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Studying at the School of Business of the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague gives you an opportunity to become part of one of the most prestigeous Czech Universities, proud of its #355 QS World University Ranking and origins extending to the Prague Polytechnic established in the early 18th century.

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Our Rector welcomes the School of Business at UCT

In September 2020, the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague launches new study programs in Economics. This follows from the approval of the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education, which was issued in June this year. The last formal procedures are being completed so that prospective students of a BSc degree in Economics and Management and an MSc degree in Innovation Project Management may enroll during the summer. “There is a long tradition of study programs focusing on economics at UCT with a number of successful graduates. The past few years have brought a departure from this tradition, and I’m glad that this period is now coming to an end with new degree programs in economics and management to be taught at our university starting the upcoming academic year,” says professor Pavel Matějka, rector of UCT, Prague.

Why did the university take the decision to have the new degrees accredited in the first place?
In order to provide high-quality engineering degrees in the fields of chemistry and food technology, UCT Prague also needs to offer its students high-quality subjects in the field of economics; whether it be for the management of industrial projects or for the economic side of research projects—especially in applied research. Such subjects can be taught only by top specialists who will be provided with the appropriate research and educational opportunities in their respective fields. Even with students primarily focusing on economics and management, we expect them to at least dip their toes into chemistry and food technology to some degree, which will develop their aptitude for interdisciplinary cooperation and broaden their future employment opportunities in industrial enterprises and technological firms. Expanding UCT’s subject portfolio in this way is essential if we want to develop UCT into a technological research university.

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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)

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