Babeș–Bolyai University: only freshmen and seniors may return to Kolozsvár

It is very unlikely that college education will return to its normal, traditional form at Babeș–Bolyai University (BBU) in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca, so the institute is preparing several possible scenarios for the 2020/2021 school year, which starts in October, the rector of BBU, Daniel David, told Agerpres news agency. Babeș–Bolyai University is the largest university in Kolozsvár and one of the best in the country.

According to the rector, the considered scenarios include an entirely traditional education, which requires physical presence, but he also admitted that it is very unlikely that this form will be reintroduced in October. The rector thinks that the new school year will start with online learning, but they are also working on a hybrid method. According to this plan, only freshmen and senior students would return to Kolozsvár in the autumn and would attend in-person classes, while the other students would continue online learning only. But only some of the classes for freshmen and seniors would be in-person, like seminars and lab practice; lectures and courses would be entirely online for them as well because Daniel David thinks that epidemiologically speaking, it is unacceptable to crowd 100-200 young people into an amphitheater.

The rector of Babeș–Bolyai University, Daniel David. Photo: Facebook/Nicu Cherciu

The rector narrowed down, even more, the circle of those students who would go back to normal education. According to him, in-person classes would be reintroduced for some faculties only, those that require practical education and experimentation, like biology, physics, chemistry or other natural sciences, as well as theatre and performing arts, sports and theology.

As David explained, the university would like to offer students in their final year the possibility to do research for their final exam and dissertation papers. The same applies to PhD students, who also attend traditional, face-to-face education; but, according to the rector, this group is not significant.

David also explained that the lack of students on campus has several social and economic effects in Kolozsvár, as students make up 15 percent of the population of the city, while in Bucharest this proportion is only 5 percent. That is why the university hopes that traditional education will be restored in October. In this case, the total number of students would increase compared to last year, as 3000-4000 more students were admitted in 2020 than in 2019.

“Another scenario, which we don’t want at all, is that the government forces us to go entirely online,” the rector added. He thinks that the hybrid form would be the most reasonable. “Naturally, this is only a plan. We will also seek the views of our community and the Minister of Education. It is very unlikely that we could go back to traditional education. We want to, but I don’t think it will happen,” the rector of BBU said.

Title image: Babeș–Bolyai University is the largest university in Kolozsvár and one of the best in the country

Author: Orsi Sarány