At the same time, Monika Jandová still works as an assistant professor at the Department of Economics of the Faculty of Economics and Administration. She is a specialist in transport economics, focusing on competition and its effects on rail transport. As a manager of international activities at the Institute for Transport Economics, Geography and Policy, she communicates with foreign partners, plans international research collaboration, and assists in the preparation of international events, projects, and grants. In the following interview, she outlines how she intends to capitalize on her experience as vice-rector.
One of the areas you will oversee as vice-rector is sustainability, a first at Masaryk University. Given that you come from the Department of Economics, how do you view sustainability from an economic perspective, and what economic aspects do you intend to incorporate?
In economic terms, sustainability is linked to resource efficiency, reducing negative environmental impacts, and social justice. The pursuit of sustainability at the University should be written into its operations and core activities, that is, education, research, and its social role. From a purely financial point of view, this should then also translate positively into cost savings for the University.
As vice-dean for internationalization, you have been in contact with international colleagues. Do you think it is important for the University to attract experts from abroad outside the research field?
Absolutely. There is absolutely no question! The international experts who are already coming to MU are also involved in teaching activities and, in addition to their knowledge, they also bring new experiences, views, and perspectives that can be beneficial for our entire University. At the same time, this can help us increase the University’s international visibility and prestige, which in turn will attract more students, employees, and partners from all over the world, and will also be reflected in even better international rankings of our University.
In what ways do you find the practical experience of international colleagues to be a motivation and inspiration when it comes to HR policy?
During my time as vice-dean for internationalization, I had the opportunity to meet many academics from different countries and cultural backgrounds. Particularly inspiring were discussions with colleagues from top Western European universities regarding their universities' approaches to working with people – including, for example, the systematic setting-up of career pathways, etc. As I have already mentioned, these are mainly examples of good practice. This experience helps me to formulate and implement HR policy and lifelong learning at the University in a way that is in line with international standards and trends and that promotes quality, development, and employee satisfaction. At the same time, this will make our University more attractive in the eyes of foreign academics who might consider working at MU.
Do you have a vision of how to best motivate students, so they do not lose contact with the University and are interested in further education, and how to best promote lifelong learning?
It all starts and ends with the quality of studies. Students should feel comfortable at the University and that the University has given them something. This can be achieved primarily by providing a quality education but also by providing targeted support for students' development where appropriate and by creating a friendly and open environment. For lifelong learning itself, it is then important to work with partners from the public and private sectors to develop new lifelong learning programmes.
You specialize in transport economics, especially rail economics. Is that a coincidence, or do you like trains, are they your hobby, and how do they affect your life outside of economics?
Yes, I like trains. I like to travel on them for business and leisure. I definitely find trains more comfortable, especially on longer journeys.