The past year at the university was not only marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the tightening and loosening of restrictions. This situation didn’t interrupt the university’s growth, its research activities, or interesting events, some of which were held online and some in person. So, what was 2021 like at the university?
Masaryk University has a new strategic plan for the next eight years
The new strategic plan for 2021–2028 sets the university’s direction in education, research, and the social role of its infrastructural development. The strategic plan now includes fewer priority goals, which should lead to fulfilling the mission of the university as a whole, in which the university has committed itself to contributing, through its activities, to a healthy life for all generations and to a cohesive and secure society.
Masaryk back to in-person classes after three semesters
After three semesters of online classes due to the pandemic, a part of the MU student body returned to campus in April and May, mainly for laboratory and practical courses. In September the 2020/2021 academic year kicked off with all classes being held in person, and we managed to keep school open the entire autumn semester.
New MU Academic Senate convenes
In early June the newly elected MU Academic Senate convened for the first time. The MU Academic Senate is made up of 55 senators: 33 members of academic staff (employees) and 22 students from all MU faculties. The Academic Senate oversees the direction of the university, approves its budget, elects the rector, and decides on other matters concerning the running of the university.
Masaryk signs new version of Magna Charta Universitatum
In June, Masaryk University signed the new version of the Magna Charta Universitatum, which defines the fundamental values and principles upon which free academic institutions stand. Thus far, it has been signed by more than 900 universities from 88 countries.
MU rector Martin Bareš becomes chairman of Czech Rectors Conference
Martin Bareš’s term as the new chairman of the Czech Rectors Conference began in August and will last two years, ending on 31 July 2023.
Masaryk collects million crowns for elementary school in Hrušky
Masaryk University organized a public collection that brought in more than one million crowns for people in the South Moravian villages affected by a severe tornado. University officials handed over a check to the mayor of Hrušky and the director of the local elementary school, which will be repaired with the money.
MUNI HELPS wins European Citizens Prize and award from South Moravian governor
The MU Volunteer Centre was awarded the 2021 European Citizens Prize. The prize is awarded by a jury made up of Members of the European Parliament and representatives of civic and youth organizations. MU was awarded this prestigious prize for the establishment of the Volunteer Centre, for its direction and focus on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic by providing volunteers to organizations and individuals, and for its ability to provide stable, long-term help.
The South Moravian Region also recognized the volunteer work of MUNI HELPS after this summer’s tornado. An exhibition was held that presented what the volunteers did and where they helped.
COVID-19 vaccinations administered in university buildings
Getting people vaccinated and restarting in-person classes as quickly as possible: these were the goals that Masaryk University set at the beginning of the year going into the national vaccination campaign. First, professors emeritus and retired employees over the age of 80 were vaccinated, followed by other age groups. The campaign culminated in autumn with the vaccinating of employees and students directly at the university. Nearly 1,000 people took advantage of the nine days on which MU offered vaccinations on campus. These efforts have contributed to MU’s vaccination rates of 74 percent among students and 86 percent among employees.
Masaryk begins issuing electronic diplomas
In June, Masaryk University began issuing electronic diplomas in addition to paper diplomas. Graduates will be able to use the e-diploma as evidence of their university qualifications.
First pharmacy graduates receive Masaryk diplomas
SIMU already serving students and teachers for 15 months
For two academic years already, future doctors and healthcare workers have been able to receive training for common procedures and emergency situations at the Simulation Centre of the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University. With its more than 8,000 m2 of space and more than 1,000 simulators, Brno’s SIMU is the largest of its type not only in Czechia, but also in Europe.
We won a virtual footrace and beat Mendel University in hockey
Beginning 3 May, Masaryk University employees and students competed for five weeks against their peers from the Brno University of Technology in a virtual footrace. MU won.
In October, the Mendel University and Masaryk University hockey teams faced off on the ice for a rematch. MU came from behind to win 4–2, avenging last year’s loss to their rivals.
Faculty of Economics and Administration celebrates 30th anniversary, CEITEC, 10th
In late September the Faculty of Economics and Administration celebrated its 30th anniversary. It was founded in 1991 as the first post-Velvet Revolution faculty to be created at Masaryk University. Today, the faculty provides an education in economics to nearly 3,000 students.
Ten years ago, in June 2011, the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) project was officially approved. Today CEITEC is not only the most prominent research centre in the region, but it is also an internationally respected player in the field of science.
Faculty of Arts celebrates 100th anniversary of teaching
The celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Faculty of Arts kicked off on 30 September with the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Vladimír Groh on the corner of Arne Nováka and Grohova Streets. The anniversary was also marked at later events, such as UNESCO World Philosophy Day, Humanities Week, and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque dedicated to Arne Novák on the faculty building.
Masaryk University recognizes top researchers, teachers, students, and volunteers
During Dies academicus in June, MU awarded Rector’s Awards for excellence in research, teaching, the arts, and civic initiatives.
At the ceremonial opening of the 2021/2022 academic year MU conferred awards on the three best teachers, three Bronze Medals, and one Silver Medal for outstanding research and teaching activities.
In the autumn semester the MUNI Scientist prize was awarded for the second time; 39 scientists received their awards at the annual conference of the Grant Agency of Masaryk University. In November, the MUNI Innovation Award was awarded for the first time ever. MU also began recognizing doctoral students for academic excellence. Forty doctoral students and their advisers received awards.
Masaryk kicks off celebrations of G. J. Mendel’s 200th birthday
20 July 2022 marks the 200th birthday of G. J. Mendel, the discoverer of the basic laws of heredity. Masaryk University is involved in the planned celebrations. In November, MU researchers published their findings about this ground-breaking scientist during Mendel Days. MU will continue celebrating and commemorating Mendel’s life in 2022.
Masaryk cybersecurity team wins European Commission competition
The MU Cybernetic Proving Grounds won the European Commission’s Innovation Radar Prize. A team led by Jakub Čegan entered the competition and offered free security software – a unique environment in which people can prepare for cybernetic attacks. The novel approach of going the open-source route was one of the main reasons that the team caught the attention of the jury.
Czech Science Foundation recognizes two Masaryk researchers
This year, the GACR President’s Award was conferred upon five researchers. Among them were Vladimír Šindelář and Klára Šeďová from Masaryk University.
Masaryk awards honorary doctorate to Martina Hartmann
In October, Martina Hartmann, an internationally renowned historian specializing in the early modern period and the High Middle Ages, was awarded the honorary title doctor honoris causa by Masaryk University.
MU organizes Masaryk Days and unique Brno-Minsk cycle
In March Masaryk Days were held for the second time, this time online. This event focused on T. G. Masaryk and his relationships with people. There were lectures about Czech economist and politician Karel Engliš, reflections on Masaryk’s ideas in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a concert of works by composer and pianist Jan Novák.
In November, Masaryk University organized a two-day film cycle Brno–Minsk that commemorated the anniversary of the first transport to depart Brno for Minsk and focused on the situation in today’s Belarus. The cycle was part of November 17 celebrations.