The two follow-up Master’s programmes with a capacity of up to 60 students are being opened at the MU Faculty of Economics and Administration in cooperation with the Faculty of Economics at the University of Rennes 1. The programmes are available to Czech and international students – the universities open the programmes in several languages, with English being the language linking them together.
Students can thus apply either to the long-running Czech-French Veřejná správa (Administration publique) programme or to its newly accredited English-French Public Administration (Administration publique) variant. English fluency is required for the second double degree programme in Public Finance and Economics.
“This is an important milestone for us and it carries a clear symbolism in the strengthening of an already well-established partnership. The two universities have cooperated with each other for over 20 years and are also members of the EDUC alliance together with other European higher education institutions. Additionally, Brno and Rennes are official sister cities. Our Czech students currently studying in Rennes confirm that the established links are working very well. The signing of this agreement will further strengthen the mutual synergies between our two institutions and cities,” said MU Rector Martin Bareš.
In order to obtain a second Master’s degree from a foreign university, students are required to spend at least one semester at the university abroad and write a diploma thesis under joint supervision. According to the mobility schemes, MU students will study their third semester in Rennes, where they will also undergo a mandatory two-month internship in a French institution as part of the Administration publique programme. If they want to, they can also stay for the fourth semester and write their diploma thesis there. Upon completion of their studies, graduates will receive diplomas from both Masaryk University and Rennes. The Czech diploma confers the “Engineer” (Ing.) title for a Master’s degree in technical fields, while the French diploma confers the Master’s degree.
“Double degree programmes represent a very interesting opportunity for our students because they enable them to become graduates not only of Masaryk University but of a prestigious foreign university as well, which significantly improves their standing on the job market. Current graduates of the programme work in prominent positions within Czech and French corporations and organisations, including the European Commission and other European institutions. In addition, the double degree programme makes life easier for those who want to work in France after graduation. Having a double degree means they can skip the lengthy diploma recognition process known officially as nostrification. Since the student fulfils all the requirements of both universities, the double degree is accepted as if the student had studied all four semesters in France,” explained Jiří Špalek, Dean of the MU Faculty of Economics and Administration, who joined the MU delegation in Rennes alongside MU Rector Martin Bareš, Vice-Rector for Internationalisation Břetislav Dančák, and Vice-Rector for Studies and Quality Michal Bulant.
According to Robert Jahoda, head of the Department of Public Economics and guarantor of both programmes at the Faculty of Economics and Administration, there has been a lot of effort and work behind the creation of a programme like this. In addition to drawing up the entire accreditation dossier, it is necessary to prepare and iron out the legal arrangements between the universities, which may take several months. It is necessary to prepare inbound and outbound mobility schemes, define the admission and leaving procedures and generally avoid potential problems that could occur. This is a lot of work that needs to be done given the relatively low number of students. On the other hand, such programmes attract very motivated and promising applicants who are successful in their later careers.
Masaryk University has several similar programmes. In addition to the newly opened programmes, the Faculty of Economics and Administration also has an agreement with an Italian university and the possible extension of the already mentioned Public Finance and Economics programme with a double degree study plan in cooperation with a Portuguese university is currently being discussed.
The Faculty of Social Studies also runs an English-language programme in European Governance, coordinated by Utrecht University, and the Joint Master Programme in International Relations: Europe from the Visegrad Perspective, which MU runs together with universities from Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. The Faculty of Arts has three programmes operated in cooperation with foreign universities – Catalan Language and Literature, French Language and Literature and Literature and Intercultural Communication.
“Opening new joint study programmes is a high priority for MU, as is the opening of the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Master Degree programme funded by a generous European Union grant. That is also why we have decided to financially support our employees’ business trips that help build up this type of cooperation, and we hope that MU employees will make extensive use of them and that the number of double degree programmes will increase significantly,” said Břetislav Dančák, MU Vice-Rector for Internationalisation.