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  • University of Cluj/Kolozsvár

The history of the University of Cluj/Kolozsvár

The Diet of Cluj/Kolozsvár adopted the decision to establish a higher education institution.
Under the rule of István Báthory the College was opened in Cluj/Kolozsvár, on street Farkas (today: Kogalniceanu) and next year was granted the Academy rank by Pope Gregory XIII. The teaching language was Latin and the staff included Jesuit professors and priests. The institution provided general basic and higher level education.
As Protestantism gradually spread, the establishment of a Reformed College in Alba Iulia/Gyulafehérvár was necessary. Many renowned teachers and scientists from Europe taught in this newly established institution.
During the invasion of the Tatars both the College and its Library were destroyed.
The Jesuit Academy in Cluj/Kolozsvár was re-established. In addition to the theological sciences, courses of natural sciences and mathematics were held and had its seat on street Farkas.
The first Romanian-language Secondary School was opened in Blaj/Balázsfalva. The Ortodox Church also established here a Theological Seminar.
After the dissolution of the Jesiut Order (under Pope Clement XIV), the College in Cluj/Kolozsvár was taken over by the Piarists. They officially used the “University” name. The institution had four faculties: the Faculty of Theology, the Law Faculty, the Faculty of Arts and the Medical School. In 1703 the institution had 50 students, while in 1770 their number reached 493.
The number of universities in the Habsburg Empire decreased to three. The University of Cluj/Kolozsvár was first reduced to “Secondary School with the rank of Academy“, then to “Secondary School“. In 1781 the German language was introduced as mandatory teaching language. The Law Academy and the Institution of Medical Sciences, without the rank of university, split off the Secondary School.
1784 - 1872:
Transylvania was left with no university. The Hungarian language was introduced as teaching language in primary and secondary school. The Law Academy established in Cluj/Kolozsvár moved to Sibiu/Szeben.
The Monarch had signed Act No 19 providing for the establishment and functioning of the University of Cluj/Kolozsvár. The University was launched with four faculties: 1. History and Arts, 2. Law and Political Science, 3. Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and 4. Medical Sciences. The teaching language was Hungarian. The University began its activity with a number of 258 registered students.
The official name of the Univerisity of Cluj/Kolozsvár was changed to “Franz Joseph University“
Erecting the new main building of the University. Amongst the personalities teaching in this institution was: Sámuel Brassai (1800 - 1897, mathematician, linguist and esthetician), Károly Böhm (1846 - 1911, philosopher), Zoltán Gombócz (1877 - 1935, linguist), Géza Entz (1842 - 1919, zoologist), Lajos Szádecky Kardos (1859 - 1935, historian).
October 13, 1902:
With the participation of Gyula Wlassics, minister of religion and education, the buildings of the University were inaugurated. The ceremony took place after the unveiling of the statue of Mathias King.
The National Assembly in Alba Iulia/Gyulafehérvár proclaimed the union of Transylvania with Romania.
1918 - 1919:
The last semester of the Franz Joseph University. 83% of the registered students were Hungarians. Negotiations to establish a Romanian-language university had been started. Under military supervision the new government put an end to the Franz Joseph University.
September 1st, 1919:
The Romanian-language King Ferdinand I University was established. The teaching staff included 171 professors. A number of 2034 and 2552 students registered for the first semester and for the second semester, respectively. The University’s first Rector was Sextil Puscariu. The University also included the Faculty of Hungarian Language and Literature, headed by György Kristof, and the Faculty of German Language and Literature, headed by Gustav Kisch.
The Franz Joseph University, driven away from Cluj/Kolozsvár, was accommodated by the city of Szeged and it continued its activity there.
As a result of the Second Arbitration of Vienna, Transylvania was re-annexed to Hungary. King Ferninand I University moved to Sibiu/Szeben.
The Hungarian-language Franz Joseph University moved back to Cluj/Kolozsvár and started to function again.
Romania turned its arms against Germany and sided with the Soviet Union. The communist power forged ahead. The Soviet power decided to maintain the existing institutions.
Romanian administration was re-introduced to North-Transylvania.
May 29, 1945:
Two Decrees with legal force, Decree No 406 and No 407, were published in Romania’s Official Journal providing for the re-establishment of Romanian-language popular schools, secondary schools and colleges as of June 1st, and for the establishment of a Hungarian-language State University as of June 1st, 1945, with four faculties: 1. Literature and Arts, 2. Law and Economics, 3. Natural Sciences, and 4. Medical Sciences. This Decree provided for giving the building of Queen Mary Grammar School for girls in use to the University. The Decree also envisaged an extraordinary budgetary credit for expenditures incurred by this newly established University. This Decree was signed by King Michael of Romania, Stefan Voitec, the Minister of National Education, and Mircea Duma, the Financial Manager.
December 11, 1945:
The University of Cluj/Kolozsvár was named Bolyai University. The most problems were due to finding a place for these faculties. Finally, the Medical School was moved to Targu Mures/Marosvásárhely, as an integral part of the University, thus easily solving the problem of the premises.
Romania was proclaimed a republic.
August 3, 1948:
The new education reform brought several changes in the life of the Bolyai University. The Faculty of Economics continued to function with a single department. The Faculty of Chemistry was coupled with the Faculty of Natural History, and the field of classical-philology within the Faculty of Linguistics ceased to exist etc.
The students from Cluj/Kolozsvár expressed their solidarity with the principles of the Hungarian Revolution.
February 26, 1959 - March 5, 1959:
Upon an order given by the communist government meetings promoting the unification of the two Universities were initiated conducting to the full merger of these Universities in only a couple of months. The unification process was led by Nicolae Ceausescu and Ion Iliescu, the president of the Association of Young Communists at the time. Under the psychological pressure caused by this forced unification both the Vice-Rector and a professor of the Bolyai University committed suicide. Within the Babes- Bolyai University emerging from this unification, the Hungarian-language groups gradually ceased to exist.
After these changes, although the need for an independent education system in the mother tongue has been identified, no decisions were adopted in respect of the University. A number of Hungarian groups were established within the Babes-Bolyai University, but the University continues to function as an aggregated entity and the Hungarian groups have no independence.

The Rectors of the University of Cluj/Kolozsvár

1872-1873: Berde Áron
1873-1874: Schulek Vilmos, Machik Béla
1874-1875: Finály Henrik
1875-1876: Entz Géza
1876-1877: Groisz Gusztáv
1877-1878: Genersich Antal
1878-1879: Imre Sándor
1879-1880: Brassai Sámuel
1880-1881: Haller Károly
1881-1882: Ajtai K. Sándor
1882-1883: Szabó Károly
1883-1884: Abt Antal
1884-1885: Csiky Viktor
1885-1886: Maizner János
1886-1887: Szamosi János
1887-1888: Kanitz Ágost
1888-1889: Kolosváry Sándor
1889-1890: Klug Nándor
1890-1891: Szász Béla
1891-1892: Koch Antal
1892-1893: Óvári Kelemen
1893-1894: Brandt József
1894-1895: Meltzl Hugó
1895-1896: Martin Lajos
1896-1897: Farkas Lajos
1897-1898: Lechner Károly
1898-1899: Terner Adolf
1899-1900: Fabínyi Rudolf
1900-1901: Vályi Gábor
1901-1902: Lőte József
1902-1903: Schilling Lajos
1903-1904: Apáthy István
1904-1905: Kiss Mór
1905-1906: Szabó Dénes
1906-1907: Moldován Gergely
1907-1908: Farkas Gyula
1908-1909: Jancsó György
1909-1910: Udránszky László
1910-1911: Szádeczky-K. Lajos
1911-1912: Szádeczky-K. Gyula
1912-1913: Kosutány Ignác
1913-1914: Kenyeres Balázs
1914-1915: Márki Sándor
1915-1916: Tangl Károly
1916-1917: Lukáts Adolf
1917-1918: Rigler Gusztáv
1918-1919: Schneller István
1919-1921: Kolosváry Bálint
1921-1922: Menyhárth Gáspár
1922-1923: Pfeiffer Péter
1923-1924: Veszprémi Dezső, Reinbold Béla
1924-1925: Csengery János
1925-1926: Riesz Frigyes
1926-1927: Tóth Károly
1927-1928: Reinbold Béla, Issekutz Béla
1928-1929: Dési Lajos
1929-1930: Győrffy István
1930-1931: Kováts Ferenc
1931-1932: Veress Elemér
1932-1933: Schmidt Henrik
1933-1934: Széki Tibor
1934-1935: Kiss Albert
1935-1936: Ditrói Gábor
1936-1937: Erdélyi László
1937-1938: Gelei József
1938-1939: Ereky István
1939-1940: Baló József
1940-1941: Bartók György
1941-1942: Szentpétery Zsigmond
1942-1943: Kovrig Béla
1943-1944: Buza László
1944-1945: Miskolczy Dezső
1945-1948: Csőgör Lajos
1948-1949: Balogh Edgár
1950-1952: Nagy István
1952-1956: Bányai László
1956-1959: Takács Lajos