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Babes-Bolyai University

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Babes-Bolyai University

"Babeș-Bolyai" University
Universitatea "Babeș-Bolyai"
Babeș-Bolyai Tudományegyetem
Seal of the Babeș-Bolyai University
Latin: Universitas Napocensis
Motto Traditio Nostra Unacum Europae Virtutibus Splendet
Established 1919/1959
Type Public
Endowment $121,947,739[1]
Rector Ioan-Aurel Pop
Academic staff 1,400
Students 41,000[2]
Undergraduates 30,000
Postgraduates 8,500
Doctoral students 2,500
Location Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Former names Superior Dacia University
King Ferdinand I University
University of Cluj
Nickname Babeș / Bolyai

The Babeș-Bolyai University (Romanian: UBB—Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai, Hungarian: Babeș-Bolyai Tudományegyetem), in Cluj-Napoca, is a public university in Romania. With more than 40,000 students, it is the largest university in the country.[3] The Babeș-Bolyai University offers study programmes in Romanian, Hungarian, German, English, and French.[4] The university was named after prominent scientists from Transylvania: the Romanian bacteriologist Victor Babeș and the Hungarian mathematician János Bolyai.

In the 2012 QS World University Rankings, it was included in Top 700 universities of the world.[5] Another three Romanian universities have entered the prestigious top.[6]


The main campus is located in the city of Cluj-Napoca, with the university buildings spread across the city. The university has several student housing areas, most notable being Haşdeu with more than 20 dormitories buildings. The Lucian Blaga University Library is located in the city centre. The university also has several colleges located in 18 cities spread across Transylvania.


In 1581, István Báthory, prince of Transylvania, founded a college in Kolozsvár (now, Cluj-Napoca ) which was to be under the control of the Jesuits. This college was later closed down, but the Catholics in 1688 established an academy in the city also under Jesuit control. In 1776, Empress Maria Theresa founded a university in the city.

In 1872, the Hungarian Minister of Education, József Eötvös presented to the Hungarian Parliament a project of a new university to be founded either in Pozsony (present Bratislava) or Kolozsvár. After long debates on financial concern the Hungarian Parliament voted for the latter. Thus, the authorities established a university in Kolozsvár with teaching in Hungarian, except for the Romanian language and literature section. In 1881 the university was renamed Franz Joseph University after the Habsburg Emperor and King of Hungary Franz Joseph.

On May 12, 1919, after the Union of Transylvania with Romania, the new Romanian University of Cluj (initially named Superior Dacia University, then, King Ferdinand I University) was set up; the courses were inaugurated on November 3, 1919, by Vasile Pârvan with a lecture entitled "The Duty of Our Life". On February 1, 1920, King Ferdinand I solemnly proclaimed the university open.

In 1921, the Hungarian Franz Joseph University moved from Cluj, first to Budapest, then to Szeged.

In 1940, as a result of the Second Vienna Award, the city was ceded to Hungary; the Hungarian Franz Joseph University returned from Szeged to Cluj, while the University of Cluj was moved to Sibiu and Timişoara. Once the Second Vienna Award was abrogated following the end of World War II, and Cluj returned to Romania, parts of the Hungarian university moved back to Szeged.

In 1945, the Romanian university also returned to Cluj and renamed Victor Babeș University. In the meantime, the Romanian authorities established a new Hungarian university, named Bolyai University.[7]

In 1959, the Communist authorities decided to merge the two universities into one, named Babeș-Bolyai University, with teaching in both languages. The Hungarian community in Transylvania considered this to undermine their interests, which led to the suicide of the Hungarian pro-rector[8] and a professor.[9] The move was orchestrated by Nicolae Ceauşescu, the former Romanian dictator, and Ion Iliescu, his successor as president. Later, under the Communist regime, the studies in Hungarian were gradually reduced.

After the Romanian Revolution of 1989 in which ethnic Hungarians had a major role, Hungarian language education at the university was expanded by increasing the number of specializations in Hungarian. In addition, specializations taught in German, English and French have been introduced.

The university is now the most diversified and the most complex higher education institution in Romania.[3]


Babeș-Bolyai University has more than 40,000 students (out of which 700 are international students, and 4,600 students are enrolled in part-time and distance learning programmes). The structure of the student body is composed out of over 2,500 Ph.D. students, 8500 master's degree students, and 30,000 undergraduates. The university has 21 faculties and over 1,400 faculty members. It offers bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees, along with advanced postgraduate studies. [2]

The university is in an ethnically diverse area; this is very well illustrated in its structure: there are 326 study programmes in Romanian (160 bachelor's studies and 166 master's studies); 109 study programmes in Hungarian (77 bachelor's studies and 32 master's studies); 40 study programmes in English (11 bachelor's studies and 29 master's studies); 20 study programmes in German (14 bachelor's studies and 6 master's studies); 9 study programmes in French (3 bachelor's studies and 6 master's studies).[10]

The Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology and the Faculty of Protestant Theology provide courses only in Hungarian. Graduate schools offer the same multilingual structure. The Hungarian and German minorities are also proportionately represented in the Professors' Council and the University Senate.

Here is the list of the faculties, along with the languages in which their courses are taught:

(RO-Romanian, HU-Hungarian, DE-German, FR-French, EN-English)

  • Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science RO HU DE EN
  • Faculty of Physics RO HU DE
  • Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering RO HU DE EN
  • Faculty of Biology and Geology RO HU DE
  • Faculty of Geography RO HU DE
  • Faculty of Environmental Science RO HU
  • Faculty of History and Philosophy RO HU DE
  • Faculty of Psychology and Science of Education RO HU
  • Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration RO HU DE EN
  • Faculty of Letters RO HU DE
  • Faculty of Theatre and Television RO HU
  • Faculty of Law RO HU
  • Faculty of Economics RO HU DE EN FR
  • Faculty of Physical Education and Sport RO HU
  • Faculty of European Studies RO DE EN
  • Faculty of Sociology and Social Work RO HU
  • Faculty of Business RO EN
  • Faculty of Orthodox Theology RO
  • Faculty of Greek Catholic Theology RO
  • Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology HU
  • Faculty of Protestant Theology HU


Nationally, the Babes-Bolyai University was ranked, as concerning research, as the first in Romania (2002–2011), based on article influence score (Web of Science), by Ad-Astra Association of Romanian Scientists with the University of Bucharest the second.

Internationally, in the 2011 URAP international ranking, the University was ranked first in Romania based on top academic indicators, again followed by Bucharest University

The Hungarian section

The Hungarian section enrolls nearly 7200 students in 67 BA programmes; the university is thus the principal institution that educates members of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania. However, the establishment of additional Hungarian faculties has been impeded several times, albeit asked by more than 80% of the Hungarian professors. Most recently, on 22 February 2006, the University Senate neglected the demand of 149 Hungarian professors. Moreover, Hungarian cannot be used as a language of formal communication within the university.

The Hungarian section of the university has a partial autonomy, gradually increasing in the recent years. However, in the opinion of the Council of the Hungarian section, those members appointed by the Hungarian-speaking teaching staff desire a more institutionalized form of autonomy. Since university decision-making is based on majority vote of the entire faculty, the Hungarian representatives in minority can always be silenced by this procedure.

The Hungarian language is used in academical communication, as a teaching language, and in public relations, tutorials, and in some written posters and communications. The legends, inscriptions, and classroom labels are only in Romanian, so the image and the feeling is not of a truly multilingual university.

In November 2006, Dr. Péter Hantz and Dr. Lehel Kovács, lecturers at the Babeș-Bolyai University, were discharged by the university after a series of actions started in October 2005 taken for language equality. They were campaigning for the re-organization of the Bolyai University by splitting it in two independent institutions.

On 22 November 2006, the university organized an exhibition in the European Parliament, where they tried to give the impression that there are multilingual signs at the university. That day, Dr. Hantz added signs like "Information" and "No smoking" in Hungarian alongside those ones in Romanian.[12] The two acted upon a decree permitting the use of multilingual signs, which had been decreed by the university but never put in practice, and official claims that the university is a multicultural institution with three working languages (Romanian, German and Hungarian).[13] On 27 November 2006, the Senate voted for exclusion of the two lecturers, with 72 for and 9 against (from 2 Romanian and 7 Hungarian members) votes. The Hungarian academic community is convinced that the exclusion was not a disciplinary action, but the vote was not ethnic based. In spite of protests, the resignation out of solidarity by several Hungarian-speaking university staff, and a call by 24 Hungarian Member of the European Parliament for the reinstatement of the lecturers, they remained unemployed.[12] The parties in the Hungarian Parliament asked the university to reinstate the two professors and respect the rights of the Hungarian minority. The presidents of the five parties represented in the Hungarian Parliament signed a statement of protest. Istvan Hiller, education minister of Hungary, wrote to his Romanian counterpart Mihail Hărdău, asking for his help on the issue.[13] The case has also been put forward in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Göran Lindblad, from the Swedish European People’s Party, along with 24 signatories from 19 European countries, presented a motion for a resolution on the alleged breaching of the 1994 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by the Romanian Government.[14]

See also


External links

  • Official website
  • Website of the future Bolyai University
  • "Lucian Blaga" Central University Library
  • "Geographia Technica" Journal of the Faculty of Geography

Coordinates: 46°46′04″N 23°35′28″E / 46.76778°N 23.59111°E / 46.76778; 23.59111

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