The opening ceremony of the festive day belonged to the Rector of Silesian University doc. Mgr. Tomáš Gongol, Ph.D. In his speech, he presented the priority areas on which the University wants to focus in the coming period. Among other things, he said: "First and foremost, we are focusing on strengthening our ability to collaborate creatively across the university. Our next goal is to raise awareness, improve services in the preparation, submission and administration of projects. We have a vision of the University as a community that supports personal and professional development, and this vision can only be fully realized if we serve and assist our staff in their development. I am delighted that this year we have already launched the first activities under the development platform "Academy of Professional and Personal Development", which serves as a space for training and growth of academic and non-academic staff in the areas of modern teaching methods, languages or mental health care." He also announced the formation of advisory and working groups on artificial intelligence, digitalization, or sustainability and invited university staff to actively participate.
"The new academic year also opens up new opportunities for us in the field of internationalisation and cooperation with foreign partners," the Rector emphasised in the next part of his speech. "Our participation in the STARS EU Alliance, a consortium of nine European universities including Silesian University, was successful and we have received funding of almost 12.5 million euros for the next four years. With this step, we have joined the eight other Czech universities that can boast the status of a European University. This project will offer our staff many opportunities to get involved in interesting international projects and activities. I am convinced that our university has a lot to offer to the partner institutions and at the same time we have a great opportunity to draw on their experience and success."
The Rector also mentioned the status of two strategic projects of the Silesian University: the new Centre for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship, International and Professional Studies (CEPIS), the construction of which is expected to start in Karviná next year, as well as the expected results of the evaluation of the Eden Silesia project, which is a key element of the University's mission to support the sustainable development of the region. "It should be noted that not everything is simple, clear and optimistic. We are all affected by the problems of financing public higher education. The University's management will continue in its effort to promote changes in funding at the national level and to support changes within the University as well."
After the Rector's information-dense speech, it was time to award the staff and representatives of cooperating bodies with university medals. Commemorative medals found 3 new laureates, bronze medals were awarded to 26 new laureates and silver medals were awarded to 6 new laureates. Gold medals were not awarded at the Academic Day ceremony, but 2 university representatives received the last type of medal awarded by the University of Silesia - the Silesia docta et culta medal.
The assembly of the academic community ended with a performance of the Silesian University Chamber Choir, which contributed to the atmosphere of the festive day with several songs from its rich repertoire. The Academic Day 2023 was finally closed with applause to the last notes of the traditional unofficial student anthem Gaudeamus igitur.
Take a look at the photos from this event in our photo gallery
List of new
medal laureates of the Silesian University in Opava: