Matej Bel University

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Coordinates: 48°43′59″N 19°08′44″E / 48.7331°N 19.1455°E / 48.7331; 19.1455

Matej Bel University
Latin: Universitas Matthiae Belii
Motto Eruditio mores futurum
Type Public
Established 1992
Rector Vladimír Hiadlovský
Students 15,000
Location Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
Campus Urban
Nickname UMB
Affiliations EUA, ERASMUS
Matej Bel logo.gif

Matej Bel University (commonly referred as Matej Bel or UMB), (Slovak: Univerzita Mateja Bela) is a public research university in the central Slovak town of Banská Bystrica. The University was established on July 1, 1992 and inaugurated on October 23, 1992. It bears the name of Matthias Bel, an outstanding Lutheran scholar of the 18th century. As a collegiate university, it comprises six faculties that differ in character and history, each retaining substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs.

Academically, the Matej Bel University is noted for influential movements and curricula in international relations and economics.[1]


Banská Bystrica has a long tradition in schooling and culture. In the 13th century there had already existed a parish school, later a town school. In the 17th century a Jesuit as well as Evangelical grammar schools were founded. Matthias Bel, after whom the University is named, studied and later worked as a rector at this school.

Matej Bel, Lutheran pastor and polymath

In the 1850s and 1860s the Catholic grammar school with Slovak as a tuition language became and important center of education in Slovakia. In the school year 1856 - 57 the first Teacher’s Preparation Study was founded in Banská Bystrica, where Slovak language was taught together with German and Latin, thanks to the bishop Štefan Moyses.

In the school year 1949 – 50 the branch of the Faculty of Education, Slovak University of Bratislava, was established in Banská Bystrica. The first higher school appeared in Banská Bystrica in 1954. It was called the Higher School of Pedagogy. On September 1, 1964 the Faculty of Education was founded. In 1973 the branch of the Faculty of Commerce, University of Economics in Bratislava, was established and in 1977 transformed into the Faculty of Economics of Services and Tourism. Matej Bel University was established on July 1, 1992 after the integration of the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Economics of Services and Tourism.

Governance and faculties[edit]

The Matej Bel University has traditionally been a decentralized institution, with governing authority shared among its academic faculties. The Governing Council is the unicameral legislative organ of the central administration, overseeing general academic, business and institutional affairs. The rector is appointed by the council as the chief executive.

Unlike most institutions, the Matej Bel University is a collegiate university with a model that resembles those of the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford in Britain. The colleges hold substantial autonomy over admissions, scholarships, programs and other academic and financial affairs, in addition to the housing and social duties of typical residential colleges.

Matej Bel University currently comprises six faculties:



Library and collections[edit]

The Matej Bel University Library System is one of the largest university-academic library systems in Slovakia, measured by number of volumes held. Establishment of the Matej Bel University Library in Banská Bystrica is connected with the foundation of the Higher College of Education in Banská Bystrica in 1954. In 1964, after the foundation of Faculty of Education, it became the central library of the faculty.

Since January 1, 1993 the library has served as Matej Bel University Library in Banská Bystrica. In the same year, the Library of the Faculty of Economy of Services and Tourism in Banská Bystrica was annexed to the Central Library of the Faculty of Education. Since 1975 the Library of the Faculty of Economy of Services and Travel served as a branch of the Central Economic Library in Bratislava. In 1996 the library system was decentralized. Having regard to the Academic Senate of the University of Matej Bel. The Matej Bel University Library system was abolished on April 1, 1996, and four new libraries were established, those were directly controlled by the faculties. This changed on January 1, 2000, when the Rector UMB Library act of 2000 entered into force, this connected the decentralized libraries of the faculties into the "Matej Bel University Library system.

International Partnership[edit]

Cooperation of the University with other Universities and Institutions is widespread and involves many national and international organizations e.g. The London School of Economics in UK, University of Bologna in Italy, Waseda University in Japan, Moscow State University in Russia, Sogang University in South Korea, Indiana University in USA, etc. Today, Matej Bel University has 35 partnerships worldwide, apart from these agreements, the faculties have also signed agreements on cooperation based on the specific needs of their own, or their departments, totaling the number of partnerships to more than 80.

Culture and student life[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Pavol Hurajt Biathlete; 2010 Winter Olympics - bronze medal [2]
Ľubomír Dobrík Justice of the Constitutional Court of Slovakia [3]
Ján Richter Mgr. - 2004 Politician - Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of Slovakia [4]
Monika Flašíková-Beňová PhDr. - 2007 Politician - Member of the European Parliament [5]
Peter Pellegrini Politician - Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic
Adriana Kučerová  ? Soprano; studied at Matej Bel to be a teacher [6]
Marian Kotleba Ing. Mgr. - 2013 Politician - Governor of the Banska Bystrica region [7]


External links[edit]