Looking Back on Academic Year 2020/21
The course of the 2020/2021 academic year was significantly influenced by extraordinary government measures, which from October 2020 to May 2021 did not allow for full-time teaching at universities in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread. Due to the unfavorable epidemiological situation, all face-to-face events that schools, faculties and workplaces traditionally organize have also been canceled, or in some cases moved to the online space.
The VŠE management greatly appreciates the extraordinary efforts of the VŠE academic staff and the responsible approach of the students throughout the year. Thanks to them, the University managed to adhere to the planned schedule of the academic year.
Numbers of students
In 2020, 2,389 students studied in Czech language programmes at the Faculty of Finance and Accounting, 3,024 at the Faculty of International Relations, the Faculty of Business Administration had a total of 3,314 students, the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics 2,550, the Faculty of Economics 1,419 and the Faculty of Management 994 students. A total of 1,060 students studied in foreign language programmes.
The Prague University of Economics and Business has a new Academic Senate for the period 2021–2024, and a constituent meeting was held in June 2021. Only one candidate was nominated for the position of the Chairman of the Academic Senate – Marek Stříteský (Faculty of Business Administration), who also performed the function in the period 2018-2021. Marek Stříteský was elected chairman of the Senate in the first round of secret ballot. Lukáš Hulínský (Faculty of Finance and Accounting) became vice-chairman. In the three-round election of the vice-chairman from among the academic staff was elected Jan Vondráček, who also held this position in the last election period.
Martin Rey became the director of the Development and Counselling Centre of the University. In January 2021, he was appointed to the position by the Rector, Prof. Hana Machková. Martin Rey has worked for Development and Counselling Centre for a long time as an event manager, he was in charge of organizing school-wide events such as the VŠE Ball, the Šance/Chance Job Fair or introductory courses for first-year students. In addition, he is also a frequently cited expert on South American issues. Martin Rey replaced Jiří Knap.
Accreditations and awards
VŠE has long strived to obtain and maintain globally recognized international accreditations, because it is aware that meeting the standards and criteria of international accreditation is an effective tool both for continuous quality improvement and for strengthening the school’s reputation in the Czech Republic and abroad. The University worked intensively on the fulfillment of the goals set in the Initial Self Evaluation Report in 2018 for each of the 15 quality standards that it must meet in order to obtain the AACSB’s institutional accreditation (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). The AACSB accreditation process is a school-wide project that is a benefit in terms of quality improvement and at the same time supports teamwork between school management and faculties. The University works closely with the British mentor Prof. Stephanie Morgan established by the AACSB.
The Faculty of Finance and Accounting has obtained international RICS accreditation for its MBARE programme.
AMBA International Accreditation is considered the world’s most important accreditation in the field of MBA studies. So far, only 286 business schools have acquired it worldwide, such as the University of St. Petersburg, St. Gallen or HEC Paris. The Faculty of Business Administration, Prague University of Economics and Business, is the first in Czech Republic to boast of it.
Placement in internationally recognized rankings contributes to increasing the competitiveness of universities. In 2020, the University was successful mainly in two prestigious evaluations, scored in the Financial Times European Business School Ranking 2020, where the results of the ninety best European schools are published. It ranked 50th and improved by five places compared to 2019, and is in second place in Central and Eastern Europe.
The master’s programme International Management at the Faculty of Business Administration ranked 22nd in the world in the Financial Times Master in Management ranking.
VŠE has long scored in the prestigious international ranking of universities of the British company Quacquarelli Symonds QS World University Rankings by Subject, in two fields within the field of education Social Science and Management. This year, in the field of Economics and Econometrics, it ranked at 250th-300th place (last year 201st-250th place) and in the field of Accounting and Finance on 201st-250th place (last year 251st-300th place).
In the Eduniversal Business School Ranking, the University again won five academic palms for internationalization and was evaluated as the best Business School in Eastern Europe.
In the field of internationalization, which is the strongest aspect of VŠE (25 % of the total number of VŠE students were foreigners in 2020), VŠE focuses mainly on the development of accredited foreign language study programmes. Despite the difficult pandemic situation, interest in studying in foreign language programmes has increased and the number of students has already exceeded one thousand.
In the academic year 2020/21, four bachelor’s and nine master’s degree programmes were taught at VŠE. As part of mobility, a total of 744 students spent a semester abroad, which was a 30% decrease compared to last year. However, due to the extremely difficult situation associated with travelling, this is a very good result. The experience of students who went on their study stay during the pandemic are published by the International Office on the website Erasmus during the corona times.
The traditional events of the International Office for foreign and Czech students did not take place or took place in a limited form online, such as the International & Study Abroad Fair or Orientation Week.
Research and development activities and work experience
In the area of scientific research, the implementation of the Methodology 2017+ was a priority. Research projects of the GA ČR, TA ČR, ministry grants, foreign grants and projects within specific research were solved at the University. For 2020, a total of 28 proposals for research projects of the GA ČR 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 long contributed to the good name of Czech economic research in the Czech Republic and abroad. The CEBR (Central European Business Review) journal is also indexed in the Scopus database.
In the academic year 2020/21, the Prague University of Economics and Business continued to cooperate with its corporate partners. Česká spořitelna remains the general partner. The main partners are ČSOB, Deloitte, EY, Komerční banka, KPMG and PWC. Partners are Accenture, Amazon, Bel Sýry Česko, Business Development Advisory, BDO Appraisal services, Czech National Bank, E.ON, Grant Thorton, HOPI, 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 programme. We appreciate the support of all partners, especially in the difficult situation influenced by the coronavirus pandemic.
The close cooperation of corporate partners with students continues, for example, within the framework of the unique car sharing concept Uniqway, which has been operating for the three years. The platform, operated by students for students and supported by ŠKODA AUTO ČR and ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab, this year, for example, helped transport medical staff from Prague to nearby hospitals.
Twice a year, the University in the past hosted the popular and widely attended Šance/Chance Job Fair. This year, for obvious reasons, this tradition was followed by the virtual fair – Chance Islands. Those interested in news on the labor market and representatives of employers met untraditionally in the 3D world of tropical islands. The three-day fair took place in April with the participation of more than a hundred exhibitors and the interest of two and a half thousand registered visitors. Thanks to the virtual environment, even in times of limited social contacts, those interested could contact Czech and international companies and institutions, find new contacts, get a picture of their future career, but also, for example, consult their CV, participate in coaching, etc.
Development of VŠE
VŠE has a new official name in English since October 2020, the name in the Czech language has not changed. Instead of the original University of Economics, Prague uses the designation Prague University of Economics and Business for communication with foreign countries. The new name more accurately characterizes the current focus of the school and better describes the employment of graduates in the labor market.
VŠE decided to change its English name University of Economics, Prague to Prague University of Economics and Business for several reasons. The main thing is the fact that the original name did not accurately reflect the current focus of the school, and therefore was often not easy to understand for foreign partners and students.
In connection with the renaming of the school in English and with regard to modern technologies and trends in communication, the management of the University approached the author of the original logo with a request to create a modern logo manual. It is currently being finalized.
The school was able to support strategic development with funds from the Institutional Plan for 2019-20, as well as funds from two ESF projects.
The University devoted a great deal of effort to the elaboration of the Strategic Plan for the years 2021-25. The strategic priorities were conceived in close connection with the strategic priorities of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and are based on the long-term mission and vision of the school. Over the next five years, the University strengthen its national and international competitiveness through the development of three strategic pillars, which are based on current global trends in the field of higher economic education. These are digitization, internationalization and the emphasis on lifelong learning.
The VŠE campus in Žižkov has expanded with another building. The six-storey modern Center for Archival and Depository Services, located at the entrance from U Rajské zahrady Street, will serve the needs of the University Library and the Legal Department. Its architecture corresponds to the original school buildings. The idea for the creation of the archive arose twelve years ago, the actual implementation of the construction began in 2018 and was completed this spring. In addition to seven hundred square meters of space for archiving documents and publications, where the temperature and humidity are maintained, the building also has a study, meeting room and six offices.
Student life, social and sports activities
Pandemic and related measures also significantly affected the organization of all activities throughout the academic year. VŠE Ball, Graduation Evening, concert by Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers, VŠE Talent Competition – none of these traditional events took place. The activities of student associations were limited, the sports rector’s day was canceled, the VŠE Volleyball League, and the Engineers Prague hockey players did not fight for the Jan Palach Cup in the University Ice Hockey League. Only professional lectures for graduates, Graduate Wednesdays, took place regularly, online.
The University of Economics Open Day, the Open Day for those interested in foreign language programs and follow-up master’s studies took place in a completely new form – the VŠE organizational team broadcast live online from the university study in Žižkov. Anyone who visited the dod.vse.cz website or the VŠE YouTube channel, even from the recording, had the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of the campus and find out the details about the study. So far, online open days held at the school level have over ten thousand views. Individual faculties also chose a similar form for their open days.