Thursday, 20 May 2021

Croatian Mathematical Society (HMD) Has a New President, Dr. Vesna Županović

May 20, 2021 - Earlier in May, the Croatian Mathematical Society (HMD) elected a new president, Dr. Vesna Županović.

As Vedran Pavlić wrote for TCN back in 2016, Croatian students were then better in math than in 2011. Fantastic results were also accomplished in 2018 when Croatian students scored medals at the mathematical olympiad. Good results didn't go amiss in 2020, and initiatives for promoting science (such as the one of the Local History Museum in the central town of Ogulin that introduced kindergarten kids with quantum physics), appear all over the country.

Scientists do have their own professional associations, representing them and with more engaging, less engaging, with bigger, or smaller success, work on the promotion of their respective fields. Mathematicians are no exception, and it's worth noting that the Croatian Mathematical Society (HMD) recently has a new president, Dr. Vesna Županović. Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) at the University of Zagreb reported on its website, an online assembly of HMD voted that Županović be the new president on May 14, replacing dr. Hrvoje Kraljević was the president for the past 14 years.

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Vesna Županović, screenshot / Treći element

Apart from her new function, Županović is the professor at FER's department for applied mathematics.

Being the faculty that expects excellent mathematical knowledge, FER is quite happy with this decision of HMD, and they also explained the importance of the aforementioned society.

„HMD goal is to enhance and promote mathematical sciences, math education on all levels, math applying in other fields, as well as enhancing the social status of mathematicians in general“, said FER on their website while congratulating. Županović on being elected.


They added that HMD has five departments: education, scientific, engineering, professional, and student department, along with a youth section that gathers pupils on lower levels of the education system. Publishing scientific and professional magazines and books on math is in the domain of the organization too.


Before being president, Dr. Županović was the Head of the Engineering department on HMD. Born in Split in 1965, she graduated from Mathematical Gymnasium in Split and went on to Zagreb to study math at the Faculty of Science (PMF), University of Zagreb. Her competence in math includes Nonlinear equations, Bifurcation, Fractals, Limit-cycles, Nonlinear dynamical systems, and Spirals.

Croatian Mathematical Society stated on its website that they are organizing conferences, math competitions, participation in math Olympics and other international contests, summer schools, and more.

In 1994, HMD also started a Mathematical Foundation For Science with a goal to award young scientists for their contribution. The receiver of the award can't be more than 35 years old, and concluding with 2015; five awards have been given in total since the first award in 1996.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Croatian European Research Council (ERC) Fund Receiver: Meet Brilliant Dr. Vernesa Smolčić

May 13, 2021 - With Croatian scientists' reputation on the rise on the world stage, dr. Vernessa Smolčić is now the Croatian European Research Council (ERC) Fund Receiver. 

Croatian scientists continue to impact the European science scene. As the Faculty of Science (PMF) at the University of Zagreb reports on its website, their scientist and professor, dr. Vernesa Smolčić is one of the 10,000 receivers of non-returnable funds by the European Research Council (ERC). As PMF states, the excellence of research work is the only criteria to get these funds.

„Scientists compete in a very strong international competition in which the European Commission from the total number of applications picks up only 8-15% of the best. Projects founded by the ERC are the best researches in all of Europe, and working on ERC projects increase international recognition of the research, and cooperation with the elite global universities“, says PMF.

An online ceremony saw representatives of ERC welcoming all 10,000 receivers with particularly pointing out the top 15 who contributed to the transformation of science and research.

One of them was, you guessed it, dr. Vernessa Smolčić.

„Vernesa Smolčić studied physics at the University of Zagreb, where she is now a full professor at the Department of Physics in the Faculty of Science. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, followed by a postdoctoral position at Caltech in California, USA. In 2009, she obtained an independent ESO ALMA COFUND Fellowship from the European Southern Observatory. In 2013, she won one of the first ERC Starting Grants in Croatia“, says the ERC website.

vernesa_smolcic.jpg

screenshot / Astroučionica

The website also offers more details on how Smolčić (and other scientists, for that matter) made an incredible contribution in expanding human knowledge.

As Smolčić explained for the ERC website, there were more than a few unknowns in the astrophysics field due, primarily to instrumental limitations at the time. But, in 2014, „Smolčić’s team was one of the first to use new and upgraded radio telescopes in Chile, USA, Australia, and India. These telescopes offered a higher level of accuracy for tracing star formations and detecting galaxies, stretching back to when the universe was very young“, writes ERC.

„While the observation phase was very time consuming, Smolčić was immediately taken aback by the extent of the data. She was not only probing new areas of Space, but she was observing radio wavelengths that no other scientist had been able to see through a telescope lens in such detail, or for so many galaxies. Three years down the line, her team had over 850 hours of data. They analyzed and assembled datasets (radio sky mosaics, data collections) on various types of galaxies, their sources, and physical properties. These datasets were made publicly available to the broader astronomy community, to be used by other scientists to explore more of the universe’s unknowns“, concludes ERC.

„ERC funding really allowed me to conduct my research at the highest competitive levels“, said Smolčić. And you can learn more about her work in this interesting podcast.

European Research Council was established in 2007. As they say themselves, their mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields, based on scientific excellence.

„The ERC complements other funding activities in Europe such as those of the national research funding agencies, and is a flagship component of Horizon Europe, the European Union's Research Framework Programme for 2021 to 2027“, they said.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Future of Europe: Successful Croatian Stories

ZAGREB, 11 May, 2021 - Successful Croatian stories and a plan to include citizens in Europe's development were presented on Tuesday at the Croatian parliament, during the first part of the "Conference on the Future of Europe - A Vision of Croatia," during which Speaker Gordan Jandroković entered a debate with a robot.

The Conference on the Future of Europe is a pan-European, democratic project during which citizens have an opportunity to decide on how the EU should develop.

This is a project in which "citizens are in the centre," European Commissioner for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica said.

Citizens can participate in panel discussions, debates and the plenary session, in which 108 seats are reserved for citizens.

An equal number is allocated to representatives of national parliaments and MEPs.

The plenary session will also include 54 Council representatives (two for each member state), three members of the European Commission, and representatives of the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Council, social partners and civil society.

"If we miss out on including citizens, we will leave room for populist ideas," said Šuica.

The conference provides a digital platform where citizens can exchange ideas, connect, make recommendations and launch initiatives.

Šuica warned that according to forecasts, by 2070 Europeans will account for only 4% of the global population and she believes that demography will be a point of interest for citizens.

Robot  argues with Jandroković

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković was the conference's host and during his opening address he was interrupted by Pepper the robot who warned him that he had violated the Standing Orders.

Pepper was made at the Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering in Zagreb.

Pepper and Jandroković then debated about parliamentary procedures. 

Jandroković explained that this is a demonstration of what the future holds.

"If we are not smart enough, robots will manage us and not the other way around," he said.

Successful Croatian stories 

Several successful Croatian stories were then presented to the parliament, including a project by the Sisak-Moslavina County Development Agency (SIMORA) promoting the town of Novska as the centre of the gaming industry in Croatia.

SIMORA director Mario Čelan said that the gaming industry, particularly now during the pandemic, had surpassed the film and music industry with regard to total revenue generated.

He added that the project had already launched 49 start-ups and that a new, four-year study programme for gaming technicians had been developed as well as that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan envisaged a gaming industry campus.

This has motivated young people to settle in Novska and the town now has the largest number of companies in its history, he said.

Dragan Schwarz spoke about Radiochirurgia, a special hospital for oncology patients in Zagreb.

More than 45,000 patients have been examined in the five years since the hospital's establishment and more than 4,000 operations were performed, said Schwarz.

"Our results put us at the very top of the global scene," he added.

Sven Lončarić spoke about the Artificial Intelligence Centre (CAI) of the Zagreb Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering (FER), which consists of 19 research laboratories, with FER currently implementing around 260 projects financed from national and international sources.  

Boranka campaign, Toljanić family awarded with Croatian Sabor medal

Scouts Croatia and the Toljanić family from the island of Krk were awarded with the Croatian Sabor medal.

The Boranka project, implemented by the scouts' alliance, has been awarded with the European Citizen's Prize by the European Parliament in 2020.

Boranka is the largest reforestation project in all of Europe. To date more than 7,000 volunteers have planted more than 85,000 new trees in fire-devastated areas of Dalmatia.

The Toljanić family was named European Family of the Year in 2020. The family has 12 children and has developed a successful winery and hospitality business.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

 

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art Exhibition on Former Zagreb Mayor Većeslav Holjevac

April 4, 2021- Following the 50th anniversary of the death of Većeslav Holjevac, the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition on the former and historically significant mayor is an excellent opportunity to meet the guy who shaped Zagreb in the previous century.

Apart from the horror of the pandemic and earthquakes, 2020 was the 50th anniversary of the death of Većeslav Holjevac – who is considered to be one of the greatest mayors in Zagreb's history.

As ZG Portal reports, last month an exhibition dedicated to Holjevac started in the gallery of the Museum of Contemporary art, and you can view it until May 20.
The Zagreb of Većeslav Holjevac 1952 to 1963 – Urbanist Vision And Architectural Reach is an exhibition that takes a look at the eleven-year mandate of this significant mayor who transformed Zagreb in the post World War 2 era. Fifty themes and representative examples of urban and architectural achievements which were built, projected, or planned in Holjevac's term. This included three key Strategic urbanistic documents which played a key role in the development of Zagreb and were decided at that time.

The authors of the exhibition are architect Ivan Mlinar which conducted Urbanistic research on Zagreb in the time of Holjevac, and historian Hrvoje Klasić who was in charge of biographical research.

The exhibits were donated by the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Zagreb City Museum, Architecture Museum of Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Faculty of Architecture on Zagreb University, Jadran Film, and Zagreb film studio.

The 35th Zagreb mayor and the total number of mayors in Zagreb throughout its history includes 52 names. Today, Većeslav Holjevac has his own avenue at the entrance to Most Slobode (Liberty bridge), which allows citizens to cross the Sava river and enter Novi Zagreb (New Zagreb), and the statue of Holjevac overlooks the area of Zagreb he built in what is commonly known as „Jump Over Sava“.

Apart from being mayor, Holjevac took various different roles in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. Known as a bold person with vision, competence, and bravery, he made Zagreb one of the most developed cities in Yugoslavia, and despite having various rivals, he enjoyed the support of Yugoslavian president Marshall Josip Broz Tito, which allowed him to make his projects a reality.

Learn more about Zagreb on our TC page.

For more about history in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 5 April 2021

Zagreb Uni Innovation Potential Blossoms with 124.6 Million Kuna Contract

April the 4th, 2021 - The Zagreb Uni is one of the leading educational faculties in the country, continually producing and then ''releasing'' many highly talented students across an array of different fields. It has showcased its innovation potential yet again in the form of a concluded contract worth a massive 124.6 million kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the strong innovation potential of the Zagreb Uni (SuZg) has once again been well and truly confirmed, this time right here on the Croatian market. The above has been done through a contract worth a massive 124.6 million kuna, which, with nine components, has just been signed with the Ministry of Science and Education.

These contracts ensure the implementation of a total of 22 projects approved by the Zagreb Uni and its faculties, out of the total number of approved projects concerning the Zagreb Uni, as many as 12 of them refer to projects being undertaken by only two Zagreb faculties - the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (6) and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (6).

These are projects that deserve a considerable amount of attention, because (among other reasons) they are being implemented, according to the spokesperson of the University of Zagreb Tamari Dagen, in cooperation with stakeholders from the business sector, who are project partners to scientific institutions. When it comes to selected FER projects, among them, for example, one of the most valuable of all is the one entitled "The development of an advanced electric bicycle charging station for a smart city", in the amount of 6.691 million kuna.

The aim of the call/invitation in regard to these projects was to direct research towards the needs of the economy, supporting research, development and innovation projects of research organisations in cooperation with the business sector, and in accordance with thematic and sub-thematic priority areas of the Smart Specialisation Strategy of the Republic of Croatia.

As part of the procedure, a total of 31 projects were eventually approved, and 177.3 million kuna in grants were awarded, which were provided from the European Regional Development Fund. That funding is intended for the implementation of applied research that is in being carried out in the field of industrial research and/or experimental development.

In addition to these faculties of the Zagreb Uni, one project was approved for the Faculty of Agriculture, the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, the Faculty of Geotechnics, the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology. Two other projects relate to the Faculty of Civil Engineering, while three have been approved for the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Science Union Ousts Zagreb University Chancellor Damir Boras And Vice-Chancellor Miljenko Šimpraga

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - The Independent Union of Research and Higher Education Employees of Croatia on Friday said that Zagreb University Chancellor Damir Boras and Vice-Chancellor Miljenko Šimpraga had been ousted as their actions were contrary to values promoted by the union and the academic community.

The union said Boras and Šimpraga had committed gross violations of the principles of the academic community as defined by the relevant documents of Croatian universities and the union's statute.

On a number of occasions Boras violated the academic rights and freedoms of employees of the Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences as well as their right to elect the faculty head by rejecting the candidates recommended by the Faculty Council on three occasions, the union said.

It added that Boras had obstructed the implementation of the Zagreb University collective agreement and had been running the university autocratically.

The union further said that as the acting dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Šimpraga had acted contrary to union goals and principles, treating some employees in a way that was disturbing and insulting while threatening those whose views and actions were contrary to his with cautions and dismissal.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Senate to Discuss Situation at Zagreb University in One Month

ZAGREB, 13 February, 2021 - The chairman of the University of Zagreb University Council, Luka Burilović, said on Friday the Council requested and rector Damir Boras accepted to convene a Senate session on the state of affairs at the university in a month's time.

Speaking to the press, Burilović said Boras attended the session as a guest.

Asked if the University Council discussed the rector's responsibility for the situation at the university, he said the rector answered to the Senate and that only the Senate could discuss the rector's responsibility and make a decision. The University Council, he added, is an advisory and oversight body.

Constituent units should deal with sexual harassment

The Council also discussed the reports of sexual harassment at the university, concluding that the university must be a place of zero tolerance to any abuse and made it clear that sexual harassment and abuse is humanly, ethically and morally unacceptable.

The Council also expressed regret and strong support to all victims, referring them to take institutional action in line with the university's Code of Ethics.

Speaking of the Code, Burilović said it was from 2007 and that the Council recommended that the governing structures establish a permanent expert body that would oversee and help the university's constituent units deal with sexual harassment reports.

The Council also recommended organising comprehensive education for employees and students to prevent sexual harassment and abuse as much as possible.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Croatian Female Postgraduate Students Outnumber Men 2:1

January 18, 2021 – Newly released figures examining further education demographics show that Croatian female postgraduate students account for a huge 66.3 percent of all those enrolled at this level in the country

Nobody is really sure for just how long women have lived in an imbalanced society. The patriarchal system stretches back thousands of years, favouring male authority and male heirs. It is only within the relatively recent past that we have rightly begun to question the social, legal, political, religious, and economic restraints placed upon women. Key to their continuing emancipation has been equal opportunities in education.

In Croatia, where some consider the patriarchal system to have stubbornly lingered for longer than in other parts of Europe, evidence of society's continuing shift can be seen in the latest figures for higher education. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), within the field of specialist studies in the academic year 2019/2020, Croatian female postgraduate students outnumber their male counterparts at almost 2:1.

Of 1429 students who enrolled in specialist continuing studies for the year 2000, some 948 of them were Croatian female postgraduate students. Croatian female postgraduate students account for 66.3 percent of all students enrolled at this level in the country, with their male counterparts accounting for just 33.7 percent.

Social sciences (cultural and social anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, and economics) accounted for the largest area in which Croatian female postgraduate students chose to study, accounting for 43.7 percent of female enrolments. The next most popular areas of study for Croatian female postgraduate students were biomedicine and health (42.8 percent), followed by technical sciences (5.7 percent), interdisciplinary fields of science (4.5 percent) then natural sciences (1.1 percent). Less than one percent of Croatian female postgraduate students enrolled in the humanities (0.9 percent), biotechnical sciences (0.7 percent) and the arts (0.6 percent).

architectpartfiinny.jpg

Most postgraduate specialist students enrolled at the University of Zagreb (79.3 percent), followed by the University of Rijeka (10.5 percent), the University of Osijek (6.9 percent), the University of Split (2.5 percent), and Libertas International University Zagreb (0.8 percent).

Croatian female postgraduate students accounted for 81.8 percent of enrolments for this level of study at Libertas International University Zagreb, 77.8 percent at the University of Split, 68 percent at the University of Zagreb, 62.2 percent at the University of Osijek, and 52.6 percent at the University of Rijeka.

unizgggg.jpgThe University of Zagreb © University of Zagreb

Most students enrolling for studies at the postgraduate level were aged 30 to 34 years (36.1 percent), with 24.8 percent being in the 25 to 29 age group. 19 percent were in the 35 to 39 age group, 9.9 percent in the 40 to 44 age group, 5.7 percent in the 45 to 49 age group, 2.4 percent in the 50 to 54 age group, 1.1 percent in the 55+ age group and 1 percent were aged 24-years-old.

98.3 percent of all postgraduate students enrolled at universities in Croatia are citizens of the Republic of Croatia. Foreigners choosing to undertake their postgraduate studies at universities in Croatia accounted for just 1.7 percent of enrolments. Of the Croatian citizens, 97 percent had previously graduated in the Republic of Croatia, and 3 percent abroad.

97 percent of all postgraduate students are already employed and 3 percent unemployed. 42.8 percent are employed in the field of healthcare and social care. Employers paid for the greatest share of postgraduate course fees - 55.8 percent of postgraduate students had their course fees paid for by their employer. 43.7 percent of students paid for their own study fees.

Monday, 7 December 2020

Faculty of Science Gets First Biomedical Mathematics Study in Croatia

December 7, 2020 – The Department of Mathematics of the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, introduces a new and the first graduate biomedical mathematics study in Croatia, which is also the first such study program in this part of Europe. It will be taught entirely in English.

As Jutarnji.hr reports, the news was announced on Friday, December 4, at the final press conference of the BioMedMath project, funded by the European Union within the Operational Program Effective Human Resources European Social Fund.

Project manager prof. Dr. sc. Hrvoje Šikić points out that the basic idea of the need for such a study has been present for some ten years, but the support of the European Social Fund has given a great impetus to the implementation of this project, which comes at the right time.

"The growing role of mathematics in biology and medicine is already noticeable to the general public, mainly due to the realization of the famous Human Genome project. Recent events related to this year's pandemic and daily reporting on various predictions based on mathematical models highlight the need for collaboration between biologists, medical professionals, and mathematicians.

Among other things, today, sophisticated mathematical methods are present in genetics, bioinformatics, tumor growth modeling, brain research, cardiovascular system, organ growth processes, aging processes, evolutionary processes, ecology," said prof. Dr. sc. Šikić.

The study of biomedical mathematics is a two-year international program taught entirely in English and is primarily intended for students who have completed university undergraduate study of mathematics or equivalent study anywhere in the world. Along with additional mathematics courses, it will also be open to students who have completed various other related undergraduate studies.

Since this is the first of such a study program in Croatia and beyond, the project has established cooperation with an institution with many years of experience in this field – the University of Oxford, one of the world's leading centers for biomedical mathematics. The project manager also notes that the lecturers at the study will be experts in mathematics, biology, and medicine.

"Fortunately, we managed to gather a fantastic group of associates from the Department of Biology and Mathematics, School of Medicine, and the Ruđer Bošković Institute. We can offer a modern, globally competitive program, which is based mainly on research that project associates regularly conduct in their scientific work," said Šikić.

Dean of the Faculty of Science, prof. Dr. sc. Mirko Planinić said that the Faculty's mission is to change our society with knowledge.

"Opening a new study of biomedical mathematics in English is one step in that direction. Our greatest treasures are talents, and through this study, these talents are developed and connected with Croatia due to the stimulating environment at our Faculty, which managed to gather a team of internationally recognized experts," said Planinić.

Work on the project ends at the end of this year when the program goes into the accreditation process. Since the University of Zagreb already has significant experience with the influx of international students (student visas, organization of stay, accommodation, learning about the Croatian language and culture), they expect that the study will start very soon after the international evaluation.

"We are sure that the experts we will educate in this program will be ambassadors of scientific excellence. There will be places for such trained staff on the labor market and in a society in which trust in scientific expertise should be constantly developed," concluded the dean.

To read more news about Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb Celebrates 100 Years

ZAGREB December 5, 2020 – With over 9000 students currently enrolled, the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb is the largest faculty in Croatia. In 2020, this internationally renowned institution celebrates its 100th birthday, so TCN decided to take a closer look.

Every other student you meet in Croatia seems to study economy. It makes you wonder where they all go to after their studies are complete. Are there really so many positions for economists in Croatia?

In 2020, the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb celebrates its 100th birthday. The long list of its famous former students gives a clue to where all the Croatian economists go – the tourism sector, diplomacy and international relations, business, politics and government.

SG-council-of-europe-2020-42020.jpgMarija Pejčinović Burić, a graduate of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Zagreb and the current Secretary General of the Council of Europe. After graduating, like Savka Dabčević-Kučar, she became o doctor of economics and before taking her current position served as Croatia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs © Council of Europe

Graduates of the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb have served as mayors of Zagreb and Split, Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia, Minister of Finance, Minister of the Economy, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Governers of the Croatian National Bank, Vice-President of the UN World Food Council, President of the Croatian Football Association, Minister of Environmental and Nature Protection, special advisors to the President of Croatia and countless university professors, including several former rectors of the University of Zagreb. Within its graduate professors, it has produced no less than 19 full members of the prestigious Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, more than any other single institution in the country.

wikiSlavka.jpgSavka Dabčević-Kučar, a graduate of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Zagreb. Born on Korčula, she became an anti-fascist in World War II, joining the partisans after her brother was beaten by fascists. After graduating, she continued to study at the faculty and became one of the first doctors of economics in Croatia, raising eyebrows by choosing to write her doctorate dissertation about a non-Marxist economic theorist (Englishman John Maynard Keynes). She became a professor at the faculty in the 1950s and despite her great advances in political life, remained a committed teacher at the faculty until 1971. In 1967, she was elected President of the Socialist Republic of Croatia. In 1969, she moved to an even more important position - that of president of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Croatia. She was the first woman in Europe to be appointed head of government of a political entity and the first female in Croatia to hold an office equivalent to a head of government. In this picture, she addressed supporters on Ban Jelacic Square Zagreb during the movement called the Croatian Spring, which called for greater autonomy for Croatia. At the address, thousands cheered her as “Savka, queen of the Croats”. For her pivotal role in the movement, she was removed from her positions and public life and retired. She returned to politics in 1990 upon the collapse of communism in Europe and during the Croatian war of independence was one of the few politicians who visited the front lines of battle in Slavonia, Petrinja, Pokupski and the Dalmatian hinterland

The Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb is the largest faculty in the country. Over its 100 year history, it has established itself as an internationally respected institution. Today, it has around 9000 persons enrolled, caters for international students with some courses in English and has produced over 86, 000 graduates, including 856 doctors of science.

muo_zagreb_povijestmimara.jpgIn its infancy, students of the College of Trade and Transport were taught at the Technical College, which is today the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb © National and University Library in Zagreb

The history of the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb starts with the opening in 1920 of its forerunner, the Zagreb College of Trade and Transport. Its purpose was to educate in the areas of banking, domestic and international trade, transport, consular services, insurance and the education of teachers. Its courses lasted three years and it proved so popular that in the academic year 1923/24, some 1,125 students were enrolled.

The institution held college status until 1925 when Stjepan Radić became the Minister of Education. It must have been unusual for Radić to find himself as part of the government of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the state which preceded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Today, Radić is best remembered as a politician outspoken in his advocacy of autonomy for Croatia. Before his appointment to the government, he had always done so in opposition. Indeed, he had been imprisoned several times for his views, which were proclaimed loudly in his writings or in person (he was a gifted public speaker). As recently as March 1925 he had been in prison but, when the political party of which he was a member officially recognised the monarchy and the state constitution, he was freed. In a remarkable turnaround, before the year's end, he was a minister in the government.

Stjepan_Radi_2.jpegStjepan Radić, pictured in the 1920s © public domain. In 1895 Radić was sent to prison for the public burning of the Hungarian flag in Zagreb – alongside Antun Dabčević, the father of Savka Dabčević-Kučar.

Stjepan Radić's desire for Croatian autonomy was not born from the ideals of the political class of Zagreb. The ninth of eleven children, born to a peasant family in a small village on the banks of the Sava river, just north of Sisak, Radić was very much a representative of the people whence he came. To him (and others in his family – his brother and nephew also being prominent politicians), education had the most important role to play in emancipation. He had lived in poverty in order to complete his own - after being banned from university-level educational institutions throughout the whole of the Austro-Hungarian empire for his protests against the state, he travelled penniless to Russia, France and Switzerland to complete his studies. In the latter, finance was one of his chosen subjects.

efzg_zvonimirovafirst.jpgThe first dedicated building of the Higher School of Economics and Commerce was located on the corner of Bauerova and Zvonirmirova © Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb

Under Radić's spell in office, the Zagreb College of Trade and Transport became the Higher School of Economics and Commerce. Its courses extended to four years, it attained university status. With no building designated to the increasingly popular institution, students had sometimes been taught at the Technical College (today's Museum of Arts and Crafts) and in parts of what is now the Mimara Museum. A dedicated home for the faculty was authorised and its construction started in 1927. Classes began at the faculty, located on the corner of Bauerova and Zvonimirova, in 1928, but within the decade the institution had outgrown its home and a plot of land in Svetice was acquired in order to build a new, larger facility. Its construction was interrupted by the Second World War and students would end up being taught on the Bauerova and Zvonimirova site all the way up to 1952.

efzg-1980-ihuniverz.jpgThe faculty's modern building, pictured in 1987. Today, the faculty has 17 departments - Finance, Demography, Economic Theory, Business Economics, Informatics, Macroeconomics and Economic Development, Marketing, Mathematics, International Economics, Business in Foreign Languages, Organization and Management, Law, Accounting, Statistics, Trade and International Business, Tourism, Physical Education and Health © Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb

In 1947, the Higher School of Economics and Commerce became the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb. In 1952, the faculty officially moved to the new site in Svetice. In 1968 it expanded once more when it merged with the 12-year-old College of Economics. Since then, the building at Svetice has received major upgrades and further facilities of the faculty can now also be found at the university campus in Borongaj, in Varaždin, in Koprivnica and in Bjelovar. After a century of existence, the Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb's longstanding difficulties to meet the popularity of its courses with the space available are now over. Not only can they accommodate every Croatian economy student who makes the grade, but they are also able to offer places to some of the best international students. It would surely come as no surprise if they are still educating the future elites of business, banking, finance and politics in another 100 years.

AnyConv.com__Vrt,_pogled_na_glavni_ulaz.jpg
The Faculty of Economics University of Zagreb site in Svetice, as seen from its garden © Wolf - Pidgeon

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