Looking Back on Academic Year 2021/22
After two years significantly affected by the coronavirus and extraordinary measures against its spread, the academic year took place without teaching restrictions. In the summer and winter semesters, classes were held face-to-face according to the schedule, a number of professional and social events took place, and the operation of the school was hardly restricted. However, some large events were still marked by the reverberations of the pandemic, e.g. the popular VŠE Ball or the Alumni Evening did not take place.
The summer semester was significantly marked by the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The Prague University of Economics and Business (VŠE) immediately responded and accepted thirty-four refugee students as part of the freemovers programmes. At the same time, university offered help, especially accommodation and material help, to the families of current students and those newly arrived. In this context, the management of VŠE highly appreciates the responsible and solidary approach of VŠE employees and students who, for example, organized a material collection. Details on assistance to Ukrainian citizens can be found HERE.
Numbers of Students
In 2021, 2,493 students studied in Czech language study programmes at the Faculty of Finance and Accounting, 3,176 at the Faculty of International Relations, the Faculty of Business had a total of 3,472 students, the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics 2,671, the Faculty of Economics 1,439 and the Faculty of Management 994 students.
Despite the more complicated situation in the world caused by various anti-epidemic measures and movement restrictions, interest in studying in foreign language study programmes has increased again. A total of 1,152 students studied there.
The past year brought changes in several positions in the school management. Petr Dvořák was elected rector. He took over the management of the University after Hana Machková, who was the head of the school for eight years. The term of office of the new rector began on April 1, 2022 and will end on March 31, 2026.
The rector also appointed his closest colleagues, the new vice-rectors:
Pavel Hnát – Vice-Rector for Education and Quality Assurance, Statutory Deputy Rector
Hana Machková – Vice-Rector for International Relations
Ota Novotný – Vice-Rector for Development and Corporate Relations
Martin Lukeš – Vice-Rector for Research and Doctoral Studies
Milan Nidl – Vice-Rector for Informatics and Digitisation
Other members of the management, the bursar Tomáš Zouhar and chancellor Andrej Tóth remained in their positions.
There were also changes in the positions of deans of three faculties. Ladislav Mejzlík was replaced at the head of the Faculty of Finance and Accounting after two terms of office by Petr Musílek. Jiří Hnilica was elected at the Faculty of Business Administration. He takes over the position on July 1 after Ivan Nový. The same term of office starts for Miroslav Ševčík at Faculty of Economics, who comes after Zdeněk Chytil.
In this year, the election of a dean also took place at the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics. The Academic Senate unanimously confirmed Jakub Fischer.
Accreditations and Awards
VŠE long-term strives to obtain and maintain globally recognized international accreditations, because it is aware that meeting the standards and criteria of international accreditations is an effective tool both for continuous quality improvement and for strengthening the good name of VŠE in the Czech Republic and abroad.
VŠE worked intensively to fulfill the goals it set in the 2018 Initial Self Evaluation Report for each of the 15 quality standards that must be met in order to obtain AACSB institutional accreditation. This is a project in which all six faculties of the University are involved. In 2021, the main emphasis was placed on improving the areas identified by the accreditation commission as weak points of VŠE and on the preparation of the third progress report (Third Progress Report), which also contained a special appendix dedicated to the covid-19 pandemic and its impact on VŠE’s activities. The AACSB report was approved and the accreditation commission invited the school to apply for the implementation of the final accreditation phase, which is Peer Review. VŠE did so in October 2021. The AACSB also accepted this request and appointed the dean of the Finnish Aalto University School of Business, prof. Timo Korkeamäki.
Placement in internationally recognized rankings contributes to increasing the competitiveness of universities. In 2021, VŠE was particularly successful in two prestigious assessments. It scored in the Financial Times European Business School Ranking 2021, where the results of the ninety best European schools are published. It was ranked 55th, the same as in 2019, within Central and Eastern Europe it is second only to Poland’s Kozminski University.
For a long time, VŠE also scores 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 (Social Science and Management). This year, just like last year, it was ranked 250-300 in the field of Economics and Econometrics and in the field of Accounting and Finance at 201-250 place.
In the Eduniversal Business School Ranking, VŠE again received five academic palms for internationalization and was evaluated as the best Business School in Eastern Europe. Since 2008, the school has been regularly ranked among the top three schools in the given geographical area in the Eduniversal evaluation, in which evaluators include a total of 21 countries.
In the field of internationalization, which is VŠE’s strongest point, the school succeeded in renewing the exchange programme. A total of 873 students went abroad for a study or work stay, which was a decrease of almost 20 % compared to the “pre-covid” year of 2019, 130 fewer students went abroad in 2020.
In total, VŠE students traveled to 46 countries on 5 continents, most often to Germany. Among the most popular destinations were France, Austria and Sweden. They often went to non-European countries, for example the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand or Brazil.
At the same time, VŠE welcomed 621 foreign students for an exchange stay.
Research and Development Activities and Work Experience
In the area of scientific and research activity, the priority was the implementation of the Methodology 2017+. Research projects of GA CR, TA CR, grants from ministries, foreign grants and projects within the framework of specific research were handled at VŠE. For the year 2021, a total of 32 research project proposals were submitted by the Prague University of Economics and Business, of which a total of seven projects were accepted. 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 through 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 journal CEBR (Central European Business Review) is indexed in the Scopus database.
Development of VŠE
VŠE formulated its strategic priorities in the Strategic Plan for 2021–2025. These 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 VŠE.
VŠE decided to respond to the change in external conditions through the development of flexible forms of education that reflect the necessity to make more use of new methods of distance learning with the use of information technology. In 2021, the University invested heavily in equipping several lecture halls with modern technologies that enable hybrid teaching. These rooms were mainly used for synchronous teaching of foreign students who could not travel to the Czech Republic due to pandemic measures. VŠE has decided that electronic support for education will be implemented in a unified central school-wide LMS. It will be available to all faculties and departments of the Prague University of Economics and Business. The LMS will be usable for electronic teaching support in all forms of study and in all subjects at the school. Furthermore, it will be usable for the preparation and implementation of teaching within lifelong learning programmes, for conferences and workshops, for courses for the professional public and high schools, including MOOC.
On the occasion of the ending mandate, the rector of VŠE, Hana Machková decided to award three commemorative medals for long-term contribution and services to the development of the Prague University of Economics and Business to: the dean of the Faculty of Finance and Accounting, Ladislav Mejzlík, dean of the Faculty of Business Administration, Ivan Nový and the dean of the Faculty of Economics, Zdeněk Chytil.
VŠE awarded the most popular teachers of all six faculties for the third time. Jan Molín from the Faculty of Finance and Accounting was announced as the teacher of the year 2021. Martina Jiránková for the Faculty of International Relations, David Říha for the Faculty of Business Administration, Miroslava Otavová for the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics, Michal Mirvald for Faculty of Economics and Jan Závodný Pospíšil from the Faculty of Management. The Teacher of the Year Award is based on the students’ vote in the school-wide poll in InSIS. Jan Molín, David Říha and Michal Mirvald have won the title Teacher of the Year in all years of the survey so far, Martina Jiránková won this award for the second time.
During the 2021/22 academic year, VŠE awarded three honorary doctorates. University awards them to particularly important representatives of Czech and world science and practice, especially economics. In the past, a number of prominent Czech and foreign economists, such as Nobel Prize winners Robert A. Mundell, Milton Friedman, Gary S. Becker and Richard Thaler, received the VŠE honorary title “Doctor oeconomiae honoris causa”.
In September 2021, Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus Robert Samuel Kaplan received an honorary doctorate. Professor Kaplan is a world-leading expert in strategic management, risk management and management accounting. In addition to academic awards, his work is characterized by how widely and successfully his strategic management methods have been implemented in companies around the world, including the Czech Republic. The Scientific Board of the Prague University of Economics and Business decided to award the honorary title “Doctor oeconomiae honoris causa” to Professor Kaplan on the proposal of the Scientific Board of the Faculty of Finance and Accounting in November 2019. However, due to anti-epidemic measures, the ceremony could only take place later.
The world’s leading expert in the field of experimental and behavioral economics, John A. List, visited VŠE in May 2022. Professor List was one of the closest candidates for the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2015. He is considered to be the founder of the so-called field experiment. The Scientific Board of VŠE decided to award the honorary title “Doctor oeconomiae honoris causa” to Professor List on the proposal of the Scientific Board of the Faculty of Economics in November 2019. During the ceremony, Prof. List gave a lecture on The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale.
Jean Tirole, French professor of economics, received an honorary doctorate from the hands of the rector Petr Dvořák in June 2022. Jean Tirole belongs to the most respected and influential economists today. Eight years ago, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his research on market forces and regulation. In 2007, he was awarded a gold medal by the French Academy of Sciences and was only the second economist to receive this prestigious award. The Scientific Board of VŠE decided to award the honorary title “Doctor oeconomiae honoris causa” to Professor Tirol on the proposal of the Scientific Board of the Faculty of International Relations. During the ceremony, Prof. Tirole with a professional lecture on The Economics of the common good, meritocracy and social justice.
In addition to other conferences and meetings, VŠE hosted the Plenary Session of the Czech Rectors Conference at the end of the summer semester, as well as a Joint Session with the Slovak Rectors’ Conference. VŠE thus welcomed thirty-seven rectors of Czech public, state and private universities and twenty-two from Slovakia. The Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Petr Gazdík also spoke as part of the programme.
During the session, the Czech Rectors Conference addressed topics such as measures that will make it easier for Czech universities to help Ukrainian students and Ukraine, current issues of Czech higher education (funding of universities, visa policy) and study opportunities for foreign students. The guests also included Ivan Barančík, chairman of the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education, and Martin Smolek, deputy minister of foreign affairs for the management of the legal and consular section.
The University is aware of the importance of maintaining contact with former students, and therefore organizes various activities for them. The VŠE Alumni Golf Tour, a nine-hole tournament, has also recently been included among them. A regular event that runs throughout the academic year online and in person are Alumni Wednesdays, a series of professional lectures by graduates for graduates.
As usual, in the fall and spring, the job opportunities fair CHANCE took place. More than a hundred employers presented yourself to the students and graduates during three days, and an accompanying programme was also prepared for them, such as CV consultations or photo taking.
The traditional cultural event of VŠE, the organization of which was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, took place in April in the full Vencovský Auditorium. Big band swing hits from 1945-1948 were played in the concert show of Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers.
The Rector’s Sports Day was an opportunity to take a break from study duties, do something for the body and have fun with classmates and friends. Instead of classes, which were canceled on the day, VŠE prepared a sports and entertainment programme for students and teachers. In addition to sports tournaments in tennis, football, etc., there was also a walk through Prague’s forest parks or the descent of Sázava. The day culminated in the campus of the Jarov dormitory, where the first year of the Battle of the Faculties took place. The winner was the Faculty of Management.
During the year, student representatives represented the school brilliantly at a number of different races and competitions. Let’s name at least a few for all of them. The pairs Lukáš Hanousek, Martin Jílek and Růžena Škrobánková, Lucie Schrőtterová took part in the competition of universities in sports gymnastics. The male trainees from the section led by Miroslav Libra and Jarmila Linková won first and second place in individual disciplines.
Eliška Svobodová from the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics successfully represented the school at the Academic Championship of the Czech Republic in biathlon. She won the mixed relay race and finished second in the sprint. These results earned her the title the Republic Academic Champion for 2022. She also won a medal in the race with a mass start. Together with two titles from the postponed Academic Championship for 2021, which was held in December due to the pandemic situation, she won a total of four academic championship titles within three months.
The Prague University of Economics and Business team took second place in the Floorball University League.