Laudation on the occasion of his retirement


Professor Andreas Hejj, PhD, is a psychologist who has achieved outstanding hights in several areas of his science from developmental, over educational, and cognitive, all the way to evolutionary psychology.  In the last over forty years he lectured in a dozen institutions of higher education mainly in the German speaking part of the world, such as the Universities of Bolzano, Hildesheim, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Passau, and Zurich as well as the College of Education in Freiburg. Professor Hejj was Head of Department at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Pécs (including its predecessor) from 2006 until 2022; director of studies of both the Hungarian and the English language section of the master’s course Human Resources Counselling; and core member of the doctoral school Education and Society. In addition, he is still extraordinary professor of the Faculty of Psychology and Education of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, besides being regular lecturer and head of the final examination bord at the Hungarian National University for Public Service and the Faculty of Education of the University of Sopron. He is a multifaceted personality of both evolutionary psychology and educational science who has achieved himself and the institutions he represents a good reputation in scientific life both nationally and internationally.

Besides his work as Head of Department and Director of Studies he took on a further important role as member of the Senate of the university of Pécs, where, in a most turbulent period, he succeeded in ensuring the functionality of his department while representing the interests of his faculty at the forums of the university.

In addition to numerous invitations as researcher and key-note-speaker both nationally and internationally, he is also laureate of the Golden Kathedra prize.

It appears to be an infeasible venture to take even the major milestones of Hejj’s diversified, one could say adventurous, life into account. Yet following the most important stages of his life one may get an insight into the open, passionate, at the same time moderate ethos characteristic of both his work as researcher and educator, and perhaps his entire attitude to life. It is no exaggeration to state that Professor Hejj commands deep feelings of Hungarian consciousness, yet he feels at ease in all corners of the world when carrying out research missions.

Two main trends unfold in his research work. One is the exploration of the psychological motives of partner-choice with special respect to the psycho-biological mechanisms of odour perception.  The other trend is an educationally focused research approach: a systemic analysis of educational processes in order to achieve higher effectiveness. A modern, integrative approach unfolds from Hejj’s articles and books that is able to unite the hitherto antagonistic environmentalism versus innatism standpoints of traditional psychological schools. Andreas Hejj’s contribution towards a better, more humane world helps undergraduates and doctoral students to understand the functioning of human nature better. By studying the possibilities of living together in diverse societies in the most varied parts of the world (e.g. the Micronesian Islands, Alto Adige, Kenia, South Africa or the Baltic States), Hejj achieved a widespread experience. Transmitting this not only broadens the professional range of vision of the undergraduates and doctoral students he is responsible for, but he is also a point of reference for his colleagues.

To sum up: Andreas Hejj is one of Hungary’s many-faceted evolutionary psychologists and educational scientists well known and acknowledged abroad, achieving this by his theoretical foundation, his excellent analyses, as well as his singularly outstanding research experience having travelled the entire world. Following his objectives through in a conscious manner, thinking in long-term conceptions, he is a school-building researcher/lecturer who has left indelible traces with his educational program renewing the profession in the best tradition. His activity – not to forget his compelling and humorous way of lecturing together with his international experience has attracted many well-paying international students contributing to the success of the faculties that he has been working for.