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General description on the institution

Mendel University in Brno is a public higher education institution financed by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in the Czech Republic. It was established in 1919 as the University of Agriculture in Brno and it operated under this name until 1994. The establishment of the university crowned the many-year efforts to found an agricultural university in Moravia, which has always been one of the most advanced agricultural areas in central Europe. The university has gone through a number of changes in the organizational structure as well as in the content of its study and research during its existence and has prepared dozens of thousands experts for professions in various sectors of national economy.

Mendel University in Brno (MENDELU) consists of five faculties and one university institute: Faculty of Agronomy, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Faculty of Business and Administration, Faculty of Horticulture, Faculty of Regional Development and International Studies, and the Institute of Lifelong Learning. The Faculty of Horticulture is located in Lednice and all the other faculties are situated in Brno. At present, the student population of the university amounts to 10,654, out of which 585 are international students.

Mendel University in Brno consistently responds to changes in national and international environment and adapts the content, forms and methods of education to these changes. Those interested in studying at MENDELU can choose from 37 accredited fields of study in Bachelor's programme and 36 fields of study in Master's programme. The offer includes such attractive study fields as Agroecology, Biotechnology, Plant Health Care, Road Transport, Horse Breeding and Agro-Tourism, Waste Technology, Food Technology, Regional Development, Design and Production of Furniture, Biotechnical Landscaping, Forestry, Economic Informatics, Tourism, Public Administration, Finance, Garden and Landscape Architecture, Viticulture and Winemaking, Horticulture, Technical Expertise and Insurance, plus a number of others. The best graduates from the Master's programme can continue in the Doctoral study. Those who may be interested in the combined form of study (study for people who are employed) can choose from 15 study fields in Bachelor's programme and 9 fields of study in the connecting Master's programme.

Each student of Mendel University may spend a part of his or her study abroad at one of more than 264 partner universities, upon meeting certain conditions. Besides perfecting a foreign language, the students have the opportunity to gain new and valuable knowledge, experience, and practice and last but not least to meet a lot of new friends. International relations of the faculty and students include study stays and lecturing, internships and consultations at universities and colleges in France, Austrian, Germany, Poland, Great Britain, USA and many other countries. The university is a member of large European organizations and cooperating networks of similarly oriented universities and colleges. The inclusion of the university into SOCRATES, LEONARDO DA VINCI, CEEPUS, AKTION and other international programmes and projects brings yet another opportunity of fostering international cooperation.

Mendel University also provides continual access to up-to-date knowledge, acquisition of new skills and enhancement of qualification both for its graduates and for a broad range of other interested persons through its lifelong education programmes. In general, the concept of lifelong learning is designed as a follow-up of subjects offered by the university in its accredited study programmes, so that similar or partially overlapping competences may be obtained also in the lifelong study programmes. The basic offer is developed by acquisition of special knowledge, particularly related to language skills, development of information-processing skills, modern information technologies, enhancement of learning in issues concerning contemporary society, its economics and business, and their relations to global economic environment and globalization trends. Educational programmes also cover the issues of current trends in agriculture, ecology, law, and communication.

Mendel University takes care of education and stimulation of retired members of the community through its University of the Third Age (U3A). The three-year optional study is provided to senior citizens by means of lectures and seminars organized in thematic modules, in which the respective university's faculties are represented.

Performance of scientific and research tasks is based on the long-term prognosis and academic orientation of the university, the faculties and the Institute and includes the areas of agricultural, forestry, biological, economic, technical and pedagogical sciences. The university research plan follows current developments in basic scientific disciplines, particularly biology, and their application in practice. These developments involve regulation of biological processes, effective use of non-renewable energy resources and creation of renewable resources while developing sustainable multifunctional agriculture and agribusiness and management of educational process of training university graduates with special pedagogic competence in accordance with the latest knowledge and trends in Europe and the Czech Republic. The quality and safety of agricultural products and food in particular are accented. In accordance with conclusions of EU's Common Agricultural Policy, the university prefers topics of multifunctional agriculture and forestry.

The university makes use of the University Training Farm at Žabčice and the Forest Training Enterprise "Masaryk Forest" at Křtiny, serving the needs of students' practical training, performing research assignments and verification of scientific findings in practice. The Botanical Garden and Arboretum are also used for the purposes of instruction. Students and faculty have a rich library, journals reading room and modern computer centre at their disposal. The audiovisual centre creates video recordings for the teaching and research purposes and administers the university film and video archive. The extensive University Archives serve to maintain the priceless collections and access to them for future generations.

Student accommodation facilities provide for 3,148 beds in the halls of residence. A part of the capacity is located in Lednice, where students of third plus years of the Faculty of Horticulture are accommodated. 349 beds in two halls of residence are available there. All students may choose to eat in student cafeterias.

Students who wish to engage in sports can enrol in optional physical education classes or they can join the university sports club, more information here.

Structure of the University

Faculties

  • Faculty of AgriSciences
  • Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology
  • Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Faculty of Horticulture
  • Faculty of Regional Development and International Studies

University Institutes

  • Institute of Lifelong Learning

Special-purpose facilities

  • Training Forest Enterprise Masarykův Les Křtiny
  • University Agriculture Enterprise Žabčice
  • Dormitories and Canteens Administration Office
  • Centre of Sports Activities
  • Lednice Chateau 

University departments

  • Botanical Garden and Arboretum
  • Department of Information Technology
  • Institute for Scientific Technology
  • Centre for Technology Transfer
  • Department of Physical Education

History of the University

Mendel University in Brno (MENDELU) is the oldest agricultural university in the Czech Republic. It was established in 1919 under the name of University of Agriculture in Brno. This new institution originated from the transformation of the Regional Agricultural Academy in Tábor into a university, which was relocated to Brno. Its seat was in a new building of the Regional Institute for the Blind in Brno - Černá Pole. At the time of its formation, the university provided two lines of study (agriculture and forestry).

However, in the school year 1919/1920, the tuition commenced only in the line of agricultural studies; the line of silvicultural studies had its opening celebration in October 1920. At the very beginning, the university had to deal with many problems; for example, it faced the after-war recession, efforts to transfer it to Slovakia and even attempts to dissolve it. In spite of all these troubles it acquired the reputation of a stabilised and successful college. During World War II, the university sustained not only great material damages but also personal losses because approximately one hundred teachers and employees were executed by Nazis. After 1945, the life of the university was markedly affected by the international situation and changes in the political and economic development that took place in Czechoslovakia. At first, the numbers of students were rapidly increasing. However, this promising development was interrupted by the February 1948 Coup d'État and altogether 27.7% students were expelled due to the class struggle and political screening. In 1950, the university was reorganised in accordance with provisions of the Higher Education Act 1950. The original branches of studies were cancelled, two new faculties -- Faculty of Agriculture and Faculty of Forestry -- were established and the former organisational structure was changed according to the Soviet model of university departments. In 1952, the Faculty of Forestry became a part of the Technical University in Brno and the Faculty of Agriculture was divided into two parts (i.e. the Faculty of Agronomy and the Faculty of Animal Science). The Veterinary School was dissolved and incorporated into MENDELU as its third faculty. In 1953, distance studies were established at MENDELU to allow politically reliable personnel in leading positions to acquire "university" degrees. The Faculty of Forestry returned into the university group in 1956. Further reorganization of studies and restructuring of MENDELU took place in 1959. The Faculty of Animal Science was closed down and became one of the lines of study at the Faculty of Agronomy; the Faculty of Agricultural Economics was founded, and a branch of the school was opened in Jihlava. The 1960s represented a luckier period in the life of MENDELU. Contacts with foreign partners were being developed, including international scientific cooperation and student exchange. By forming the Department of International Biological Programme the institution got involved in the then most prestigious scientific research project of UNESCO. The atmosphere of the Prague Spring 1968 allowed also the restoration of the Veterinary School which became independent in 1969. However, in the following years the university's life was seriously affected by the communist normalization, and several teachers were forced to leave it. The seventies were characterised by extensive construction activities and by the refurbishment and modernization of lecture and training rooms. In the 1980s, the university was computerized. In 1985, the horticultural departments were separated from the Faculty of Agronomy to create the new Faculty of Horticulture. Specialised and interdisciplinary studies started at all faculties, research plans were combined into complex programmes, and the Centre for the Development of Biotechnologies was established. The events of November 1989 brought about the restoration of academic freedom. In connection with changes in agriculture, forestry, food processing and wood working industries, transformation of the university and its training facilities took place during 1993-1995 to adapt to these new conditions. In 1995, the university was renamed to Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry (MUAF). After 1998, the faculties gradually adopted the European credit system, and three-degree study programmes were accredited. Beside the previously existing graduate (Master's) form of studies, also a three-year undergraduate (Bachelor's) and postgraduate (Doctoral) programmes were opened. To procure the development of lifelong education, the Institute of Lifelong Learning was established in 2003. The Faculty of Regional Development and International Studies was established in 2008 to educate university students in the field of regional development in the economic, political, environmental and social context. With effect from 1 January 2010, Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry in Brno changed its name to Mendel University in Brno.