By Marcela Uhlíková and Jan Velinger
August 29, 2019
Czech ambassadors welcomed the opportunity to meet at Charles University on Wednesday, where they were greeted by Rector Tomáš Zima. Education, scientific research and international cooperation were among the topics discussed in a friendly atmosphere in the historic Jan Hus courtyard at the Carolinum.
As part of a packed week of activities, the group of ambassadors took the opportunity to meet at CU with room to discuss various developments in education and trade with the rector and other members of academia. Following a toast and brief address, Rector Zima also thanked the ambassadors for their role in helping secure international cooperation between schools.
Their mission, he noted, was the promoting the good name of the Czech Republic abroad while university officials’ was "to bring together top experts” from around the world.
The rector stressed that 18 percent of the student body (and nine percent of employees) at CU hailed from countries such as England, Portugal, Germany, parts of the former Soviet bloc, Canada and the US.
During the meeting, the rector also discussed the 4EU+ Alliance, which has successfully brought six prestigious universities together and received EC funding for its aim of deepening cooperation on many levels including international research and raising student and staff mobility.
The Czech ambassador to Berlin, Tomáš Jan Podivínský, one of the more outspoken at the meeting, elaborated on the success of fresh start-ups in neighbouring Germany. As the longest-serving diplomat in attendance on Wednesday, he extended compliments to Charles University, thanking the rector and his team of vice-rectors for their wide-ranging efforts in education and more.
The group was then given a tour by Rector Zima, joined by members of his team. Many of the ambassadors knew their way around the Carolinum easily enough, the rector quipped, having studied at Charles University in years past. Those in attendance included the Czech ambassadors to Vienna (Ivana Červenková), Zagreb (Vladimír Zavázal), Hanoi (Vítězslav Grepl), Washington (Hynek Kmoníček), Berlin (the aforementioned Tomáš Jan Podivínský), Tbilisi (Petr Mikyska) and Bratislava (Tomáš Tuhý).