Traditional natural sciences and technology degree programs at UCT are notoriously challenging. Is the same degree of difficulty to be required with a degree in economics?
Yes, our high study standards will also apply to students in degree programs focusing on economics. We will not prioritize quantity, as it is the case with our existing degree programs, but rather emphasize the contact between students and their teachers. At the same time, we will put an emphasis on the students’ involvement in research activities and cooperation with the private sector.
Quality education stands or falls with teachers. Who is going to teach the students?
UCT is welcoming experienced specialists, including professors and associate professors, who have so far taught mainly at MIAS CTU. Current UCT academic staff will also be involved. The students will have the opportunity to choose subjects from a broader technological/engineering basis including subjects in chemistry. In these fields of expertise, the university boasts a number of high-quality educators.
On a number of occasions you have declared ‘internationalization’ to be one of your priorities. What are your expectations from the new degree programs regarding this area?
I’m convinced that the team connected with these programs will strengthen instruction in English at UCT, and that the number of both visiting international students and our student mobility will increase. I believe we will bolster instruction in English without degrading the ability of UCT graduates from our Czech degree programs to effectively communicate in Czech. Our aim is to train our students to succeed abroad in international corporations as well as in an exclusively Czech environment, and we intend to prepare for all of these eventualities to the best of our abilities.
Degrees in economics are offered by a number of universities. What will make UCT graduates stand out? And what are their career prospects?
Degree programs in economics at UCT are based on technical foundations and feature challenging studies in mathematics, leading students towards an engineering mindset. We expect our students to find career opportunities in managerial positions not only in chemical, pharmaceutical and food industry companies, but also in technological ones. We appreciate the fact that these programs are supported by the Association of Chemical Industry as well as by the Federation of the Food and Drink Industries of the Czech Republic, and we will continue to cooperate with them even during instruction. I believe that graduates from these programs at a research university such as UCT will be well-versed in research and development, and as qualified specialists, will find job opportunities in scientific research teams and projects. Furthermore, they could also be employed by providers of research grants and projects or within governmental institutions responsible for strategic decision-making processes of research priorities and the means of their funding.
UCT defines itself as a research university. Can we expect a doctoral degree program in economics and management in near the future?
Yes, I strongly believe that in a few years’ time, once the new teams in the area of education and research have established themselves and have connected their activities with the existing research groups at UCT, the required quality outputs will have been documented and it will be possible to apply for a doctoral degree program. Furthermore, securing funding for our doctoral students from projects and establishing cooperation on both national and international levels will be of essence. The sooner the necessary quality standards for the doctoral degree program are met, the better for the bachelor’s and master’s degree students, for the academic staff, and for the whole UCT. Successful development of a doctoral degree program will then facilitate professorship appointment procedures, completing academic career opportunities at UCT.
Published in Universitas Journal (June 30, 2020)