Looking back at the 2018/19 academic year

In the academic year of 2018/2019, the University of Economics, Prague (VŠE) continued to implement the amendment to the Higher Education Act and to verify the set rules for individual areas of activity. An important milestone was submitting the application and subsequently receiving institutional accreditation in full for both the desired areas of education (economics and informatics).

Number of students
In 2018, the number of students studying programmes in the Czech language are as follows: 13,414 students at the University of Economics  and 1,412 at our Faculty of Economics . A total of 607 students studied in foreign language programmes.
Unlike traditional universities, VŠE is a monothematic school.

Assigned posts
At the beginning of September 2018, the ceremonial inauguration took place of the Dean of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Economics, Prague, Prof. Zdeněk Chytil. He was introduced by the Rector of VŠE, Prof. Hana Machková. Prof. Chytil was elected dean in the spring of 2018 by the Academic Senate of the Faculty of Economics (NF) for a four-year term ending on June 30, 2022. He replaced Miroslav Ševčík.

The Faculty of Economics also introduced a new vice-dean at the beginning of the academic year. Miroslav Ševčík was named Vice-Dean for Studies and Statutory Representative of the Dean, Prof. Vojtěch Krebs became Vice-Dean for Science and Michal Mirvald was named Vice-Dean for International Relations and PR.

Accreditation and awards
VŠE received institutional accreditation in September 2018. Thanks to that, it can independently decide on the creation, cancellation and modification of study programmes, valid for ten years. Institutional accreditation was granted to the University of Economics, Prague for both the desired areas of education (economics and informatics) in full. As part of its institutional accreditation, VŠE began the process of accreditation of its study programmes.

The University of Economics, Prague is also successfully continuing in its long-term accreditation process of AACSB International, which continues to be one of the main goals of the University’s management. Throughout 2018, close collaboration with mentor Prof. Stephanie Morgan, appointed by AACSB, resulted in the sending out of the Initial Self Evaluation Report (iSER). In September 2018, VŠE received the positive decision of the adoption of iSER and a thumbs up to proceed to Phase 3 of the evaluation process. In spring 2019, the University of Economics, Prague sent an update of the self-assessment report. The position and recommendations of the Accreditation Commission will be known in autumn 2019.

Placement in internationally recognised rankings contributes to the reputation of each university. The University of Economics, Prague experienced great success in 2018. In the prestigious Financial Times European Business School Ranking 2018, VŠE ranked 60th in Europe. In the QS World University Ranking VŠE ranked 201 – 250th in the area of Economic and Econometrics (getting second place in the Czech Republic after Charles University). The University of Economics, Prague was included for the first time in the area of Accounting and Finance and ranked 201th – 250th (getting first place in the Czech Republic). In the Eduniversal Business School Ranking, VŠE has again received five academic palms for internationalisation and has been recognised as the Best Business School in Eastern Europe.

International cooperation
Thanks to international awards and thanks to new forms of cooperation with foreign schools, the prestige of VŠE has been increasing in the international academic environment.
In the field of internationalisation, which is the strongest aspect of the University of Economics, the school focuses mainly on the development of accredited foreign language programmes. These programmes were taught at all Prague VŠE faculties in the academic year of 2018/2019. As a part of student mobility, VŠE sent 1,114 students abroad and 1,307 foreign students were admitted, most of them from the USA (478).

The International Relations Department organised the ninth so-called International Week, a staff meeting of foreign departments of partner universities, and the International & Study Abroad Fair, a traditional event for all those interested in studying abroad.

Research and development activities and work experience
VŠE solved many projects in the field of research and development such as the GA ČR, TA ČR, ministry grants, foreign grants and specific research. In 2018, the University of Economics, Prague focused on project preparation and a total of 36 projects were submitted to the GA ČR grant competition for 2019 by VŠE. The VŠE Political Economy Journal and Prague Economic Papers are presented in Thomson Reuters Information Services: Social Sciences Citation Index, Social Sciences Edition and Social Scisearch, accessible through ISI Web of Knowledge. They are also included in the EconLit, RePEc and Scopus electronic databases and contribute to the good name of Czech economic research abroad. The success was the inclusion of CEBR journal (Central European Business Review) into Scopus’ electronic databases.

In the academic year of 2018/19, VŠE continued its successful cooperation with its corporate partners. Česká Spořitelna remains the general partner and the main partners of the university are ČSOB, Deloitte, EY, Komerční Banka, KPMG and PWC. Partners of the academic year 2018/19 were Accenture, ADP, Amazon, Axa, Bel Cheeses Czech Republic, Business Development Advisory, BDO Appraisal Services, E.ON, Hewlett Packard, HOPI, The Chamber of Commerce, L’Oréal, Microsoft, MSD, PSN , T-Mobile, Unilever, Plzenský Prazdroj, Škoda Auto and HILTI. The last three companies are also CEMS international partners.

From the close cooperation with our corporate partners the students created, for example, a unique Europe-wide vehicle sharing concept called Uniqway. The conditions for establishing and operating the carsharing platform were created by ŠKODA AUTO ČR and ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab. The project involves students from three Prague universities – ČVUT, ČZU and VŠE. VŠE students are responsible for the marketing strategy of the project and management of social networks.

At the traditionally held job fair Šance, which connects students with work experience and is organised by the Development and Advisory Centre, around 120 companies participated in the autumn and spring term. During the fair, companies have the opportunity to present themselves to students or graduates and reach out to job seekers.

Development of VŠE
The management of the University of Economics and the management of the individual faculties put emphasis on improving the quality of all school activities. In the academic year of 2018/2019, VŠE was able to use its funds from a project financed by the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education (OP RDE), for its strategic development. The project Development of Educational and Other Activities and the Quality Support at VŠE focuses on training employees, supporting teaching focused on entrepreneurship and modern methods, foreign language subjects, re-accreditation of selected study programmes based on work experience requirements, internationalisation, the support of students with specific study needs and improving on its quality, effective and projected management. In 2018, the University of Economics, Prague also received support from another OP RDE programme entitled POROST – Support for the Development of the Study Environment at VŠE. Thanks to this project, the university managed to improve the quality of the study environment (especially with classroom equipment) in the so-called Old Building of VŠE, which significantly lagged behind the modern equipment of other premises at the University of Economics.

The project Expansion and Improvement of the Quality and Efficiency of Incubation Capacities of xPORT VŠE Business Accelerator was successfully completed. The project enabled expanding the capacity of the VŠE business incubator in Jarov by more than 1,000 m2 and equipping new premises with furniture and computer equipment. In addition to providing comprehensive support to start-up entrepreneurs, xPORT also organises the KPMG Data Festival and the Rohlik.cz Startup Festival, the largest startup event of its kind in Prague.

A profound and fundamental change was made to the VŠE website in the autumn of 2018. The school, all faculties and workplaces moved to a new website. In total, there were almost 200 sites that underwent a fundamental transformation in design and structure. The new platform replaced the original 2008 website, which no longer meets current user requirements and trends.

After the success at the Jarov dormitories, The University of Economics in Prague decided to support the student initiative and started operating Filtermac filtered water machines, on the school premises. The University of Economics, Prague thus became the first university in the Czech Republic to offer an alternative to bottled water both in its dormitories and directly on the school premises.

Student life, social and sports activities
In the past academic year, the University of Economics, Prague commemorated 50 years since the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact troops. During Palach’s Week, a ceremonial unveiling of a memorial plaque in honour of the former VŠE student Jan Palach took place in Žižkov. The next generation of students will be reminded of his legacy. On this occasion, one of the premises at the University of Economics, Prague was renamed. Now it bears the name of Jan Palach, the symbol of the resistance against the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops in Czechoslovakia in August 1968.

Jan Palach’s classmates initiated the placement of the plaque on the Jarov campus. The unveiling of Jan Palach’s memorial plaque at the Jarov dorms and the symbolic baptism of the newly named student dormitory buildings took place on March 27th, 2019 with the participation of Jan Palach’s classmates and sons of the prominent economist Pavel Eisler. The dormitories at Jarov are now called Palachova, Eislerova and Thalerova.

As part of the commemoration of the fifty years since the invasion by the Warsaw Pact armies into Czechoslovakia and all subsequent events, the following activities were held at the University of Economics, Prague:
– Publication of the student magazine iList with a reprint of the magazine from 1969.
– Screening of the film about Jan Palach and discussion with his classmates.

The students of VŠE succeeded in a number of international competitions and the VŠE student organization organised hundreds of successful events that together contributed to the development of the academic environment at the University. The activities of student organizations are supported by the Rector’s Grant and Česká Spořitelna.

Various cultural and sporting events took place during the year, such as the student festival VŠEFEST, the VŠE Ball, the Rector’s Sports Day, VŠE’s Got Talent, etc. The winner of VŠE’s Got Talent was Marie Dvořáková, who with her dance partner presented an acrobatic rock’n’roll routine. The title for the best sportsman of VŠE was awarded to David Schweiner (Beach Volleyball). The Ice Hockey Team Engineers Prague won second place at the World University Cup in Beijing. The team consisted of students from CTU, CULS and VŠE.

The University of Economics, Prague does not forget its graduates, it frequently cooperates and communicates with them. Even in the academic year of 2018/19 there were regular meetings and discussions on current topics, on the Alumni Wednesdays. The Alumni Club was established to deepen the cooperation and to establish long-term contacts with alumni, with various benefits for its members. The event, which had a professional and social programme, was attended by 1,043 graduates and school employees.