At a meeting of the Research Board on the 28th of November, 1996, the Rector of Charles University awarded five prizes to CU graduates for outstanding work and excellent results in scientific, research and specialist activities at their faculties in the course of their studies.
The Prof. JUDr. Karel Englis Prize for the best graduates in social scientific fields was awarded to Mgr. Rostislav Mayer, graduate of the CU Faculty of Social Sciences. The Prof. RNDr. Jaroslav Heyrovsky Prize for the best graduates in natural sciences was awarded to Mgr. Ivana Srnova, graduate of the CU Faculty of Natural Sciences. MUDr. Jaromir Slama, graduate of the 1st Medical Faculty, won The Prof. MUDr. Karel Weigner Prize for the best graduates in medical fields, and Mgr. Marcela Gallova, graduate of the CU Faculty of Natural Sciences, won The Prof. PhDr. Vaclav Prihoda Prize for teachers' studies. The Josef Dobrovsky Prize for the best graduates in theological fields was awarded to Mgr. Petr Tesar, graduate of the CU Hussite Theological Faculty.
The European Union has offered several affiliated states (among them the Czech Republic) entry into the Socrates programme, with its sub-programme Erasmus for universities, from the year 1997. The Czech Republic officially joined the programme with the opening of a Tempus/Socrates office on the 4th of November 1996. This office is sited at U Luzickeho seminare 13, in Prague 1.
In the Erasmus Programme (unlike the EU Tempus Programme), a single institutional agreement will be presented covering the entire university. This agreement - in line with the strategy established by individual parts of the university - will include an itemized list of individual activities. The agreement has to be prepared for dispatch to Brussels by the 1st of July 1977, and there should be an immediate start on the drafting of documents for individual activities so that these can be sent to the RUK European Office to meet the deadline of the 1st of June 1977.
The preparation of this material is a demanding process involving conceptual clarity and a high degree of technical and administrative competence. The basic condition for the approval of the agreement is the recognition of studies abroad by the home university and binding preceding negotiation of individual activities with foreign partners. In the Erasmus Programme this is mainly a question of allowing and organising student mobility, on the basis of a number of principles: recognition by the university of the studies undertaken by their Erasmus Programme students abroad; 3-month minimum period and 10-month maximum period for study abroad; the host university may not require tuition fees from Erasmus Programme students; students may take part in the programme only after completion of a minimum of one year's study at the home university. The programme also involves allowing teacher mobility, intensive programmes, preliminary visits for the purpose of further co-operation and the introduction of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) at universities.
In addition, the Erasmus Programme includes activities that are indirectly linked to study abroad, e.g. the joint creation of curricula at the Bachelor and Master's levels, and the joint introduction of European modules and integrated language courses.
The Erasmus Programme may also cover some activities even outside the framework of the institutional agreement, i.e. university co-operation on projects of common interest (thematic projects), aimed at bringing a university up to European standards in a given field. Several departments or institutes of faculties of the home country must join together in such projects and all the countries participating in the Erasmus project must be involved.
In addition to the individual activities set out in the institutional agreement, the CU may also participate in the use of the so-called "horizontal programmes" such as Lingua, Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and Adult Education.
Among the preparatory steps already taken has been the nomination of Erasmus Programme co-ordinators by the faculties. A European Office has been established in the International Relations Department of the CU Rectorate. The task of this office will be the central processing of all the data coming from the individual faculties, and the systematic processing of all information from the EU and universities abroad.
This office has drawn up "Recommendations for Operating the Erasmus Programme", which give guidance on matters of content, staffing and administration. At a meeting on the 7th of November 1996 the Pro-Deans of International Relations and staff of International Relations Departments at the CU faculties were introduced to this material. A meeting of the nominated faculty co-ordinators took place on the 4th of December 1996. The students and staff of CU faculties are being informed about the results, state of preparation and organisational steps by all available channels of information.
The 28th of November 1996 was a very important day for 53 postgraduate students of Charles University. At a degree ceremony in the Bethlem Chapel in Prague, the students were awarded their doctoral diplomas, thus concluding their degree studies at nine faculties of Charles University (Phil. Fac., Fac. of Natural Sciences, Ped. Fac., Maths and Physics Fac., Pharmaceut. Fac., Law Fac., Evangelical Theol. Fac., Catholic Theol. Fac., Med. Fac. in Hradec Kralove and 1st Med. Fac.) In his introductory address Prof. RNDr. Petr Cepek, CSc., Dean of the CU Natural Sciences Faculty, stressed the importance of the event as the conclusion of the highest form of degree study. It was a form of study, he said, in which training and research activity were closely linked, and in which the gap between teacher and student was bridged and then gradually replaced by a relationship of partnership and collegiality. Prof. Cepek emphasised his awareness that he was speaking to doctoral candidates from a wide spectrum of disciplines, to all who were united by the universal character of CU and to others linked by their experiences of study in the era of totalitarianism, fundamental political transformations, the first phase of a new period of academic freedom and its full implementation. "No previous generation of young scholars has this kind of experience behind it," he said. At the end of his address he reminded the doctoral candidates of the principles of scholarship: truthfulness, honesty, and an awareness of the ethical dimension - "these principles should remain a permanent link between the new doctors and Charles University".
On the 19th of December, 1996, just before the Christmas Holiday, a small ceremony took place in the CU Law Faculty - the announcement of the winners and prize-giving of the Bolzano Prize for 1996.
The Bolzano Prize, sponsored by the Czech Savings Bank Inc., has been awarded since 1994 to students of CU for the best academic work in the field of social and natural sciences (excluding medicine).
The selection committee chose the best eight pieces of work from those submitted by undergraduates and postgraduate students, and the authors were given cash prizes of 10-20,000 CKr.
The students received their prizes from the CU Rector JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc., and the Managing Director of the Czech Savings Bank Ing. Jaroslav Klapal. The Chairman of the Selection and Assessment Committee for the Award of the Bolzano Prize - the CU Pro-Rector RNDr. Zdenek Pertold, CSc. - gave a speech in which he praised the work of all the students who had entered for the prize, and thanked the Czech Savings Bank for its sponsorship of the prize. The Managing Director of the Czech Savings Bank, Ing. Jaroslav Klapal, emphasised that the bank saw such sponsorship "as investment in the future of our country" and promised that the bank would continue to support projects of this kind.
On the 28th of October 1996, the anniversary of the founding of an independent Czechoslovakia, the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel honoured forty people from political and cultural life at Prague Castle. Among those honoured were Prof. MUDr. Josef Koutecky, DrSc., the Dean of the Second Medical Faculty and the founder of Czech Child Oncology, and Prof. PhDr. Zdenek Matejcek, CSc., the child psychologist, for many years an external professor of the Department of Psychology at the CU Philosophical Faculty and the founder of a fund for the support of student research (see the article "Professor Matejcek Prize"). They were both awarded medals "For Merit".
On the 17th of December 1996 at a ceremony in the Hrzansky Palace in Prague, the Czech Minister of Health, Jan Strasky, gave the prizes annually awarded on the anniversary of the birthday of J. E. Purkyne to scientists whose completed research projects funded by the Internal Grant Agency of the Health Ministry have been most highly rated. Attending the ceremony were senior staff of the Czech Ministry of Health. the CU Pro-Rector Pavel Klener, deans of the CU medical faculties, Chairman of the Health Ministry's Scientific Board Prof. Cyril Hoschl, and representatives of the scientific centres and departments whose staff were being honoured. Last year the Ministry of Health Prizes were awarded to four academics of whom three work at Charles University. On the basis of the decision of the Scientific Board of the Czech Ministry of Health, the prizes were given to the following: Prof. MUDr. Josef Koutecky, DrSc., Dean of the CU 2nd Medical Faculty, for his work "Later Consequences of Comprehensive Anti-Tumour Therapy among Children and Adolescents"; Prof. MUDr. RNDr. Luboslav Starka, DrSc., member of the Academic Board of the CU 3rd Medical Faculty, for his work, "An Experimental Model of the Androgen Treatment of Dependent Diseases of the Prostate; Prof. MUDr. Jan Nemec, DrSc., Head of the Clinic of Nuclear Medicine at the Motol Faculty Hospital and the CU 2nd Medical Faculty, for his work, "Thyroidal Oncology"; RNDr. Borivoj Vojtesek, CSc., of the Masaryk Oncological Institute in Brno, for his work "A Study of the Function of the Antionkogen p53 in the Normal and Maligant Cell in vivo".One of the prize-winners, Dean of the CU 2nd Medical Faculty Prof. MUDr. Josef Koutecky, DrSc. answering questions from journalists.
On the 11th of September 1996 the Rector of CU Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc. and Vilem Petrik, the founder of the Foundation for a State Based on Law, signed an agreement on a financial donation from the foundation to the Czech Egyptological Institute of the CU Philosophical Faculty. This donation will partly cover the costs of production of a fifteen-part cycle of programmes by Czech Television on the work of Czech Egyptologists past and present, which will introduce the general public to the important part played by Charles University in the development of worl Egyptology. The cycle should be ready 1988. The ceremonial signing of the agreement was attended by the Director of the CU Egyptological Institute Prof. PhDr. Miroslav Verner, the Dean of the CU Philosophy Faculty Doc. PhDr. Frantisek Vrhel, CSc. and the Czech Ambassador to Egypt - himself an Egyptologist - PhDr. Bretislav Vachal, CSc.
On the 26th of November 1996 the CU Pro-Rector PhDr. Jaroslav Vacek, CSc., and the Dean of the CU Philosophical Faculty Doc. PhDr. Frantisek Vrhel, CSc., welcomed a delegation from Bolivia in the reception rooms of the CU Rectorate. The occasion was part of an official visit to the Czech Republic by Eduardo Trigo, National Secretary of the Bolivian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Religious Affairs. He was accompanied on his visit to Charles University by the Bolivian Ambassador to Vienna, Mayer Medina (Bolivia has no embassy in the Czech Republic) and the Second Secretary of the Bolivian Embassy in Vienna, Isabel Dalenz de Vidaurre. The dialogue was not focused on a single specific problem but was an opportunity for the exchange of very interesting information on Czech and Bolivian universities, and the political situation and geographic features of both countries.
The CU and Bolivian representatives also spoke about possibilities of closer university co-operation (student exchange visits), the situation in the Bolivian education system, the options open to Bolivian higher education and the areas of specialisation and qualification of its teachers. Charles University was not the only stop on the General Secretary's tour of the Republic. Eduardo Trigo was also the guest of the CR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and met the Deputy Education Minister PhDr. Jan Belohlavek and other figures in Czech public life. As he himself said, he found his stay in the Czech Republic very pleasant and was captivated by Prague.
Fluent English was to be heard in the reception rooms of the Charles University Rectorate on Thursday the 14th of November 1996, when the CU Pro-Rector for International Relations Prof. Jaroslav Vacek welcomed two representatives of the Christian Academy for European Dialogue (CAFED) from Belgium: Prof. Hans Vanackere (General Secretary) and Jo Eelen (CAFED Executive Director). During the reception one of the topics of conversation was the co-operation between CAFED and CU, which has been underway for some years. This co-operation in chiefly focused on an annual three-week summer school held in Prague and mainly attended by students from the post-communist regions of Europe - Poland, Rumunia, Albania, Lithuania, Estonia and Kosova.
While the goals of teaching on the course have remained constant, with the emphasis on values of self-confidence, democracy and responsibility, the content and quality of the summer school has improved with every year. The summer school involves not only lectures (mainly by Czech professors), but opportunities for interesting discussion.
Many Charles University students help in the organisation of this project, which should be continuing this year. Details for the coming year are to be discussed in January.
At the beginning of October 1996 Prof. Dr. Koentjaramingrat, Professor of the Indonesian University in Jakarta, visited Charles University as part of his trip to the Czech Republic. On the 9th of October 1996 he was welcomed in the Carolinum by the Rector of CU Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc., CU Pro-Rector Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Vacek, CSc. and the Dean of the Philosophical Faculty >doc. PhDr.
The Rector of CU saw one of the aims of this meeting as the deepening of co-operation between universities, schools and peoples, despite religious and cultural differences. One result of co-operation is the plan for five CU students to study in Jakarta. Prof. Koentjaramingrat, who was accompanied by the Indonesian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, also expressed his interest in the strengthening of mutual relations.
This was his first visit to the country, and as he himself said, he had found much to surprise him, for example in the religious tolerance, to which Indonesia had still to make its way.
Prof. Koentjaramingrat's visit included, in addition to the formal reception, two lectures that he gave at Charles University. The first of these was concerned with Indonesia as a country, and the second with Indonesian anthropology. With his gift of an important Indonesian dictionary and academic literature from the Java area, Professor Koentjaramingrat provided generous help for practical teaching at the Indological Institute of the CU Philosophical Faculty. Both sides regarded the meeting as an excellent start to mutual contacts and Prof. Koentjaramingrat expressed his conviction that his first visit here would not be his last.
When Acilie Schoeman of the South African Republic was welcomed at Charles University CU Pro-Rector Prof. Jaroslav Vacek this was not their first meeting. They had already had a working meeting two years ago during Professor Vacek's visit to South Africa. At that time the representative of CU discussed many particular forms of possible co-operation between CU and similar institutions in South Africa. Mrs. Schoeman, who is currently an adviser both to the South African government and to South African entrepreneurs, promised that she would try to renew suitable projects (after the change in the country's political situation) for Charles University. The meeting took place on the 8th of October, 1996.
In mid-September, 1996, Toshiro Shimoyama, Chairman of the Board of the Japanese Olympic Corporation Ltd, was presented with a Charles University Commemorative Medal for contributions to medical science and in recognition of his deeply humanistic attitude to life. In Michaela Vlckova's photograph Mr. Shimoyana is accepting his important university award in university reception rooms from the hand of Prof. MUDr. Pavel Klener, DrSc., CU Pro-Rector for Science and Research. At the award ceremony Prof. Klener emphasised that Shimoyama's credo was humanity, understanding, support for human achievemnt, the priority of invention over control, and of the overall view over limited and short-term interests.
The Olympic Corporation Ltd. is one of the leading world manufacturers of optical equipment (cameras, microscopes, telescopes, endoscopic instruments etc.). Since the 1st of March in this year alone Olympus has sold more than 250 million crowns' worth of goods in the Czech and Slovak republics.
On the anniversary of the signing of a partnership agreement (1991) between Ludwig-Maxmilians-Universitat and Charles University, the Munich university invited former students from the Czech Republic to Prague on the 10th of November 1996. The first reason for the meeting was to give the students an opportunity to meet again, to hear about their experiences of study in German, and to discover what this study had brought them and how it had influenced their future. The second reason was the founding of the Prague-Munich-University-Club, an association of the former students and guests from Charles University who had visited Ludwig-Maxmilian-Universitat in Munich. Similar associations (clubs) exist in many university towns and their aim is to create a world-wide network of former students and guests at LMU in Munich.
The Vice-President of the University of Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Wilfried Hartmann and the Head of his Foreign Department Dr. Roland Schaller, were welcomed on the 30th of September 1996 by the Rector of CU Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc. and the Pro-Rector for International Relations Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Vacek, CSc. The friendly meeting provided an opportunity for the assessment of co-operative ventures (a working programme for the period 1995-1997 mainly involving agreements on academic and student exchanges and developing beyond the framework of the original discussions). The DAAD and the City of Hamburg are providing the University of Hamburg with finances to cover the costs of study visits. The exchange quotas between Charles University and the University of Hamburg include 7-day stays in the partner institution for ten persons on both sides, two-week academic attachments for eight students and a month's postgraduate scholarship for one specialist in Czech studies, one participant in the Summer School in Slavonic Studies and one mathematician (student of the Mathematics and Physics Faculty). The previous quota has been extended by a further two places. The interest in Czech studies at the University of Habsburg is very considerable, and Dr. Schaller reported that it even far exceeded interest in Russian, for example. The maintenance of good relations with neighbours is regarded as a very important matter for Germany and the University of Hamburg will support all intellectual activities that enhance these relations.
Prof. Dr. Wilfried Hartmann, Vice-President of the University of Hamburg (on the right) and Dr. Roland Schalller, Head of the Foreign Department, took a lively interest in teaching and research at Charles University.