Babeș-Bolyai University

The Babeș-Bolyai University (Romanian: Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai, Hungarian: Babeș-Bolyai Tudományegyetem, German: Babeș-Bolyai Universität), commonly known by its abbreviation, UBB, is a public university in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. UBB (1) has the longest academic tradition among the Romanian universities (starting as Academia/Universitas Claudiopolitana in 1581),[3] (2) is the largest Romanian university (with about 45,000 students in 2020 and an academic community of almost 50000 people),[4] and (3) occupies the first position among the Romanian universities in the University Metaranking (2016/2017/2018/2019/2020) initiated by the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research in 2016[5][6] (combining all the major international ranking of universities - e.g., QS, THE, ARWU).The Babeș-Bolyai University offers study programmes in Romanian, Hungarian, German, English, and French (and some programs in Italian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.). The university was named after two prominent scientists from Transylvania, the Romanian bacteriologist Victor Babeș and the Hungarian mathematician János Bolyai. It is one of the five members of the Universitaria Consortium (the group of elite Romanian universities).[7]

Babeș-Bolyai University
Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai (in Romanian)
Babeș-Bolyai Tudományegyetem (in Hungarian)
Values: Traditio et Excellentia
Seal of the Babeș-Bolyai University
Latin: Universitas Napocensis
Values: Traditio et Excellentia
MottoTraditio Nostra Unacum Europae Virtutibus Splendet (Latin)
AffiliationGuild of European Research-Intensive Universities, European University Association, International Association of Universities, Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, Association of Carpathian Region Universities, Santander Network, Balkan Universities Network
RectorDaniel David
President of the SenateFlorin Streteanu[2]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students44,726 (2018-2019)
Other students
1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street, Cluj-Napoca
46°46′04″N 23°35′29″E / 46.76767°N 23.59137°E / 46.76767; 23.59137Coordinates: 46°46′04″N 23°35′29″E / 46.76767°N 23.59137°E / 46.76767; 23.59137
LanguageRomanian, Hungarian, German, English, French
ColorsBlack and White         
WebsiteOfficial website

UBB is affiliated, inter alia, to the International Association of Universities, the Santander Group, the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie and the European University Association.[8] Likewise, UBB signed the Magna Charta Universitatum and concluded partnerships with 210 universities in 50 countries, and it is widely considered as one of the most prestigious in Eastern Europe.[9] The Babeș-Bolyai University is classified as an advanced research and education university by the Ministry of Education.[10]


Victor Babeș (above) and János Bolyai (below), whose names the university bears.

The history of the education in Kolozsvár, (Romanian: Cluj German: Klausenburg, Principality of Transylvania) begins in 1581, with the establishment of the Jesuit college by Stephen Báthory.[11] The college received buildings and land within the medieval city walls, specifically on Platea Luporum (the present Mihail Kogălniceanu Street). The first rector of the Collegium Academicum Claudiopolitanum was the Polish Jesuit priest Jakub Wujek.[12] The institution had the rights to confer the university/academic titles of baccalaureus, magister, and doctor. In 1585, there were 230 students studying here, divided into six classes. The language of instruction and learning was Latin. After 1698, the institution was named Universitas Claudiopolitana (see the cover of the book from 1742 by Andreas Matis entitled Peregrinus Catholicus de peregrina unitaria religione), with teachings in Latin and later also in German. In 1753, Empress Maria Theresa changed the status of the university into an imperial one, and in 1773, after the dissolution of the Jesuit Order, the university went under the administration of the Piarist order. In 1786 Universitas Claudiopolitana became the Royal Academic Lyceum (Lyceum Regium Academicum - semiuniversity statute), which was later followed by two institutions with a semiuniversity statute (e.g., offering training at of baccalaureus/magister level, but not at doctor level): (a) the Surgical-Medical Institute and (b) the Academy of Law. This institutions will be later incorporated in the Franz Joseph University.[13][14]

Franz Joseph University around 1900. Caption from the 23rd volume of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in Words and Pictures

With the affirmation of the Romanian nation, in the context of the European revolutions of 1848, was explicitly questioned the issue on university in national language. At the express request of the Romanians, in 1870, József Eötvös, then Minister of Education, proposes the creation in Kolozsvár of a university teaching in Hungarian, Romanian and German, idea also welcomed by the Romanian elite. Meanwhile, Eötvös dies, and in 1872, Franz Joseph I legislates the establishment of the Hungarian Royal University of Kolozsvár in Hungarian only, which caused dissatisfaction among Romanians.[15] After the oath, on 20 December 1872, 258 students start courses. There were created four distinct faculties: Faculty of Law and State Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and History, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The faculties were equal to each other and enjoyed internal autonomy. The first rector was Professor Áron Berde from the Faculty of Law, specialist in economics and finance. Besides the four faculties is created a Pedagogical Institute, for training secondary school teachers. From 1895 the girls had the right to learn at university.[16]

After the First World War, and in the context of the Great Union of 1918, the university was taken over by the Romanian authorities and became an institution of Greater Romania. Hungarian staff who have not sworn allegiance to the new Romanian state were expelled and they moved to the Hungarian University of Szeged (1921).[15]

On 12 May 1919 was constituted the Romanian University of Cluj. The new Romanian university, initially named Superior Dacia University, later King Ferdinand I University, was opened on 3 November 1919, and officially inaugurated on 1–2 February 1920 in the presence of King Ferdinand I.[15]

In 1940, after territorial revision imposed by the Second Vienna Award, the university was moved to Timișoara and Sibiu,[16] and the former Hungarian university was recreated in the city, returning from the Hungarian University of Szeged. After the end of the Second World War and the repeal of the Vienna Award, on 1 June 1945, Romanian authorities moved back in Cluj the Romanian King Ferdinand I University (later renamed to Victor Babeș University), and established Bolyai University, a state university teaching in Hungarian, with four faculties (Letters and Philosophy, Law and Political Economy, Sciences, and Human Medicine which, in 1948, was separated and moved to Târgu Mureș to form the University of Medicine and Pharmacy).[15]

In the spring of 1959, the two educational institutions were united under the name Babeș-Bolyai University,[15] after two renowned scholars: Romanian biologist Victor Babeș and Hungarian mathematician János Bolyai. In 1995, the Babeș-Bolyai University reorganises its structure, introducing a multicultural based education.[15]

UBB is today a complex university, having programs from art/humanities, social sciences, life and natural sciences, mathematics/computer sciences to engineering and technology.[17]

The Academic tradition of Babeș-Bolyai University
The Diploma issued by Stephan Bathory in 1581 establishing the Claudiopolitan Academy Societatis Jesu in Cluj, having the rights to confer the university/academic titles of baccalaureus, magister, and doctor.

Campuses and buildingsEdit

Central University Library seen from Clinicilor Street
The central building of the University
Tholdalagy-Korda Palace is the headquarters of technical administration of the Babeș-Bolyai University.

The main campus is located in the city of Cluj-Napoca, with the university buildings spread across the city. The university has 17 student housing areas,[18] totaling 5,280 places to stay (4,964 for students, 100 for athletes and 216 for PhD);[19] most notable are Hașdeu and Economica. All dormitories are renovated, thermally insulated, have double-glazed windows, laminate flooring and chipboard or wood furniture. The Lucian Blaga University Library is located in the city centre. The university also has several colleges located in other cities spread across Transylvania and Maramureș.

Within the university's cultural heritage are the University Museum (established in April 2001, with a collection of more than 750 original and facsimile pieces),[20] the Mineralogical Museum, the Botanical Museum, the Paleontology-Stratigraphy Museum, the Vivarium and the Zoological Museum.


Babeș-Bolyai University has almost 45.000 students in 2019. Between 1993 and 2019, the number of students has quadrupled, from 12,247 in 1993 to 44,940 in 2019.[4][21] The structure of the student body is composed out of over 1,200 PhD students, 8,600 master's degree students, and 31,800 undergraduates. The university has 21 faculties and over 2,800 faculty members. It offers bachelor's, master's, and PhD degrees, along with advanced postgraduate studies. UBB is the only university in Europe that has four faculties of theology (Orthodox, Reformed, Roman Catholic, and Greek Catholic).[22]

The university is in an multicultural institution which is very well illustrated by its structure: there are 291 study programmes in Romanian (148 bachelor's studies and 143 master's studies); 110 study programmes in Hungarian (70 bachelor's studies and 40 master's studies); and 15 study programmes in German (10 bachelor's studies and 5 master's studies).[4] The Hungarian and German minorities are proportionately represented in the Professors' Council and the University Senate.

41.5% of foreign students come from Moldova and Ukraine, 27.4% from EU and EEA, and 31.1% from non-EU and non-EEA states.[23]

Evolution of number of students over time[24]
Year Number of students


Faculty Address Specializations[17]
Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street
Faculty of Physics 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street
Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering 11 Arany János Street
Faculty of Geography 44 Republicii Street
Faculty of Biology and Geology 5–7 Clinicilor Street
Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Engineering 30 Fântânele Street
Faculty of Law 11 Avram Iancu Street
Faculty of Literature 31 Horea Street
Faculty of History and Philosophy 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street
Faculty of Sociology and Social Assistance 128–130 21 Decembrie 1989 Boulevard
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences 7 Sindicatelor Street
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration 58–60 Teodor Mihali Street
Faculty of European Studies 1 Emmanuel de Martonne Street
Faculty of Business 7 Horea Street
Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences 71 General Traian Moșoiu Street
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport 7 Pandurilor Street
Faculty of Orthodox Theology Episcop Nicolae Ivan, F. N. Street
Faculty of Greek Catholic Theology 26 Moților Street
Faculty of Reformed Theology 7 Horea Street
Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology 2 Iuliu Maniu Street
Faculty of Theatre and Television 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu Street


University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[25]701-800 (2019)

UBB typically occupies the first position among the Romanian universities in the major international ranking of universities. In 2016, the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research commissioned the University Metaranking, combining the major international rankings of universities, as recognized by IREG). Since 2016, UBB occupies the first position among Romanian universities.[5][6] In 2019, based on British QS STAR academic audit,[26] UBB was evaluated as an international university with excellence in teaching and research (QS****).

Hungarian sectionEdit

In 1995, the Babeș-Bolyai University introduced an educational system backed by the High Commissioner on National Minorities[27] and based on multiculturalism and multilingualism, with three lines of study (Romanian, Hungarian and German) at all levels of academic degrees.[28]

The Hungarian section enrolls 4,874 students in 115 study programmes (75 bachelor's level and 40 master's level); the university is thus the principal institution that educates members of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania.[28]

Hungarian-Romanian disputeEdit

The Hungarian section of the university has a partial autonomy,[29] gradually increasing in the recent years.[30] However, in the opinion of the Council of the Hungarian section, those members appointed by the Hungarian-speaking teaching staff desire a more institutionalized form of autonomy. Since university decision-making is based on majority vote of the entire faculty, the Hungarian representatives in minority can always be silenced by this procedure.

In November 2006, Hantz Péter and Kovács Lehel, lecturers at the Babeș-Bolyai University, were discharged by the university after a series of actions started in October 2005 taken for language equality. They were campaigning for the re-organization of the Bolyai University by splitting it in two independent institutions.[31] On 22 November 2006, the University organized an exhibition in the European Parliament, where they tried to give the impression that there are multilingual signs at the university. That day, Hantz added signs like "Information" and "No smoking" in Hungarian alongside those ones in Romanian.[32] The two acted upon a decree permitting the use of multilingual signs, which had been decreed by the university but never put in practice, and official claims that the university is a multicultural institution with three working languages (Romanian, German and Hungarian).[33] On 27 November 2006, the Senate voted for exclusion of the two lecturers, with 72 for and 9 against (from 2 Romanian and 7 Hungarian members) votes. The Hungarian academic community is convinced that the exclusion was not a disciplinary action, but the vote was not ethnic based.[32] In spite of protests, the resignation out of solidarity by several Hungarian-speaking university staff, and a call by 24 Hungarian MEPs for the reinstatement of the lecturers, they remained unemployed.[32] The parties in the Hungarian Parliament asked the university to reinstate the two professors and respect the rights of the Hungarian minority. The presidents of the five parties represented in the Hungarian Parliament signed a statement of protest. Istvan Hiller, the Education Minister of Hungary, wrote to his Romanian counterpart Mihail Hărdău, asking for his help on the issue.[33] The case has also been put forward in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Göran Lindblad, from the Swedish European People's Party, along with 24 signatories from 19 European countries, presented a motion for a resolution on the alleged breaching of the 1994 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by the Romanian Government.[34]

The two lecturers sued Romania at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg. Hantz and Kovacs turned to former Hungarian Justice Minister Albert Takács to represent them at the ECHR, eventually accepting the proposal.[35] In 2008, the European Court of Human Rights established that the decision of UBB Senate to exclude Hantz Péter and Kovács Lehel from the teaching staff of the educational institution was legal.[36]

In 2010, the education law has sparked numerous controversies by promoting ethnic segregation in higher education, according to teachers representatives.[37] Anton Hadăr, President of Alma Mater Federation of Trade Unions in University Education considers that the separation of UBB on ethnic criteria would be not only risky but also unproductive. Among main disadvantages would be the increasingly serious gaps of ethnic Hungarians regarding the knowledge of Romanian language. Romanian MEP Corina Crețu warned that adopting the education law, with the claims of UDMR, would have harmful effects especially in Cluj. "Applying the law could lead to breaking UBB", stated Crețu.[37]

Faculty, alumni and rectorsEdit

Professors and alumni:


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Raportul Rectorului privind starea Universității Babeș-Bolyai din Cluj-Napoca în anul 2015" (PDF). UBB (in Romanian). February 2016.
  2. ^ "Conducerea Senatului". Senatul Universității Babeș-Bolyai (in Romanian).
  3. ^ "Traditie si Excelenta-Scolile academice/de stiinta la Universitatea Babes-Bolyai din Cluj-Napoca (1581-1872-1919-prezent)" (in Romanian)
  4. ^ a b c "Raportul Rectorului privind starea Universitatii Babes-Bolyai din Cluj-Napoca în anul 2019" (in Romanian)
  5. ^ a b "Raport asupra Exercițiului Național de Metaranking Universitar-2016"(in Romanian)
  6. ^ a b "Metarankingul Universitar-2019 Clasamentul Universităților din România"(in Romanian)
  7. ^ Consorțiul Universitaria – viitorul învățământului superior românesc de calitate (in Romanian)
  8. ^ "Affiliations". UBB.
  9. ^ "Partners". UBB.
  10. ^ "Lista Institutiile de invatamant superior acreditate, clasificate ca universitati de cercetare avansata si educatie (conform OM 5262/2011)" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  11. ^ Pop, Ioan-Aurel (2012). "Începuturile: Colegiul iezuit din 1579-1581". Istoria Universităţii "Babeş-Bolyai" (in Romanian). pp. 12–29.
  12. ^ Stanciu, Elena (27 August 2014). "Un secol de învățământ superior românesc la Cluj". Agerpres (in Romanian).
  13. ^ Makk F., Marjanucz, L. (2011). A Szegedi Tudományegyetem és elődei története (1581-2011). University of Szeged. ISBN 9789633060940.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "Babeș-Bolyai University - short history".
  15. ^ a b c d e f "Repere istorice ale universităţii clujene". Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 2015-11-09. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  16. ^ a b Ghiță, Ovidiu (2012). Istoria Universităţii Babeş-Bolyai (in Romanian). Mega. ISBN 978-606-543-222-2.
  17. ^ a b "Admission at Babeș-Bolyai University
  18. ^ "Cazare în cămine". Consiliul Studenților din Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 2015-09-27.
  19. ^ "Universităţile clujene oferă peste 12.000 de locuri în cămine pentru 72.000 de studenţi". (in Romanian). 17 September 2012.
  20. ^ "Muzeul Universităţii". UBB (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 2015-07-21.
  21. ^ Oros, Ioana (19 April 2013). "Analiza: 80.000 de studenti aduc la Cluj, anual, 400 de milioane de euro". Ziar de Cluj (in Romanian).
  22. ^ Ghidul studentului din Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai. p. 5. Archived from the original on 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2016-05-09.
  23. ^ "Date statistice". UBB (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 2015-11-20.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-13. Retrieved 2015-08-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ [Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019]
  26. ^ "QS Stars rating system"
  27. ^ Morawa, Alexander H. E. (2005). Mechanisms for the implementation of minority rights. Council of Europe Publishing. ISBN 978-92-871-5499-6.
  28. ^ a b "The multicultural feature". UBB. Archived from the original on 2014-03-03.
  29. ^ "Carta Universității Babeș-Bolyai" (PDF). UBB (in Romanian). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-06-08.
  30. ^ Padurean, Claudiu (10 March 2006). "UBB isi consolideaza pozitia in mediul academic romanesc". Romania Libera (in Romanian).
  31. ^ Padurean, Claudiu; Sarbu, Daniel (1 December 2006). "Scandalul placutelor de la UBB a provocat demisia a doi prorectori". (in Romanian).
  32. ^ a b c Tharan-Trieb, Marianne (17 January 2007). "Sacked Hungarian lecturers fail to get re-instated" (PDF). Eurolang.
  33. ^ a b "Hungary asks Romania to reinstate 2 ethnic Hungarian professors expelled by university" (PDF). Associated Press.
  34. ^ McCall, Becky (23 February 2007). "Motion supports sacked lecturer" (PDF). The Times.
  35. ^ "Doi profesori universitari din Cluj dau în judecată statul român la Strasbourg". Ziua de Cluj (in Romanian). 30 April 2008.[permanent dead link]
  36. ^ "Justitia a stabilit: Inlaturarea lui Hantz Peter si Kovacs Lehel din cadrul UBB a fost legala". (in Romanian). 1 December 2008.
  37. ^ a b Leonte, Loredana (8 November 2010). ""Maghiarii forţează nota!" Integritatea UBB-ului, pusă în pericol de legea educaţiei!". Cotidianul Transilvan (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2015-08-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit