The Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca (BBTE) is celebrating the founding of the Ferenc József University in 1872, considered the legal predecessor of the university, and the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Hungarian-language university education in the city, with a three-day scientific session and exhibition.
Speaking at the opening of the anniversary celebrations on Wednesday, Rector Daniel David said: “BBTE would not be the most student-attracting university in Romania, and would not have been the top-ranked Romanian higher education institution in international rankings for seven years, if it were not trilingual and did not combine the benefits of Hungarian, Romanian, and German-language education.”
“We want the Hungarian community in Transylvania to feel that this is their academic home,” said the Rector. He added that they wanted to make the university a home for the Hungarian community in a European context.
David also said it was a good thing that two more Hungarian-language universities had been established in Transylvania: the Partium Christian University (PKE) and Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania (EMU).
Anna Soós, Deputy Rector in charge of the Hungarian section, recalled the difficulties of starting the university 150 years ago. She mentioned that the decree of Emperor and King Franz Joseph helped to start the organizational work even before the Parliament passed the law establishing the university. The law was finally promulgated by the Emperor on October 12, 1872; the first rector, Áron Berde, was appointed on November 10, and the first 258 students started the academic year the following day.
We are both strengthened in the knowledge that we share not only a common past and traditions, but also a common future,”
said Péter Zakar, Vice-Rector of the University of Szeged, on the cooperation between the universities of Cluj and Szeged. The two universities consider the Ferenc József University as their common ancestor, because the University of Szeged was founded in 1921 by teachers from Cluj who had fled Transylvania after Trianon.
To mark the anniversary, an exhibition was organized at the university, presenting the scientific works of the early days, the university’s badges and seal prints. Also brought to the university for the exhibition was the bust of Franz Joseph from the Museum of Art in Cluj, which was donated to the university by the Emperor himself in 1895 and is believed to be the work of János Fadrusz.
The present BBU was created by the merger in 1959, ordered by the Romanian communist authorities, of the Hungarian-language university of science (which was re-established after the Second Vienna Arbitration, and founded by a Romanian royal decree in 1945, and took the name of János Bólyai János), and the Romanian-language university of science (which returned to Cluj-Napoca after the war, and took the name of Victor Babes in 1947).
Via: MTI ; Featured photo: szekelyfold.ma