During the first week of the new academic year, which began on October 2nd, Rector Petr Sklenička of the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CZU) met with Minister Výborný and his entourage, along with the Vice-Rector and other members of the university's leadership and various faculties.
At the beginning of the meeting, Professor Sklenička introduced the university, its historical development, individual faculties, campus, as well as other facilities, including three university enterprises - CZU Forests, Farm Estates, and Winery.
He explained, "In the last twenty to thirty years, we have expanded our focus far beyond agriculture and forestry, which the name of our university suggests. Our university's essence is more accurately captured by the English name 'Czech University of Life Sciences.' We are involved in environmental sciences, have the only faculty of tropical agriculture in Europe, and offer technical and economic sciences, IT, management, and there is also significant interest in cybersecurity. We plan to further develop in the field of food processing and veterinary disciplines."
In line with this goal, given the shortage of veterinarians, Minister Výborný expressed his agreement. He stated, "I view you as a key partner for our ministry. In many matters, we must and want to collaborate." He added, "The emphasis you place on modern trends in various fields, such as adaptation to climate change and innovations in precision agriculture, is the right path for the future."
A significant portion of the discussion focused on the current and future strategy for science and research. In this area, CZU has risen to the top in Europe over the past decade, as confirmed by this year's prestigious rankings, including QS Ranking and the Shanghai Ranking. Most notably, the September results of The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 placed CZU in a shared third place with Palacký University, following Charles University and Masaryk University.
During Minister Marek Výborný's visit, he toured the unique Food Pavilion - an Educational Center for Agricultural Product Processing. Here, he observed various facilities where students from the Faculty of Agrobiology, Food, and Natural Resources gain practical experience. Minister Výborný concluded the tour by stating, "The integration of science and research with practical application is an excellent way to support the academic environment." He commended the institution's innovative technologies and methods used for teaching and researching food processing.