It is a nice tradition of the EAIE, European Association for International Education, to open its annual conferences with several Campus Tours at the premises of the universities in the city or region which hosts the EAIE conference that particular year. In September 2014 the EAIE conference with the title “Stepping into a New Era” took place in Prague, bringing to the city over 5000 higher educational professionals. Those present on Tuesday 16th September were invited to join one of the 6 campus tours offered this year. We were delighted to learn that the Campus Tour of Charles University in Prague was booked out faster than any other, giving 92 representatives of universities from all around the world an opportunity to visit our premises.
The day started by a visit of the historical seat of Charles University, Carolinum, and a welcome address by the Rector of Charles University, Professor Tomáš Zima, and other leading officers of Charles University to the assembled, distinguished guests. After the address, a guided tour through the historical halls of Carolinum was prepared by the members of Charles University archive, with a possibility to also see the ceremonial maces, chains and gowns used by the Rector, Vice-rectors, Deans and other members of Charles University academic community on festival occasions such as Doctor Honoris Causa ceremonies, important visits or graduations of Charles University students.
The inner courtyard of Carolinum then served as a refreshment area and location for a group photograph of all the guests.
After that, the Campus Tour continued towards Charles University mini-campus Albertov situated in the New Town of Prague. The Albertov area, on ancient maps of Prague fully covered by fields, meadows and vineyards, has been the seat of the mini-campus of Charles University since the beginning of 20th century and houses 3 of Charles University schools – the Faculty of Science, First Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Mathematics and Physics.
Luckily, the weather was nice and dry and hence the buffet lunch provided by the Cafeterias of Charles University was served in the open air, namely the upper part of the Botanical Garden. Following the lunch, the Campus Tour participants had the opportunity to explore the Botanical Garden before it was time to move on for the afternoon part of the Campus Tour.
The afternoon part of the Campus Tour composed of a small exhibition of Charles University schools presented by CU students and an official address by the Vice-Rector of the European Affairs, Professor Lenka Rovná, as well as representatives of two of CU schools, the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics and Faculty of Pharmacy. Then the group separated in to 3 smaller parts to explore the rich collections of the museums of the Faculty of Science – the Hrdlička Museum of Man, Chlupáč Museum of History of Earth, Mineral Museum and Map Collection. Those interested more in the medical field were at the same time invited to visit the Department of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry and Purkyně Institute of the First Faculty of Medicine.
The Campus Tour was definitely a great success. Our only regret is that it was not in our powers to host more of our partners on this great occasion given the large interest shown by representatives of our partner institutions who, unfortunately, could not register for the Campus Tour on time.