The Tuesday of March 28, 2023, will have its place in the history of the University of Ostrava. The newly opened City Campus was visited by the Czech President Petr Pavel during his first trip to the Moravian-Silesian Region after taking office. His first steps led to the bench named in honor of Václav Havel, a symbolic place of dialogue where a discussion between the President, UO Rector Petr Kopecký, Rector Emeritus Jan Lata and representatives of the city and the region began. The whole presidential visit carried on in the spirit of Václav Havel’s ideals.
In the gymnastic hall of the sports building, Petr Pavel greeted our student and successful gymnast Radomír Sliž.
On the tour of the sports building, Petr Pavel said hello in the gymnastic hall to our student and successful gymnast Radomír Sliž, who has won several top competition placements, including the World Cup. The visit continued through the indoor levitating running oval connected to the biomechanics lab. This was where the presidential delegation stopped for a discussion with experts in the field of human movement studies. The group continued across the roof of the sports building (which offers remarkable views of Ostrava) via a wide outdoor staircase to the second building of the City Campus.
In the building of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, we surprised the president in the chamber hall with Antonín Dvořák’s famous composition Dejte klec jestřábu ze zlata ryzého (Give a hawk a cage) performed by a soprano and teacher of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music and also a soloist of the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre, Veronika Rovná. From the hands of Jan Lata, the president received a painting of our student Klára Vincurová.
The entire visit resonated with a spirit of dignity, respect and decency.
During a dinner, the President spoke with the management of the UO, Rector Petr Kopecký, Rector Emeritus Jan Lata, Vice-Rectors Martin Štěpnička and Alena Seberová, the Deans of all six faculties of the UO, Daniel Jandačka, Michal Kalhous, Rastislav Maďar, Zuzana Václavíková, Alice Gojová and Robert Antonín. “I am pleased that our university was visited by the Czech President, who upholds the values that we are trying to pass on to our students,” said Petr Kopecký.
The visit to the University of Ostrava ended with a media briefing, which the president began with the following words: “One of the main problems of not only the Moravian-Silesian Region, but also other structurally affected regions is education. Its quality is also an important key to keeping young people in the region and thus preventing depopulation. That is why I am glad that I was able to visit the new City Campus of the University of Ostrava, which was opened only a month ago,” said the president and appreciated the fact that this is the place where the region’s thoughtful and strategic approach to education and its intensive integration with research are coming together.
One of the main problems of not only the Moravian-Silesian region, but also other structurally affected regions is education. Its quality is also an important key to keeping young people in the region and thus preventing depopulation.
During his briefing, the President also responded to the current protests by faculties of arts regarding the underfinancing of higher education. He said that he does not think it is systematically correct that teachers of some faculties, especially faculties of arts, should be rewarded less than their colleagues for the same work. “I am glad that the President mentioned the topic of underfunding of universities on his own initiative, saying that a new, systematic solution is needed and has to be found through direct cooperation with universities,” said Petr Kopecký.