FACULTY OF ECONOMICS AND ADMINISTRATION
The main feature of last year was the continuation of the stabilization process and detailed processing of the Faculty programme. More changes were made in the curricula of individual academic disciplines. The main efforts of the Faculty in this period were aimed at the strengthening of those subjects connected with the entry of the Czech Republic into the structures of European Union.
In the field of research, the Faculty focused on the following activities. The "Professional Success of MU Graduates in 1996" university-wide grant from the Fund for the Development of Institutes of Higher Education was implemented at the Faculty. The activities of staff and individual departments of the Faculty were organized in such a way as to form an internal grant system in which most teachers were involved. The main aim of this system is the creation of the best conditions for the long-term development of academic research projects and the academic profiling of departments.
Individual members of staff and teams participated in two projects assigned by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, two projects of the Fund for the Development of Institutes of Higher Education and six section tasks.
The Faculty held important conferences and seminars. Notable amongst these were the "Objectivization of Expenses from Public Budgets" seminar held by the Faculty together with the Association of Public Economics and the national seminar on issues connected with the teaching of the "History of Economy Theory" at faculties specializing in economics.
In June, the results of the "Prize of the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Administration" competition were announced. Students of the Faculty were able to enter the competition in two categories: the best bachelor's work and the best profession-related work. Prizes for the winners were funded by the Dean's fund.
The Faculty of Economics and Administration has conceived its curricula as belonging to a universal study programme with a credit system. These rest not only on the basis in theory of academic subjects but also enable students to manage specified methods and instruments needed for their future professional practice. At the present time, the Faculty offers courses towards bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. In conjunction with the Faculty of Science it also holds a joint course which combines economics and mathematics.
Over the last few years, there has been considerable growth in the number of applicants for study places at faculties specializing in economics. This is also the case for the Faculty of Economics and Administration of Masaryk University, and in 1997 5,537 candidates applied to study at the Faculty, 3,929 on full-time courses and 1,608 on the distance-study courses. For the full-time master's degree course, 532 applicants were enrolled, with 424 on the bachelor's distance-study course.
In the course of the 1997, the first postgraduate students of economics passed the doctoral viva voce, and with the opening of the 4th year of the postgraduate course the share of graduates of the Faculty of Economics and Administration in the total number of postgraduate doctoral students increased.
Last year, more than 1,600 students were enrolled in all course forms at the Faculty, in five subjects on the full-time master's course and also in five subjects on the bachelor's distance-study course.
As part of the regular evaluation of the quality of teaching processes, two surveys were carried out (with the support of the Centre for Scientific Information) by Faculty students. In this way, students were able to express their opinions on the quality of teaching, teaching materials, teachers and the general learning environment of the Faculty.
In order to ensure the development of services provided by the Centre for Scientific Information, the Faculty obtained a grant fron the Soros Foundation.
In the field of international relations, activities were performed based on bilateral agreements and contracts. The Faculty of Economics and Administration was involved in three TEMPUS projects, and these will continue in 1998. The first project organized one-semester study stays at institutes of higher education in Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy. The second is directed at the re-structuring of the teaching of social security in the Czech Republic, whilst the third will contribute financially to the building of a training and tuition centre at the Mendl University of Agriculture and Forestry in Brno.
In 1997, our successful cooperation with Haagse Hogeschool continued, for the most part in the form of student exchange. The offering of three one-semester scholarships for study stays in the Hague are testimony to the good reputation our students enjoy there.
Viadrina University in Frankfurt an der Oder was one of the institutes of higher education most in demand with our students. Czech undergraduates appreciate greatly the quality of teaching, the teachers' individual approach to students and its excellent material conditions.
Students at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce Chambery in France increased their interest in study stays at the Faculty of Informatics and Administration. That school granted the Faculty three scholarships, instead of only one the previous year.
In 1997, the Faculty focused on the establishing of new contacts serving for the implementation of student exchanges in the framework of the "Socrates" organization. We succeeded in concluding eleven agreements with various European institutions. The experience gained in this process will make a contribution towards the integration of the Czech Republic into the European Union.
In terms of published work, the Faculty reached its objective within the confines of its financial possibilities. We are advertising our publications more widely on the sites of Masaryk University and also in the network of public bookshops in the South Moravia region.