Monday, 2 March 2009on
Sorry guys I couldn't resist this one. It is actually The Romanian Babes-Bolyai (pronounced: Babesh-Bolyai) University I am talking about here. Cheeky huh.
In 1581, Istvan Báthory, Governor of Transylvania, took the initiative in founding a college in Cluj-Napoca, which was to be under the control of the Jesuits. This college was later closed down. The Catholics took the initiative and in 1688 established an academy in Cluj-Napoca under the control of the Jesuits. In 1776, Empress Maria Theresa founded a German university in Cluj-Napoca. But this enterprise was not to survive long either; Joseph II replaced the university with the famous Piarist high school, where teaching was done in Latin.
In 1872, the authorities established a university in Cluj-Napoca with teaching in Hungarian, except for the Romanian language and literature section. In 1881 the university was renamed Franz Joseph University after the Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph.
On May 12, 1919, after the Union of Transylvania with Romania, the Romanian University of Cluj was set up. King Ferdinand proclaimed the university open on February 1, 1920, while its Hungarian section moved to Szeged.
In 1940, as a result of the Second Vienna Award, the city was returned to Hungary and the Hungarian university was reinstated there. After World War II, once the Second Vienna Award was abrogated, a Romanian university called Babeş was established. The Hungarian University of Cluj took the name Bolyai once it returned.
The two universities, the Romanian Babeş University and the Hungarian Bolyai University, were forced to merge in 1959 forming the "Babeş-Bolyai" University, with Romanian and Hungarian teaching languages. This operation, that deeply undermined the interests of the Hungarian community in Transylvania and led to the suicide of several Hungarian professors, was orchestrated by Nicolae Ceausescu, the former Romanian dictator, and Ion Iliescu, a recent Romanian president. Later on, under the communist regime, the studies in Hungarian were gradually reduced. After 1989, the Hungarian language education was expanded by increasing the number of specializations in Hungarian. Also specializations taught in German and English have been introduced.
The university is now the most diversified (in terms of specializations) and the most complex higher education institution in Romania.
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