Babeș-Bolyai University

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Babeș-Bolyai University
Universitatea "Babeș-Bolyai"
Babeș-Bolyai Tudományegyetem
Babeş-Bolyai University logo.png
Seal of the Babeș-Bolyai University
Latin: Universitas Napocensis
Former names
Superior Dacia University
King Ferdinand I University
University of Cluj
Motto Traditio Nostra Unacum Europae Virtutibus Splendet (Latin)
Established 1919/1959
Type Public
Endowment $121,947,739[1]
Rector Ioan-Aurel Pop
Academic staff
Students 39,625[2]
Undergraduates 28,510
Postgraduates 8,551
Location Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Nickname Babeș / Bolyai

The Babeș-Bolyai University (Romanian: Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai, Hungarian: Babeș-Bolyai Tudományegyetem, German: Babeș-Bolyai Universität), in Cluj-Napoca, is a public university in Romania. With more than 39,000 students, it is the largest university in the country.[3] The Babeș-Bolyai University offers study programmes in Romanian, Hungarian, German, English, and French.[4] The university was named after prominent scientists from Transylvania: the Romanian bacteriologist Victor Babeș and the Hungarian mathematician János Bolyai.

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]

Landmarks of education in Cluj[edit]

Early years[edit]

December 20, 1579 – the Jesuit (Catholic) school in Cluj-Mănăştur was inaugurated.

May 18, 1580 – Stephan Báthory, as king of Poland and prince of Transylvania, issued the first document of the establishment of the Jesuit College, meant to have its head office in Cluj – on Lupului street (known today as Kogălniceanu street) – in an old monastery belonging to the Franciscan monks.

May 12, 1581 – Stephan Báthory issued at Vilna (today known as Vilnius, in Lithuania) the act of the establishment of the Jesuit College in Cluj as an institution equivalent to the renowned European universities of that era; the Jesuit College was due to grant titles of baccalaureus, magister and doctor. To ensure the financial substructure of the College, Stephan Báthory donated the institution important land estates. The first rector of the College was the Jesuit Polish, Jacobus Wujek (Vangrovitius). The language of teaching and learning was Latin.

1583 – Alongside the Jesuit College begins to function the Catholic seminar (Seminarium Pontificium ac Regium ). The Jesuit diplomat Antonio Possevino was the one who organized the Catholic seminar, both from an educational point of view and an administrative one – he is considered to be the "spiritual father" of the Babeş-Bolyai University.

June 9, 1603 – The uprising of the Unitarians from Cluj against the Jesuits. The buildings of the College and the Seminar have been demolished and the Jesuits have been chased away. The educational activity has been interrupted.

The autumn of 1603 – The Jesuits have returned to Cluj and resumed their educational activity. The new rector of the College was the Jesuit Giovanni Argenti.

October 1606 – The Jesuit order was banished from Transylvania.

1617 – As a result of the balanced confessional policy of the ruler Gabriel Bethlen, the Jesuits could return to Transylvania and reestablish their school in Alba Iulia.

1618 – The Jesuits returned to Cluj-Mănăştur where, in the following decades, they carried out a medium level educational activity. This Jesuit Gymnasium represented the continuity between the Jesuit College dissolved in 1605 and the Jesuit Academy founded in 1698.

1660 – The Jesuit Gymnasium in Cluj-Mănăştur has been moved in the city Cluj.

September 1693 – The Diet of Transylvania donated to the Jesuits the old church and the Dominican monastery from the Old Fortress. The number of young people who have studied at the Jesuit Gymnasium increased to about 200.

November 1698 – The educational Jesuit activity continued in the Academic Jesuit College (Collegium Claudiopolitanum or otherwise Academia Claudiopolitana). Cluj Academy was seen as heiress of the Jesuit College. The Jesuit Seminary was reestablished in 1698.

August 22, 1701 – Leopold the First, Emperor of the Holy Roman-German Empire and king of Hungary, confirmed the privilege given in 1581 to Stephan Báthory, by which the Jesuit College was established in Cluj and offered it substantial financing. The teaching languages at the Collegium Claudiopolitanum were Latin and German (starting with 1751).

In the first half of the eighteenth century – at the western end of Lupului Street (known today as Kogălniceanu Street) the Jesuit Order started the construction of a group of representative buildings: the church council, the school itself, the church, the students’ house, the aristocratic dormitory and the new group of buildings of the Romanian Academy, with an observatory.

1753 – The Empress Maria Theresa raised the rank of Collegium Claudiopolitanum to Academic College. This institution provided "an middle-level education, with some academic disciplines".

1773 – Pope Clement XIV dissolved the Jesuit Order. The activity of the Jesuits ended in Cluj as well, in October 1773.

October 1774 – In addition to the philosophy and theology faculties, the Empress Maria Theresa ordered setting up the law school.

January 1775 – Maria Theresa ordered setting up the Faculty of Medicine. The Academic College of Cluj was on the way to become a university with four faculties.

1776 – The Academic College of Cluj moved under the leadership of another Catholic order, the Piarist Order, which took over a higher education institution, with four universities: Faculty of Philosophy, Law School, Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Theology.

1778 – The Faculty of Theology moved to Alba Iulia, from where it still operates today.

1784 – The Academic College of Cluj lost its university rank and became Royal Academic High School (Lyceum Regium Academicum), with three faculties: Philosophy, Law and Medicine.

1817–1821 – A new building of the Royal Academic High School was built. Nowadays, this is the building of the Theoretical High School Stephan Báthory.

1800–1872 – In Cluj there have worked more educational institutions: Royal Academic High School (the Piarist High School); the Reformed College; the Unitarian Gymnasium; starting from 1863 the Law Academy. Many of the future teachers of the university have initially taught in these educational institutions.

Hungarian higher education[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Franz Joseph University.

September – October 1872: According to law no. XIX, passed by the Hungarian Parliament on September 17 and sanctioned by the emperor Franz Iosif on October 12, the University of Cluj was founded (with Hungarian as the language of instruction). The Franz Joseph Hungarian Royal University of Kolozsvár (Cluj) (“Ferenc József” University) was the second modern university in the Hungarian realm of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Four distinct faculties were created: the Faculty of Law and State, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and History, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The faculties were equal to each other and had internal autonomy. The first rector was professor Áron Berde of the Faculty of Law, specialist in economics and finance. Besides the four faculties, a Pedagogical Institute meant to train secondary school teachers was founded.

November 10–11, 1872: The university authorities were invested and the courses started. 258 students enrolled at the University of Cluj in the first semester.

January 4, 1881: The emperor Franz Iosif issued the official document founding of the University of Cluj and accepted that this institution bear his name.

1893–1902: With an area of 4,226 square metres, the central building of the University of Cluj was built by Károly Reményik according to architect Károly Meixner's plans.

1906–1909: The Central University Library edifice in Cluj was built. (The library had been active since 1872, when it was established together with the University).

1872–1919: Over 40,000 students attended the courses of the University of Cluj, out of which only 2,635 were ethnic Romanians. Among the Romanian personalities who have been present at the Franz Iosif University of Cluj, we should mention: Iuliu Maniu (Law), Iuliu Haţieganu (Medicine), George Coşbuc (Philosophy), Vasile Meruţiu (Natural Sciences).

In the autumn of 1918, after the collapse of Austria-Hungary and the proclamation of the Union of Transylvania with Romania in Alba-Iulia, on 1 December 1918, Cluj became part of the Kingdom of Romania; the Hungarian Franz Joseph University moved to Budapest for a brief period, and then to Szeged.


Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

King Ferdinand I University[edit]

September 12, 1919: According to the Royal Decree no. 4090, signed by King Ferdinand I of Romania, it was decided that “On 1 October 1919, the Hungarian University of Cluj turn into a Romanian University.” The new institution was made up of four faculties: Law, Medicine, Sciences, Letters and Philosophy. In the first semester the university had 1871 students and in the second half – 2182 students. One of the most important studies regarding the possibility of reorganizing the University of Cluj was developed by Vasile Pârvan (archaeologist and historian) and was called “The National University of Dacia Superior – Opinions forwarded to the Great National Assembly of Romanians in Ardeal, Banat and Hungary”.

November 3, 1919: Vasile Pârvan held the inaugural lecture “The duty of our lives”, the first lecture in Romanian given at the new University.

1919–1940: Among the top professors of the University of Cluj we should name the scientists Emil Racoviţă (director of the Institute of Speleology), Alexandru Borza (director of the Botanical Garden), Petre Sergescu (mathematician and science historian), Ioan Lupaş and Silviu Dragomir (historians), Florian Ştefănescu Goangă (psychologist), George Spacu (chemist), Lucian Blaga (philosopher and writer), Victor Papilian (doctor of medicine).

1927: The University of Cluj officially adopted the name of King Ferdinand I. Between 1927 and 1948, the University of Cluj was called “King Ferdinand I” University.

June 1937: The building of the Academic College in Cluj was inaugurated in the presence of King Carol II of Romania.

August–September 1940: After the Second Vienna Award ceded Northern Transylvania, including Cluj, to the Kingdom of Hungary, the King Ferdinand I University of Cluj took refuge in Timișoara (Faculty of Sciences) and Sibiu (Faculty of Letters, Law and Medicine).

1940–1945: During the Second World War, "King Ferdinand I" University operated without interruption in Sibiu and Timișoara. In Cluj, the Hungarian authorities relocated the "Franz Joseph" University from Szeged, with Hungarian as the language of instruction.

May–June 1945: “King Ferdinand I" University returned to Cluj, taking over the reins.

Parallel Universities

May 28, 1945: By the Royal Decree No. 407, "on June 1, 1945, a new state university was established in Cluj, having Hungarian as the language of instruction, comprising the following faculties: Letters and Philosophy, Law and Political Economics, Sciences, Human Medicine.” The new institution bore the name of Bolyai University.

January 1948: “King Ferdinand I” University changed its name into Victor Babeş University.

1945–1959: The Romanian University of Cluj underwent a profound process of institutional and human resource transformation, as a consequence of the policies adopted by the communists. Many professors were purged and new faculties and departments were set up by reorganising the old ones.

Babeș-Bolyai University[edit]

March–July 1959: The unification of the Romanian University of Cluj and the Hungarian University took place. The new institution was called “Babeș-Bolyai” and at the time of its creation, it had six faculties: Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Faculty of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Geography, Faculty of Philology, Faculty of Law, Faculty of History and Philosophy. The first rector of Babeș-Bolyai University was professor Constantin Daicoviciu (archaeologist).

1970–1971: Babeș-Bolyai University had the biggest number of students (14438) and teaching staff (841) in Romania, during the communist regime.

May 1992: Babeș-Bolyai University’s first Charter was established, a first in the Romanian academic community.

1995: Babeș-Bolyai University rethought its structure by introducing an educational system based on multiculturalism. The three major lines of study, based on linguistic criteria, were created: the Romanian line of study, the Hungarian line of study, the German line of study.

2011 – 2012: Babeș-Bolyai University is considered to be an "advanced research and education university" by the Ministry of Education in Romania.

Campuses and buildings[edit]

The main campus is located in the city of Cluj-Napoca, with the university buildings spread across the city. The university has several student housing areas, most notable being Haşdeu with more than 20 dormitories buildings. 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.


Babeș-Bolyai University – inside the main building

Babeș-Bolyai University has about 40,000 students (out of which 700 are international students, and 4,600 students are enrolled in part-time and distance learning programmes). The structure of the student body is composed out of over 2,500 PhD students, 8,500 master's degree students, and 28,500 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.[2]

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).[7]

The Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology and the Faculty of Protestant Theology provide courses only in Hungarian. Graduate schools offer the same multilingual structure. The Hungarian and German minorities are also proportionately represented in the Professors' Council and the University Senate.

Here is the list of the faculties, along with the languages in which their courses are taught:

(RO-Romanian, HU-Hungarian, DE-German, FR-French, EN-English)


Nationally, the Babes-Bolyai University was ranked, as concerning research, as the first in Romania (2002–2011), based on article influence score (Web of Science), by Ad-Astra Association of Romanian Scientists [2], followed by Bucharest University. 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 in 2009 by the German company Kienbaum Management Consultants and Capital magazine.,[8] with the University of Bucharest the second.

Internationally, in the 2011 URAP international ranking, the University was ranked first in Romania based on top academic indicators, again followed by Bucharest University [3]. Babes-Bolyai is also in the top QS World University Rankings (known from The Times Higher Education Supplement); the University was placed in 2012 on the position 601+, being thus among best 700 universities of the world.[5]

Hungarian section[edit]

In 1995, Babeș-Bolyai University introduced an educational system backed by the High Commissioner on National Minorities,[9] and based on multiculturalism and multilingualism, with three lines of study (Romanian, Hungarian, and German) at all levels of academic degrees.[10]

The Hungarian section enrolls 5,051 students, in 109 study programmes (77 bachelor's level and 32 master's level); the university is thus the principal institution that educates members of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania.[10]


The establishment of additional Hungarian faculties has been impeded several times, albeit asked by more than 80% of the Hungarian professors. Most recently, on February 22, 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 section of the university has a partial autonomy, gradually increasing in the recent years.[citation needed] 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 Hungarian language is used in academical communication, as a teaching language, and 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, Dr. Péter Hantz and Dr. Lehel Kovács, 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.[citation needed]

On November 22, 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, Dr. Hantz added signs like "Information" and "No smoking" in Hungarian alongside those ones in Romanian.[11] 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).[12] On November 27, 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.[citation needed] In spite of protests, the resignation out of solidarity by several Hungarian-speaking university staff, and a call by 24 Hungarian Member of the European Parliament for the reinstatement of the lecturers, they remained unemployed.[11] 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, education minister of Hungary, wrote to his Romanian counterpart Mihail Hărdău, asking for his help on the issue.[12] 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.[13]

Faculty, alumni and rectors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bugetul de venituri şi cheltuieli pe anul 2007
  2. ^ a b Carmen Ciplea, Diana Halita, Mate Tunde. "The Multicultural Feature". Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  3. ^ The strategic plan of UBB, 2012–2015 (Romanian)
  4. ^ Carmen Ciplea, Diana Halita, Mate Tunde. "UBB , Babeș-Bolyai University". Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "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. ^ Carmen Ciplea, Diana Halita, Mate Tunde. "UBB , Babeș-Bolyai University". Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  8. ^ "EXCLUSIV: Topul universităţilor din România". Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  9. ^ European Centre for Minority Issues (2004). Mechanisms for the Implementation of Minority Rights. Council of Europe. pp. 170–. ISBN 978-92-871-5499-6. 
  10. ^ a b "Babeș-Bolyai University – Multicultural Character". Babeș-Bolyai University. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Sacked Hungarian lecturers fail to get re-instated
  12. ^ a b International Herald TribuneHungary asks Romania to reinstate 2 ethnic Hungarian professors expelled by university
  13. ^ The TimesMotion supports sacked lecturer The full text of the motion by Mr Lindblad can be found on the website of the Council of Europe
  14. ^ [1]/

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°46′04″N 23°35′28″E / 46.76778°N 23.59111°E / 46.76778; 23.59111