the priority objective of the programme was the individual, intensive development of the most excellent students with the tools of enrichment and acceleration.
In the first year, 93 students were selected, with 71 more given the right in the following year to participate in the programme.
In the initial years, participation in the programme was invitation-based, which meant that students with a grade point average of at least 4.0 (on a scale of 5) were invited to a selection process, at the end of which the best performing ones became members of the talent management programme. The selection process took place, on the one hand, with the help of intelligence tests, and on the other hand, on the basis of individual motivation.
The rules of operation of the talent management programme of the University of Debrecen (DETEP) was finalised and approved by the Rector’s Council at its meeting held on 18 April 2002, with the following main elements:
- individual work with guidance provided by supervisors (encouraging research activity, forming external relations, facilitating publications);
- participation in the specialised translator programme;
- career advising;
- participation in the TDK (student research groups) competitions;
- organising conferences for the participants of DETEP;
- supporting study trips in Hungary and abroad;
- student researcher scholarship (in the competence of the individual Faculties);
- participation in the activities of the honours programmes;
- giving preference to students in the DETEP programme in the evaluation of grant applications of the University of Debrecen.
The work was coordinated by the Talent Management Programme Committee of the University of Debrecen, consisting of representatives of the faculties and of the Student Government.
The programme was renewed in 2008, since with the introduction of new technologies DETEP also had to renew itself. Beginning from the second semester of the 2008/2009 academic year, every student participating in the programme is required to register for a so-called consultation credit, which needs to certified by their advisers or mentors at the end of each semester. Due to the increasing interest in the programme, the selection process could only be announced occasionally, and therefore, individual motivation and the proactive attitude of the advisers have gained importance. The grade point average as a requirement was only kept in place for students of the Faculty of Law, while all other students could freely apply for participation in DETEP.
The supervision and coordination of the programme was taken over by the Scientific Directorate, thereby centralizing the programme. The head of the DETEP programme has since been the vice rector responsible for scientific affairs. The University also created the Talent Council with the right to make recommendations in all topics related to talent. The members of the Council are the individual faculties’ DETEP coordinators, representatives of the Student Government, and elected delegates of the honours programmes.
A scholarship programme with stipends proportionate to performance was also introduced, as was the possibility to participate in the annual DETEP conferences and taking development courses.
DETEP has been developing continuously, thereby providing the opportunity to students in full-time, correspondence and English-language programmes also to join and develop.
In the 2016/2017 academic year, in response to increasing demands, the Talent Council decided to offer the possibility for participation in DETEP also to students in the non-Hungarian language programmes. The TALENTUD programme was specifically created for such students, which is open to those studying in bachelor’s, master’s and undivided degree programmes registered as full-time students at the University of Debrecen.
The popularity of the TALENTUD programme has been unbroken since.