multicultural character

Located in an area with a strong interethnic and interconfessional character, Babes-Bolyai University has chosen multiculturalism as its main direction of development, its students and teachers being Romanian, Hungarian, German and even representatives of the Romani people.

Through its educational programs UBB enrolls more than 40,000 students. At BA level there are 22,771 undergraduate students studying in Romanian, 4,211 in Hungarian, 1,020 in German, 463 in English and 45 in French. At Master's level 6,811 students are studying in Romanian, 840 students in Hungarian, 688 students in English, 163 students in German, and 49 students in French.

The multicultural structure can also be found in postgraduate programs as well as in short duration programs within the network of 12 university extensions (depending on location) in Transylvania.

Currently the 25 doctoral schools of UBB, covering 29 doctoral fields, enroll 2,564 doctoral students, out of which 152 doctoral students are foreign students. All doctoral students are advised by over 250 doctoral supervisors.

In March 2013 the teaching and research staff of the Babes-Bolyai University amounted to 1,866 people, 82.2 % of them holding teaching positions, and 17.8 % research positions.

Hungarian and German students have the right to participate in all academic activities, being able to choose by vote their representatives in the University Senate and Academic Council.

To comply with the multicultural structure, all positions within the University (especially the leadership positions) are organized according to the three ethno-linguistic components. It is mandatory that within each faculty the vice-dean or scientific secretary belong either to the Hungarian or German minority in order to coordinate the activity of their own lines of study. Furthermore, at the level of the university, each of these lines of study is represented by a vice-rector, a member in the Senate College, and a specific general secretariat. Thus, the executive leadership of the university comprises 20 representatives of these ethnic groups through vice-rectors, deans, vice-deans, scientific secretaries and heads of departments.

Notification regarding the comparative evaluation of the multicultural profile of Babeş-Bolyai University in the framework of current European practices and regulations (undertaken at the request of the Babeş-Bolyai University Senate, formulated during its meeting of December 19, 2005)

In 1995, through the adoption of the Babeş-Bolyai University Charter and of other fundamental decisions, the academic community and the Babeş-Bolyai University Senate decided to reorganize Babeş-Bolyai University along three lines of study (Romanian, Hungarian, German), in keeping with the historical and cultural structure of Transylvania . On that occasion, the rector's office worked in close cooperation with the academic staff and the university students-Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Jews, and others, of various languages and nationalities-, and also involved the democratic elements in Romania as well as international organisations, in an attempt to reorganize Babeş-Bolyai University and turn it into a modern, fully functional, innovative European institution. The rector's office presented, in the international literature. Babeş-Bolyai University was subjected to three highly competent international evaluations ( The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities , 2000; European University Association , 2001; the Salzburg Seminar , 2002), the results of which were made public (see the volume International Evaluations at Babeş-Bolyai University , Cluj University Press, 2004) and received, every year, the visit of more than 400 professors and experts from various countries. The results of these evaluations were positive.

In spite of the unavoidable misunderstandings surrounding the adoption of a relatively new structure, the systematic errors defining the government's policy in the field of higher education, and the flawed "reforms"-for it is well known that stagnant or faulty reforms are always likely to increase the sensitivity of many-unbiased observers have considered that the new profile of Babeş-Bolyai University is a significant European achievement . All development indicators (diversification of degrees; student population; the number of the academic staff; the possibility to study in one's mother tongue; decisional autonomy for the lines of study; the possibility to use one's mother tongue in the profession and in the administration; opportunities for international cooperation; quality of studies in the case of most specialities, etc.) concerning Babeş-Bolyai University are there to support such evaluations. In fact, starting with 1995, Babeş-Bolyai University has received no complaints whatsoever concerning instances of ethnic discrimination or disruptions in the multicultural system, a system whose functioning is related not only to its structure, but also to those called upon to implement it.

As indicated by official documents, it was only the government of Mr. Mugur Isărescu that provided institutional and financial support to the new profile of Babeş-Bolyai University . The other governments and political parties merely used to their advantage that which had been done at Babeş-Bolyai University , without supporting the institution in any way. Therefore, rather than any political organization, it is the academic community of Babeş-Bolyai University that deserves full credit for things like the increase in the number of specializations, the opportunity to study in one's mother tongue, the increase in the number of teaching staff, the investments in the infrastructure, the autonomy of departments, faculties, colleges, lines of study, etc.

At the beginning, the plans concerning the creation of a multicultural university were questioned by those who supported the traditional mono-culturalism. In response, the Rector's Office and the Babeş-Bolyai University Senate argued that the new profile was a better solution for Transylvania . It must also be said that our competent academics and prestigious researchers, authors of widely acknowledged publications-Romanian, Hungarian, German, Jewish, Ukrainian, etc.-have always supported this multicultural profile . In 2005, the entire project was challenged by a number of people who had not only been unable to complete a doctoral thesis in their chosen field, but who-without seeking to find out more about such complex matters-circulated distorted data and unfounded evaluations meant to mislead those people who had not had the opportunity to actually visit Cluj. Purely in order to re-establish the truth , we shall discuss here two unfounded reports presented first in Brussels and then in Romania .

The first has to do with the multilingual and multicultural profile of Babeş-Bolyai University . We shall not dwell here upon the relevant statistical data (they can be found in the brochure with Statistical Data Concerning Babeş-Bolyai University , 2003). Instead, we shall synthetically present (without omitting any significant detail) the results of an objective comparison between Babeş-Bolyai University and the other multicultural and multilingual universities currently operating in Europe ( Bolzano - Italy ; Helsinki and Abo-Akademy- Finland ; Tartu - Estonia ; Fribourg- Switzerland ; Tetovo- Macedonia ), taking into account their internal regulations and activity .

First, however, we must look at the governing regulations as such. Only then can one discuss various interpretations, however numerous these may be (incidentally, the statutes and the fundamental regulations governing the activity of these universities will soon be published in a volume prepared, at the initiative of the Academic Council , by Babeş-Bolyai University dons and doctoral students specializing in the field of university organization; this would allow any citizen to form a pertinent opinion and make comments on this matter).

We shall not insist upon the comparison with the other two European universities-Strasbourg (France) and Bratislava (Slovakia)-which, together with the Cluj University, became part of other nation-states following the First World War. It must be said, however, that as opposed to Strasbourg and Bratislava , Babeş-Bolyai University provides complete studies in the mother tongue of the minorities, being, in this respect, multilingual . In its statute, the University of Bratislava presents itself as a "national university of the Republic of Slovakia ." Both the Strasbourg University and Babeş-Bolyai University provide theological studies in keeping with the denominational diversity existing in their respective regions .

Universities like Bolzano , the Abo-Akademy, Fribourg, and Tartu , just like Babeş-Bolyai University , present themselves as multilingual institutions. National language policies-in countries such as Finland and Switzerland -are set in keeping with the laws passed in the legislative assemblies, and not by the universities themselves. Therefore, national legislation in the field differs in the two countries, with everything that this entails. It must be said that, in fact, Babeş-Bolyai University shows the same openness as the Swiss and the French universities, but within a different constitutional framework . We also see that in the case of Tartu University, studies in the mother tongue must include 40% of disciplines taught in the language of the country-Estonian. Babeş-Bolyai University differs from these universities in the sense that, by virtue of its Charter, it has introduced separate lines of study, enjoying distinct representation and decision-making autonomy at any level (department, faculty, university). In other words, Babeş-Bolyai University ensures the linguistic and cultural specificity not only when it comes to the actual training activities, but also in their administrative organisation.

European universities are structured just into faculties units, without a specific of ethnic and linguistic profile. In some cases, such faculties offer studies in various languages. There are no parallel faculties within the same university. Babeş-Bolyai University is one of the institutions with faculties in which studies are organized in several languages . Babeş-Bolyai University has one of the most diverse language systems in Europe , each student being free to choose the language of studies (Romanian, Hungarian, German, or other widely spoken languages).

In all multilingual and multicultural universities, decisions are made in keeping with the customary democratic procedures, by faculty councils and by the university senate (or their equivalents). These universities have no separate organizations meant to ensure representation for the various language or ethnic groups. Bt contrast, in keeping with the Babeş-Bolyai University Charter, the lines of study are organized at every level (department, faculty, university), and are also represented at every level . The University of Tetovo has an International Board . In 2003, Babeş-Bolyai University established its own similar structure, the International Advisory Board .

It is quite obvious that the situation regarding multilingualism and multiculturalism was presented in an extremely distorted fashion by those who accused Babeş-Bolyai University of being different from its European counterparts. The facts-obvious to anyone willing to consider them-demonstrate that the organization of Babeş-Bolyai University does not differ from the general European model and that many elements-the possibility to study in one's mother tongue, to use one's mother tongue, to enjoy decisional autonomy-are more developed here than in the other European universities . Anyone can look at the regulations governing the activity of the universities in question and realize that this is indeed the case.

Moving on to the second report, the very opinion expressed by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities has been distorted, in texts sent to Brussels or published in Romania . But here is what the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities actually declared: "At my request, a number of international education experts drew up a number of recommendations regarding the increase of the number of subjects taught in the minority languages and the revision of the university charter in such a way that full equality of three lines of study - Romanian, Hungarian and German - would be assured. The positive attitude of the rector, Mr. Marga (who was also Minister of Education at the time), helped considerably in ensuring the acceptance of most of our proposals. However, the UDMR was not satisfied with the further expansion of the multicultural system at the Babeş-Bolyai University . It continued to insist on the need for a separate Hungarian language state university. As a first step in that direction, a private university - Sapientia - was set up. Without state financial assistence, it will have few opportunities to expand. It receives most of its support from Hungary . Clearly the Hungarian parties in both Slovakia and Romania prefer a system of separate higher education. This can perhaps be partially explained by their fear that in a common higher education institution for majorities and minorities the interests of the majority tend to prevail. But it could also be explained by a reluctance to follow the path of integration which some leaders of the minorities demonstrate" (Statement by OSCE High Commissioner Max van der Stoel, in Jan De Groff, Gracienne Lauwers (eds.) , Cultural and Educational Rights in the Enlarged Europe , Wolf Legal Publishers, Nijmegen, 2005, 82-83). Anyone who reads the statement issued by the OSCE High Commissioner can immediately realize that the problems do not come from Babeş-Bolyai University , being instead caused by external factors, namely, the political actions taken by Romanian political parties .

Babes-Bolyai
Cladirea Centrala

We shall conclude with three observations. The first has to do with the fact that words like "multicultural" and "multilingual" are used to describe the actual structure of the university. Issues such as the organization of the curricula, the specializations, funding, the official language of the country, the demographic structure of Transylvania, the relations between various communities, etc. clearly have little to do with the macro-organization of Babeş-Bolyai University, and are not essentially related to the debate around multiculturalism (in the proper sense of the word, in keeping with the specialized vocabulary of today) .

Of course, one can always envisage ways in which activities and performance can be improved. However, those involved in such a debate-and this is our second observation- must firmly believe that truth is the only foundation for a durable structure, and act accordingly .

On the other hand, being part of a certain ethnic group is not a professional criterion, and, like any university worthy of the name, Babeş-Bolyai University seeks to promote professional competence. The professional failure of any individual, regardless of who that individual may be, is not an indicator of ethnic discrimination. The third observation has to do with the fact that Babeş-Bolyai University has acted wisely when it chose to promote the multicultural profile which has brought it recognition over the past decades, and developed it-as systematically and insistently recommended by European experts-in keeping with the inter-cultural trend manifest in contemporary Europe, by way of an open, reasoned strategy, meant to encourage scientific achievements and competitiveness .

Multilingualism, multiculturality, autonomy

The Babeş-Bolyai University is the oldest academic institution in Romanian, which embodies the entire academic tradition in Transylvania, inaugurated with the Jesuit College founded by Prince Stephan Bathory in 1581.

The Babeş-Bolyai University brings together the cultural, scientific, and religious traditions in Transylvania . The Babeş-Bolyai University has developed a multicultural educational programme according to the legislation in force in Romania and according to European values.

The symbols and inscriptions in the languages of the ethnic communities are present at Babeş-Bolyai University .

The system of multicultural organization set up by the Charter of Babeş-Bolyai University (1995) ensures complete education in Romanian, Hungarian, German, as well as Jewish studies at all levels of academic study: bachelor, master, doctorate, long distance and adult education. This system ensures, through adequate regulations, the autonomy of the Romanian, Hungarian, and German lines of studies and the right to draw up and implement own decisions regarding human resources, international cooperation, scientific research, and to publish in Romanian, Hungarian or German.

The regulations adopted by Babeş-Bolyai University were drawn up taking into account the best interest of Romanians, of the Hungarians, of the Germans, of the Jewish people, as well as the legislation of the Romanian state, the criteria of performance and of professionalism.

The multicultural system transformed Babeş-Bolyai University into the largest and most complex university in Romania . Never before have so many Romanians studied at the main university of Transylvania; never before have so many Hungarians studied here; never before have there been more opportunities to study in German; never before has the history and the culture of the Jewish people been so broadly covered in academic circumstances. Never before has there been such a diversified range of specializations.

The multicultural and multilingual system set up at Babeş-Bolyai University has been evaluated positively by qualified international bodies - The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities , Salzburg Seminar, European University Association - and has consequently been recommended internationally as model of organization.

The multicultural system has been appreciated positively by prestigious universities in Europe, with whom Babeş-Bolyai University has agreements of interuniversity cooperation, and with whom it organizes regular meetings to establish and evaluate key features of the cooperation programmes.

The recommendations made by The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities with a view to improving the multicultural system have been fully included in the university Charter , and have been implemented since 2001.

The Babeş-Bolyai University constantly promotes professionalism and competitiveness for the integration in the European Higher Education Area. Up to this day there has never been any complaint of ethnic discrimination. Every international evaluation has shown positive conclusions.

  • The publishing houses of the Babeş-Bolyai University encourage the use of widely spoken languages. They edit publications in Romanian, Hungarian and German.
  • The diplomas of study are issued in the official language of the state, as stipulated in the Constitution of Romania . PhD. Diplomas can also be issued in widely spoken languages.
  • Romanian, Hungarian and German are the language of teaching and communication for one of the main lines of study of the Babeş-Bolyai University .
  • The recommendations made by The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities have been entirely included in the Babeş-Bolyai University regulations and have been implemented as such.
  • The autonomy of decision of the Romanian, Hungarian and German line of study in the university is a reality certified by the presence of Romanians, Hungarians and Germans in all decision bodies, as well as by the international evaluations of the Babeş-Bolyai University .
Statistics 2013

Rector's Office

 

Rector 
Pro-rectors: 11 (2 pro-rectors for the Hungarian line of study, 1 pro-rector for the German line of study, 1 head of the Council of the Institute for Doctoral Studies (CSUD), who is a pro-rector.

The Structure of the University Senate

The President of the Senate: 1
Vice-presidents of the Senate: 1 for the Romanian line of study, 1 for the Hungarian line of study, 1 for the German line of study
Total members of the Senate: 139 


The number of members of the Senate who are teachers: 104
The Romanian line of study: 78
The Hungarian line of study: 20
The German line of study: 6 

The number of members of the Senate who are students: 35
The Romanian line of study: 24
The Hungarian line of study: 9
The German line of study: 2

General Secretariat

General Secretary
Deputy General Secretary: 1 for the Hungarian line of study and 1 for the German line of study

Conducerea facultăţilor

Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science

Romanian line of study: dean, 2 vice deans, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Physics

Romanian line of study: dean, 1 vice dean, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Romanian line of study: dean, 1 vice dean, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Biology and Geology

Romanian line of study: dean, 2 vice deans, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Geography

Romanian line of study: dean, 3 vice deans, head secretary, chancellor of students
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Environmental Science and Engineering

Romanian line of study: dean, 1 vice dean, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Law

Romanian line of study: dean, 2 vice deans, head secretary

Faculty of Letters

Romanian line of study: dean, 3 vice deans, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of History and Philosophy

Romanian line of study: dean, 3 vice deans, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Sociology and Social Work

Romanian line of study: dean, 1 vice dean, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences

Romanian line of study: dean, 3 vice deans, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Economic Sciences and Business Management

Romanian line of study: dean, 3 vice deans, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean
German line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of European Studies

Romanian line of study: dean, 3 vice deans, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Business

Romanian line of study: dean, 2 vice deans, head secretary

Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences

Romanian line of study: dean, 2 vice deans, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Physical Education and Sport

Romanian line of study: dean, 1 vice dean, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

Faculty of Orthodox Theology

Romanian line of study: dean, vice dean, head secretary

Faculty of Greek-Catholic Theology

Romanian line of study: dean, vice dean, head secretary

Faculty of Reformed Theology

Hungarian line of study: dean, head secretary

Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology

Hungarian line of study: dean, 1 vice dean, head secretary

Faculty of Theatre and Television

Romanian line of study: dean, 1 vice dean, head secretary
Hungarian line of study: 1 vice dean

* for the faculties whose structure contains academic programmes with teaching in German, the programmes enter the responsibility of the vice deans for the Romanian line of study.

   
Statistics 2013
Line of study Romanian Maghiară Hungarian Other languages of study: English, French, Italian, Spanish, etc. Total
Number of teachers 1228 270 35 - 1533
Number of specializations
Bachelor's Level 160 77 14 14 265
Extensions 20 9 1 - 30
Master's Level 166 32 6 35 239
Doctoral domains 29 29
Number of students
Bachelor's Level 22771 4211 1020 508 28510
Master's Level 6811 840 163 737 8551
Number of doctoral students 2564 2564