Looking back on academic year 2019/2020
The courses of the academic year 2019/2020 were influenced by the extraordinary measure of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic, which prohibited the personal presence of students at all universities with effect from March 11, 2020 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Within a short time, all faculties switched to online teaching. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of academic and non-academic staff, the University of Economics, Prague was able to follow the planned schedule of the summer semester 2019/2020. The University management also values the responsible approach of its students in the fulfilment of their study obligations and their compliance with the newly established rules in this extremely difficult situation.
Numbers of students
In 2019, 2,402 students studied in Czech language programmes at the Faculty of Finance and Accounting, 2,971 at the Faculty of International Relations, the Faculty of Business Administration had a total of 3,189 students, the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics 2,496, the Faculty of Economics 1,369 and the Faculty of Management 982 students. A total of 849 students studied in foreign language programmes.
The main strategic priority of the school is internationalization, and therefore we also offered three bachelor’s, ten master’s and nine doctoral study programmes in English.
At the end of 2019, the Faculty of International Relations and the Faculty of Management elected new Deans. In both cases, the previous faculty representatives were elected. The second term of office for the Dean of the Faculty of International Relations Josef Taušer and the Dean of the Faculty of Management Vladislav Bína started on February 1, 2020 and will last until January 31, 2024.
In the academic year 2019/2020, the management of the University of Economics, Prague gave awards to the most popular teachers from all six faculties for the first time. Jan Molín became the most popular teacher at the Faculty of Finance and Accounting, Zuzana Stuchlíková is the most popular teacher at the Faculty of International Relations, David Říha at the Faculty of Business Administration, Milan Bašta at the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics, Michal Mirvald at the Faculty of Economics and Peter Pažitný at the Faculty of Management. The “Teacher of the Year” award was given by the rector to one teacher from each faculty on the basis of a proposal from the deans, which was based on a student vote in a school-wide survey taken on InSIS. A total of 1958 students voted for their favorite teacher. The Teacher of the Year award will be regularly given by the Rector of VŠE at the beginning of each calendar year on the basis of voting in the anonymous student poll.
Rector Emeritus of VŠE Prof. Richard Hindls was awarded with the Alois Rašín Medal in June 2020. This medal is awarded to personalities who have significantly contributed to the development of the University of Economics, Prague or have contributed to the development of economic science and education. The Alois Rašín Medal was first awarded in 1999.
Photo: Deans of the Faculty of Management and the Faculty of International Relations; Teacher of the Year; Awarding the Alois Rašín Medal
Accreditations and awards
VŠE successfully continues in long-term accreditation process of AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the completion of which remains one of the main goals of university management. The University of Economics, Prague has been going through the long-term accreditation process since 2016. After the previous phases of the evaluation process, VŠE sent the first progress report, which the Accreditation Commission accepted and later requested the submission of a second progress report. The Commission received this second report in May 2020. The AACSB accreditation process is a school-wide project that benefits the university in terms of quality improvement and at the same time supports teamwork between school management and university faculties. Within the accreditation process VŠE closely collaborates with the British mentor prof. Stephanie Morgan, appointed by the AACSB.
In September 2018, the University of Economics, Prague obtained institutional accreditation for the field of education in Economics and Informatics. VŠE was selected by the National Accreditation Office for Higher Education as the first Czech university for the external evaluation stipulated by law by the National Accreditation Office. As a basis for the evaluation, VŠE prepared a self-evaluation report and provided more than 1,000 pages of appendices. In June 2020, the evaluation committee visited the University.
Placement in internationally recognized rankings contributes to the reputation of every university. In 2019, the University of Economics, Prague was successful in two prestigious rankings. The university was listed in the prestigious international ranking of universities by the British company Quacquarelli Symonds QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 in two fields within the field of education Social Science and Management. In the field of Economics and Econometrics, it ranked among the best rated in the 201st – 250th place and in the field of Accounting and Finance in the 250th – 300th place.
In the ranking of the top 95 best European universities by the European Business Schools Ranking, which is regularly published by the Financial Times, the University of Economics, Prague ranked 55th in 2019, five places ahead of year before.
The Faculty of Business Administration also confirmed its quality when it successfully completed the EQUIS re-accreditation process and is thus still the only Czech faculty with this prestigious international accreditation in the field of management. The faculty received the accreditation for another 3 years. Thanks to the Faculty of Business Administration, the University of Economics, Prague remains alongside the best business schools, such as HEC Paris, London Business School, Rotterdam School of Management, University of St. Gallen or Petersburg University, Graduate School of Management. Only 189 faculties worldwide have obtained EQUIS accreditation out of a total of about 15,000 business faculties.
In the field of internationalization, which is the universities strongest field (in 2019, 25 % of the total number of students at VŠE were foreigners), the University of Economics, Prague focuses mainly on the development of accredited foreign language study programmes. In 2019, three bachelor’s programmes and ten master’s degree programmes were taught at VŠE. In the academic year 2019/2020, 892 students were enrolled in these study programmes. As part of the mobility scheme, VŠE sent more than 1,000 students abroad and accepted more than 1,200 foreign students (mostly from the USA).
The International Office organized several events for foreign and domestic students, e. g. the International & Study Abroad Fair, a traditional event intended for all those interested in studying abroad; or the Orientation Week, during which foreign students get to know the school and get to know Prague.
Photo: International & Study Abroad Fair; Orientation Week
Research and development activities and work experience
In the area of scientific research, the implementation of Methodology 2017+ was a priority. Research projects GA ČR, TA ČR, ministry grants, foreign grants as well as projects within a specific research were worked on at the University of Economics, Prague. For the current year of 2020, a total of 32 proposals for GA ČR research projects were submitted by VŠE staff. The journals Politická ekonomie and Prague Economic Papers are listed in the information services Social Sciences Citation Index, Journal Citation Report/Social Sciences Edition and Social Scisearch, available via the ISI Web of Knowledge and are also included in the electronic databases EconLit, RePEc and Scopus. These journals have for a long time contributed to the good name of Czech economic research within the Czech Republic as well as abroad. The CEBR (Central European Business Review) journal is indexed in the Scopus database and now also in the Emerging Sources Citation Index (Web of Science).
In the academic year 2019/20, the University of Economics, Prague continued to cooperate with its corporate partners. Česká spořitelna remains the general partner of VŠE and the main partners are ČSOB, Deloitte, EY, Komerční banka, KPMG and PWC. The partners are Accenture, ADP, Amazon, Bel Sýry Česko, Business Development Advisory, BDO Appraisal services, Czech National Bank, E.ON, Hewlett Packard, HOPI, the Chamber of Commerce, Johnson & Johnson, L´Oréal, Microsoft, MSD, PSN , T-Mobile, Unilever, Plzeňský Prazdroj, Škoda Auto and HILTI. The last three companies are also international partners of CEMS.
The close cooperation of company partners with students continues, for example, with the unique Europe-wide car sharing concept Uniqway, which has been in operation for the second year in a row. The conditions for the establishment and operation of the carsharing platform were created by ŠKODA AUTO ČR and ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab, and students from three Prague universities (CTU, CULS and VŠE) are also involved in the project. Students at VŠE are in charge of the project’s marketing strategy and manage the social networks.
In autumn, about 120 companies took part in the traditional job fair Šance/Chance, which connects students with work experience and is organized by the Development and Counselling Centre. During the fair, companies have the opportunity to present themselves to students or graduates and address applicants for vacancies. The fair did not take place in the spring, it was postponed to autumn 2020 due to government measures against the spread of the coronavirus.
In the previous academic year xPORT, business accelerator of the University of Economics, Prague has implemented a number of commercial cooperative projects with work experience and important events in this area (Data Festival, Startup Festival, Venture Summit). The main specialization was in the area of B2B projects and the offer of services for incubated teams was adjusted accordingly. The incubation program and a post-acceleration project B2B Stars was also taking place, which is focused on helping to build sales and marketing competencies. The three-year development project OP PPR focused on the supporting xPORT operations and the qualitative shift of its services continued. xPORT also implemented the first year of the intensive business program xPORT Startup Bootcamp for students from the University of Economics, Prague and for Italian students. xPORT also became a global partner of Berkeley Skydeck, one of the five most successful university accelerators in the United States.
Photo: Uniqway; Job fair Šance
Development of VŠE
The management of the University of Economics, Prague and the management of individual faculties place an emphasis on improving the quality of all school activities. In the academic year of 2019/2020, the University of Economics, Prague was able to support its strategic development with funds both from the Institutional Plan for 2019–2020 as well as with funds from the OP RDE project Development of educational and other activities and quality support at VŠE, which focuses on staff training, supporting teaching focused on entrepreneurship and modern methods, subjects taught in foreign languages, the re-accreditation of selected study programmes based on the requirements of work experience, internationalization, support for students with specific study needs and the development of quality and effective project management.
In 2019, the preschool department of the University Kindergarten was opened in the newly renovated premises and the university garden area was expanded.
Student life, social and sports activities
In autumn, the Czech Republic commemorated 30 years since the velvet revolution in November 1989. The University of Economics, Prague has also organized a number of commemorative events, such as an exhibition of photographs from this period, lectures, discussions with students who studies during those times, etc.
The only faculty of VŠE located outside Prague and at the same time the youngest faculty of the school celebrated 25 years since the beginning of their operations on October 26, 2019. The official celebrations of the Faculty of Management in Jindřichův Hradec were attended by the mayor, the chancellor VŠE, the deans of other faculties and hundreds of students, graduates and friends of the faculty.
In December, the VŠE Ball took place in the Lucerna Palace in the Black & White style. During the gala evening, the universities best athlete and the winner of the VŠE Talent competition were announced. Each year, both competitions prove that not only future promising economists, statisticians, accountants or entrepreneurs and diplomats study at VŠE, but also athletically and artistically gifted young people. Amálie Hilgertová, a canoe slalomer and student of the Faculty of International Relations won the VŠE Athlete poll. The talent competition was dominated by dancer Kateřina Romanová from the Faculty of Management with her pole dance routine. In both competitions, representatives of VŠE evaluate those skills and achievements that do not stand out as much during students’ studies.
Photo: Photo exhibition 1989; The Faculty of Management celebration; Ball VŠE
VŠE has for a long-time placed emphasis in cooperating with graduates and maintaining contact with them. Therefore, another Alumni Evening took place in the autumn, during which graduates had the opportunity to meet former classmates, teachers and with school management. Graduate Wednesdays also regularly took place at which specialist lectures were given. From spring 2020, graduates have a new VŠE portal at their disposal. The brand-new contact platform will ease communication between graduates, the university and its faculties. The portals primary function is to help graduates maintain contact with the university and previous classmates. Through the platform, they can register for events, find out about the newest information about the university, collaborate with faculties or establish contact with former classmates.
The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent government measures against its spread, significantly affected all activities in the summer semester. The activities of student associations were limited, the sports rector’s day was cancelled as well as the concert of Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers, etc. The VŠE volleyball league had to be prematurely terminated with only the autumn round taking place. The winning teams in 2019/2020 were the FBA women’s representative team and the FFA men’s representative team. The first year of the University Ice Hockey League also did not take place, however, even with the exceptional situation it did not prevent the announcement of the league champions. Members of the Engineers Prague team won Jan Palach cup. Its team was composed of students from three Prague universities (Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague; Czech Technical University in Prague; VŠE).
Photo: Alumni Evening; Prague Engineers hockey team