Comenius University opens the 105th academic year

Bratislava, 18 September 2023: The oldest university in Slovakia begins its jubilee 105th academic year. On the first day of the academic year, the Rector of Comenius University presented awards to four outstanding research personalities of the university and opened a new leisure zone for students.

18. 09. 2023 15.44 hod.
By: CU External Relations Office

At the academic year opening ceremony which took place in the Auditorium of Comenius University, the Rector of the University Marek Števček awarded medals to personalities who made an extraordinary contribution to the development of both Comenius University and the society in Slovakia as a whole. The distinctions were presented to Professor Darina Tarcsiová for the enhancement of special pedagogy and for her contribution to the creation of standards of inclusive education of students with hearing impairments, to Professor Daniel Vlček for establishing a school of research for the study of DNA repair mechanisms in photoautotrophic microorganisms, to Professor Juraj Mokrý for introducing and supporting innovative methods of education into medicine and to Professor Peter Kúš for his contribution to the development of experimental physics at Comenius University.

Justification forms the principal difference between scientific knowledge and the ‘low-brow’ theory of knowledge underpinned by individualism which is so prevalent today. Justification is also the more difficult path to truth. And herein lies the role of educational and scientific institutions," said the Rector of Comenius University Marek Števček during the academic year opening ceremony. "We will need to increase emphasis on the "4C model" in education, which means educating people towards greater creativity, critical thinking, communication and cooperation. Nothing should change about the fact that educational and research institutions must tirelessly prioritise facts." he emphasized. The ceremonial nature of the assembly was enhanced at the end by the musical performance of cellist Jozef Lupták and accordionist Boris Lenko.

So far, 23,000 people have registered to study at Comenius University in 2023/2024, over 3,000 of whom are from abroad. Almost two thirds of students are women. Enrolment is still ongoing and so the figures are not final yet. The final figures will be published at the end of October. In the first academic year 1919/1920, 139 male and 5 female students enrolled in the winter semester. During the one hundred and five years of its existence, Comenius University awarded almost 300,000 degrees. It is the only university from Slovakia that has long regularly ranked in the top 1000 of nearly all international university rankings.

On the first day of the academic year, the Rector of Comenius University also officially opened a new relaxation zone for students in the vestibule of the main building on Šafárik Square. It is part of an effort to improve amenities for students and to create spaces on university premises where they can spend leisure time beyond their studies. In the jubilee year, CU is cooperating with the Starmus international festival, which brings together world personalities of science and art. Its seventh year will be held in Bratislava, and will host Nobel Prize laureates and a number of musicians.