Babeș-Bolyai University

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Babeș-Bolyai University
Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai (Romanian)
Babeș-Bolyai Tudományegyetem (Hungarian)
Babeş-Bolyai University logo.png
Seal of the Babeș-Bolyai University
Latin: Universitas Napocensis
Motto Traditio Nostra Unacum Europae Virtutibus Splendet (Latin)
Established March–July 1959
Type Public
Budget €76,315,113[1]
Rector Ioan-Aurel Pop
President of the Senate Ioan Chirilă[2]
Academic staff
Students 41,136[1]
Undergraduates 27,541
Postgraduates 8,665
Location 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
46°46′04″N 23°35′29″E / 46.76767°N 23.59137°E / 46.76767; 23.59137Coordinates: 46°46′04″N 23°35′29″E / 46.76767°N 23.59137°E / 46.76767; 23.59137
Campus Urban
Language Romanian, Hungarian, German, English, French
Website Official website

The Babeș-Bolyai University (Romanian: Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai, Hungarian: Babeș-Bolyai Tudományegyetem, German: Babeș-Bolyai Universität), commonly known after its abbreviation, UBB, is a public university in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. With more than 41,000 students in 2014, it is the largest university in the country. The Babeș-Bolyai University offers study programmes in Romanian, Hungarian, German, English and French. The university was named after two prominent scientists from Transylvania, the Romanian bacteriologist Victor Babeș and the Hungarian mathematician János Bolyai.

UBB is affiliated, inter alia, to the International Association of Universities, the Santander Group, the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie and the European University Association.[3] Likewise, UBB signed the Magna Charta Universitatum and concluded partnerships with 210 universities in 50 countries.[4]

The Babeș-Bolyai University is classified as "advanced research and education university" by the Ministry of National Education in Romania. 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]


Victor Babeș (above) and János Bolyai (down), whose names the university bears.

The history of the education in Cluj begins in 1581, with the establishment of the Jesuit college by Stephen Báthory.[7] The college received buildings and land within the medieval city walls, specifically on Platea Luporum (the present Mihail Kogălniceanu Street). The first rector of the college was the Polish Jesuit priest Jacobus Wujek (Vangrovitius).[8] In 1585, there were 230 students studying here, divided into six classes. The language of instruction and learning was Latin. The college was disestablished later, and Protestants, Unitarians, Calvinists and Catholics established by turn other colleges. In 1776, Empress Maria Theresa founded in Cluj a German university, subsequently replaced with the far-famed Piarist high school, teaching in Latin.[9]

Babeș-Bolyai University around 1900. Caption from the 23rd volume of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in Words and Pictures

With the affirmation of the Romanian nation, in the context of the European revolutions of 1848, was explicitly questioned the issue on university in national language. At the express request of the Romanians, in 1870, József Eötvös, then Minister of Education, proposes the creation in Cluj of an university teaching in Hungarian, Romanian and German, idea also welcomed by the Romanian elite. Meanwhile Eötvös dies, and in 1872, Franz Joseph I legislates the establishment of the Hungarian Royal University of Kolozsvár in Hungarian only, which caused dissatisfaction among Romanians.[10] After the oath, on 20 December 1872, 258 students start courses. There were created four distinct faculties: Faculty of Law and State Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and History, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The faculties were equal to each other and enjoyed internal autonomy. The first rector was Professor Áron Berde from the Faculty of Law, specialist in economics and finance. Besides the four faculties is created a Pedagogical Institute, for training secondary school teachers. From 1895 the girls had the right to learn at university.[11] In 1902 was inaugurated the new building of the university.

After the First World War, and in the context of the Great Union of 1918, the Cluj university, such as universities in Bratislava and Strasbourg, was taken over by authorities and became an institution of reunited Romania. Hungarian teachers who have not sworn allegiance to the new Romanian state created in 1918 established the Hungarian University of Szeged (1921).[10]

On 12 May 1919 was constituted the Romanian University of Cluj. The new Romanian university, initially named Superior Dacia University, later King Ferdinand I University, was opened on 3 November 1919, and officially inaugurated on 1–2 February 1920 in the presence of King Ferdinand I.

In 1940, after territorial revision imposed by the Second Vienna Award, the university was moved to Timișoara and Sibiu,[11] and the Hungarian University of Szeged was brought to Cluj. After the end of the Second World War and the repeal of the Vienna Award, on 1 June 1945, Romanian authorities moved back in Cluj the Romanian King Ferdinand I University (later renamed to Victor Babeș University), and established Bolyai University, a state university teaching in Hungarian, with four faculties (Letters and Philosophy, Law and Political Economy, Sciences, and Human Medicine which, in 1948, was separated and moved to Târgu Mureș to form the University of Medicine and Pharmacy). Between 1945 and 1959, the Romanian University of Cluj undergoes a profound process of institutional and human resource transformation, following the implementation of policies established by the Communists. Many teachers are purged, new faculties and departments are established by reorganizing old ones.

In the spring of 1959, the two educational institutions were united under the name Babeș-Bolyai University,[10] after two renowned scholars: Romanian biologist Victor Babeș and Hungarian mathematician János Bolyai. In 1995, the Babeș-Bolyai University reorganises its structure, introducing a multicultural based education. Are created the three major lines of study on linguistic criteria: Romanian line of study, Hungarian line of study and German line of study.

Campuses and buildings[edit]

Central University Library seen from Clinicilor Street
The central building of the University
Tholdalagy-Korda Palace is the headquarters of technical administration of the Babeș-Bolyai University.

The main campus is located in the city of Cluj-Napoca, with the university buildings spread across the city. The university has 17 student housing areas,[12] totaling 5,280 places to stay (4,964 for students, 100 for athletes and 216 for PhD);[13] most notable are Hașdeu and Economica. All dormitories are renovated, thermally insulated, have double-glazed windows, laminate flooring and chipboard or wood furniture. The Lucian Blaga University Library is located in the city centre. The university also has several colleges located in other cities spread across Transylvania and Maramureș.

Within the university's cultural heritage are the University Museum (established in April 2001, with a collection of more than 750 original and facsimile pieces),[14] the Mineralogical Museum, the Botanical Museum, the Paleontology-Stratigraphy Museum, the Vivarium and the Zoological Museum.



Babeș-Bolyai University has more than 41,000 students. Between 1993 and 2013, the number of students has quadrupled, from 12,247 in 1993 to 40,207 in 2013.[15] The structure of the student body is composed out of over 1,200 PhD students, 8,600 master's degree students, and 27,500 undergraduates. The university has 21 faculties and over 1,500 faculty members. It offers bachelor's, master's, and PhD degrees, along with advanced postgraduate studies. The university has 21 faculties and over 2,600 faculty members. It offers bachelor's, master's, and PhD degrees, along with advanced postgraduate studies.

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).[16] The Hungarian and German minorities are proportionately represented in the Professors' Council and the University Senate.

41.5% of foreign students come from Moldova and Ukraine, 27.4% from EU and EEA, and 31.1% from non-EU and non-EEA states.[17]

Evolution of number of students over time[18]
Year Number of students


Faculty Address Specializations[19] Seats[20]
Budget Tax
Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street 456 483
Faculty of Physics 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street 53 119
Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering 11 Arany János Street 178 150
Faculty of Geography 44 Republicii Street 407 778
Faculty of Biology and Geology 5–7 Clinicilor Street 212 171
Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Engineering 30 Fântânele Street 124 219
Faculty of Law 11 Avram Iancu Street 176 371
Faculty of Letters 31 Horea Street 414 846
Faculty of History and Philosophy 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street 351 888
Faculty of Sociology and Social Assistance 128–130 21 Decembrie 1989 Boulevard 303 223
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences 7 Sindicatelor Street 349 844
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration 58–60 Teodor Mihali Street 646 1,558
Faculty of European Studies 1 Emmanuel de Martonne Street 180 567
Faculty of Business 7 Horea Street 96 338
Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences 71 General Traian Moșoiu Street 464 966
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport 7 Pandurilor Street 123 376
Faculty of Orthodox Theology Episcop Nicolae Ivan, F. N. Street 93 136
Faculty of Greek Catholic Theology 26 Moților Street 50 140
Faculty of Reformed Theology 7 Horea Street 50 80
Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology 2 Iuliu Maniu Street 50 100
Faculty of Theatre and Television 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street 75 42
Total 114 4,850 9,395


Nationally, the Babeș-Bolyai University was ranked, as concerning research, as the first in Romania (2002–2011), by Ad Astra Association,[21] followed by the University of Bucharest. In a 2009 ranking regarding the impact of universities on professional market (i.e. credibility and attractiveness), the University was ranked number 1 in Romania by the German company Kienbaum Consultants International and Capital magazine,[22] with the University of Bucharest the second.

Internationally, in the 2011 University Ranking by Academic Performance, the University was ranked first in Romania based on top academic indicators, again followed by the University of Bucharest.[23] Babeș-Bolyai is also in the top QS World University Rankings; the University was placed in 2012 on the position 601+, being thus among best 700 universities of the world.[24]

Hungarian section[edit]

In 1995, the Babeș-Bolyai University introduced an educational system backed by the High Commissioner on National Minorities[25] and based on multiculturalism and multilingualism, with three lines of study (Romanian, Hungarian and German) at all levels of academic degrees.[26]

The Hungarian section enrolls 4,874 students in 115 study programmes (75 bachelor's level and 40 master's level); the university is thus the principal institution that educates members of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania.[26]


The Hungarian section of the university has a partial autonomy,[27] gradually increasing in the recent years.[28] 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 establishment of additional Hungarian faculties has been impeded several times, albeit asked by more than 80% of the Hungarian professors. 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 language is used in academical communication, as a teaching language, 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, Hantz Péter and Kovács Lehel, 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.[29] 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, Hantz added signs like "Information" and "No smoking" in Hungarian alongside those ones in Romanian.[30] 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).[31] 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.[30] In spite of protests, the resignation out of solidarity by several Hungarian-speaking university staff, and a call by 24 Hungarian MEPs for the reinstatement of the lecturers, they remained unemployed.[30] 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, the Education Minister of Hungary, wrote to his Romanian counterpart Mihail Hărdău, asking for his help on the issue.[31] 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.[32]

The two lecturers sued Romania at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg. Hantz and Kovacs turned to former Hungarian Justice Minister Albert Takács to represent them at the ECHR, eventually accepting the proposal.[33] In 2008, the European Court of Human Rights established that the decision of UBB Senate to exclude Hantz Péter and Kovács Lehel from the teaching staff of the educational institution was legal.[34]

In 2010, the education law has sparked numerous controversies by promoting ethnic segregation in higher education, according to teachers representatives.[35] Anton Hadăr, President of Alma Mater Federation of Trade Unions in University Education considers that the separation of UBB on ethnic criteria would be not only risky but also unproductive. Among main disadvantages would be the increasingly serious gaps of ethnic Hungarians regarding the knowledge of Romanian language. Romanian MEP Corina Crețu warned that adopting the education law, with the claims of UDMR, would have harmful effects especially in Cluj. "Applying the law could lead to breaking UBB", stated Crețu.[35]

Faculty, alumni and rectors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Raportul Rectorului privind starea Universității Babeș-Bolyai din Cluj-Napoca în anul 2014" (PDF). UBB (in Romanian). 31 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Conducerea Senatului". Senatul Universității Babeș-Bolyai (in Romanian). 
  3. ^ "Affiliations". UBB. 
  4. ^ "Partners". UBB. 
  5. ^ "Babeș-Bolyai University". December 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Cele mai bune universităţi din lume. Patru universităţi româneşti sunt printre primele 700" (in Romanian). Adevarul. September 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ Pop, Ioan-Aurel (2012). "Începuturile: Colegiul iezuit din 1579-1581". Istoria Universităţii "Babeş-Bolyai" (in Romanian). pp. 12–29. 
  8. ^ Stanciu, Elena (27 August 2014). "Un secol de învățământ superior românesc la Cluj". Agerpres (in Romanian). 
  9. ^ "Cluj-Napoca, Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai". Welcome to Romania (in Romanian). 
  10. ^ a b c "Repere istorice ale universităţii clujene". Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai (in Romanian). 
  11. ^ a b Ghiță, Ovidiu (2012). Istoria Universităţii Babeş-Bolyai (in Romanian). Mega. ISBN 978-606-543-222-2. 
  12. ^ "Cazare în cămine". Consiliul Studenților din Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai (in Romanian). 
  13. ^ "Universităţile clujene oferă peste 12.000 de locuri în cămine pentru 72.000 de studenţi". (in Romanian). 17 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "Muzeul Universităţii". UBB (in Romanian). 
  15. ^ Oros, Ioana (19 April 2013). "Analiza: 80.000 de studenti aduc la Cluj, anual, 400 de milioane de euro". Ziar de Cluj (in Romanian). 
  16. ^ Carmen Ciplea, Diana Halita, Mate Tunde. "UBB , Babeș-Bolyai University". Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Date statistice". UBB (in Romanian). 
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ "Specializări oferite de facultăţi". UBB (in Romanian). 
  20. ^ "Repartizarea numărului de locuri buget/taxă pentru învăţământ universitar (cu frecvență), nivel licenţă" (PDF). UBB (in Romanian). 20 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "Lista instituţiilor cu activitate de cercetare din România". Ad Astra (in Romanian). 
  22. ^ Chişu, Viorica Ana (21 September 2009). "EXCLUSIV: Topul universităţilor din România". Capital (in Romanian). 
  23. ^ "2011-2012 ranking by country". URAP. 
  24. ^ "Babes-Bolyai University". Top Universities. 
  25. ^ Morawa, Alexander H. E. (2005). Mechanisms for the implementation of minority rights. Council of Europe Publishing. ISBN 978-92-871-5499-6. 
  26. ^ a b "The multicultural feature". UBB. 
  27. ^ "Carta Universității Babeș-Bolyai" (PDF). UBB (in Romanian). 
  28. ^ Padurean, Claudiu (10 March 2006). "UBB isi consolideaza pozitia in mediul academic romanesc". Romania Libera (in Romanian). 
  29. ^ Padurean, Claudiu; Sarbu, Daniel (1 December 2006). "Scandalul placutelor de la UBB a provocat demisia a doi prorectori". (in Romanian). 
  30. ^ a b c Tharan-Trieb, Marianne (17 January 2007). "Sacked Hungarian lecturers fail to get re-instated" (PDF). Eurolang. 
  31. ^ a b "Hungary asks Romania to reinstate 2 ethnic Hungarian professors expelled by university" (PDF). AP. 
  32. ^ McCall, Becky (23 February 2007). "Motion supports sacked lecturer" (PDF). The Times. 
  33. ^ "Doi profesori universitari din Cluj dau în judecată statul român la Strasbourg". Ziua de Cluj (in Romanian). 30 April 2008. 
  34. ^ "Justitia a stabilit: Inlaturarea lui Hantz Peter si Kovacs Lehel din cadrul UBB a fost legala". (in Romanian). 1 December 2008. 
  35. ^ a b Leonte, Loredana (8 November 2010). ""Maghiarii forţează nota!" Integritatea UBB-ului, pusă în pericol de legea educaţiei!". Cotidianul Transilvan (in Romanian). 
  36. ^ [2]

External links[edit]