"I want people to see us as a regional treasure they are proud of," said the Rector, Miroslav Lávička.
To strengthen cooperation with the city and region, to be a driver of the transformation of regions, to become a safer and friendlier place, but also to engage in solving new challenges – these are just a few of the goals of the new leadership of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (UWB), headed by the Rector, Miroslav Lávička, who took office on March 1. This year, the university is planning to celebrate 75 years of higher education in Pilsen connected with UWB.
UWB Has Been Growing in Pilsen for 75 Years
UWB will commemorate the 75th anniversary of its oldest faculty this year. On this occasion, the university wants to emphasise the importance of higher education for the city of Pilsen and the entire region of West Bohemia.
"In its genes, UWB has both the legacy of the oldest Central European university, as the Faculty of Education was founded in 1948 as a branch of Charles University, and the oldest technical school in the country, since the College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, which was opened less than a year later, was originally part of the Czech Technical University. This still significantly determines the character of UWB," notes the Rector.
"I perceive the three-quarters of a century of higher education in Pilsen connected with UWB as an opportunity to connect more with the city and expand our cooperation. I would be pleased if we could, for example, develop an initiative known from abroad, where university cities function as a kind of public innovation laboratory in which urban society and the university’s creative activities are conceptually intertwined. The city is simply becoming the first natural place for the university to develop ideas, create prototypes, transfer knowledge and organise events of various kinds," plans the Rector, Miroslav Lávička.
"I want people to see us as a regional treasure they are proud of," he adds. In celebrating the 75th anniversary of its beginnings, the university will include events not only for students and the academic community, but also for the public. The programme is currently being prepared.
UWB – A Driver of Regional Transformation
"As a university, we make a major contribution to the socioeconomic development of Pilsen and the Pilsen Region as a region of research, innovation and the most advanced technologies. We want to strengthen this role even more," says the UWB Rector.
"The same applies to the neighbouring Karlovy Vary Region, where we can contribute to improving education and thus support the transformation of this region. The close proximity of our regions to Bavaria and Saxony is an excellent foundation for this," said the UWB Rector.
In the Karlovy Vary Region, where the Faculty of Economics and the Faculty of Education currently operate in Cheb, a necessary condition for the systematic development of the offer of university study programmes is to ensure stable funding. This is what UWB is striving for, together with the Karlovy Vary Region. The institutions would ideally like to obtain funding from the Ministry of Education.
UWB – Safe, Friendly and Efficient
UWB aims to be a safe place for its students and employees. "Students and staff alike need to know that they can turn to the University with confidence if they need to. In this area, we want to use the experience of other universities and modify or supplement the current mechanism appropriately so that we can address problematic behaviour effectively or, even better, prevent it," says the Rector.
According to him, the university also wants to ensure a welcoming and friendly environment, which should be reflected, for example, in the modernisation of the campus to offer students and staff free-time opportunities.
According to Miroslav Lávička, UWB must undergo a digital transformation, since in his opinion digitalisation in the field of education, creative activities and administrative processes is a necessary condition for ensuring the effective functioning of UWB.
UWB – Firmly Integrated into European University Structures
Both in the field of education and in science and research, UWB aims to achieve a higher degree of internationalisation, not only to increase the number of foreign students, but also to expand the faculty from abroad or with foreign experience.
At the same time, UWB wants to take advantage of its membership of the EUPeace Network – European University for Peace, Justice, and Inclusive Societies, an initiative of nine European universities applying for a grant from the European Commission. If the project receives support next year, for UWB it will mean not only clear integration into European university structures, but also a chance to participate in EU projects specifically for European university alliances. Membership of the alliance, which includes universities with high rankings, will also further anchor UWB in the European space and enable it to participate in joint activities with successful European universities.