100 YEARS OF ROMANIAN HIGHER EDUCATION IN CLUJ-NAPOCA

To pay tribute to two emblematic Romanian educational institutions, Romfilatelia introduces into circulation the postage stamps issue “100 years of Romanian higher education in Cluj-Napoca”. The issue is made up of two stamps and an imperforated souvenir sheet and will be introduced into circulation on Friday, November 1st 2019.

The stamp with a face value of 3.10 lei illustrates Babes-Bolyai University. The Romanian University of Cluj started its activity almost one year after the Great Union on December 1, 1918, when the representatives of the Romanians had unanimously voted to unite Transylvania, Banat, Crisana and Maramures with the Kingdom of Romania.

The Romanian University finalized its status between May 12th, 1919 – February 2th, 1920. Thus, on May 12th, 1919, a commission coordinated by Onisifor Ghibu took over the administration of Romanians the entire movable and immovable heritage of the Hungarian University of Cluj. The courses in Romanian were opened on November 3rd, 1919. The University of Cluj had four faculties: Law, Medicine, Letters and Philosophy, Sciences. Professor Sextil Puscariu, from the Faculty of Letters, was elected the first Romanian chancellor. Among the outstanding teachers of these years we must remember the scholars Sextil Puscariu, Vasile Parvan, Alexandru Borza, Iuliu Hatieganu and Petre Sergescu.

The interwar period was one of the most fruitful in the life of the Romanian university in Cluj. The disciplines studied have approached different fields and numerous institutes, laboratories, chairs and seminars have been created. The university quickly established itself in the international academic landscape, carrying out a sustained activity of scientific and didactic collaboration with similar institutions in Europe and around the world.

Babes-Bolyai University is the only multicultural institution in the country with 21 faculties and three teaching languages (Romanian, Hungarian and German) and with numerous programs in languages of international circulation. At the beginning of 2018, following the international QS Star evaluation, Babes-Bolyai University was granted the status of international university of excellence (4-star university).

Honoring the tradition of university education in the Romanian language, inaugurated in 1919, the University of Cluj represents today, as proudly stated by the rector Ioan-Aurel Pop, “the largest and most complex and, for many reasons and points of view, the most prestigious” university in Romania.

Shown on the stamp with a face value of 12 lei is the image of the headquarters of The University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, also seen as a valuable educational institution in the city. The Hungarian Faculty of Medicine was founded right from the beginning of the existence of the “Ferencz Jozsef” University in Cluj, that is in 1872. Between 1888 and 1901, the clinics and institutes of the Faculty were built.

Immediately after the Great Union of Transylvania with Romania, a remarkable transformation took place in the higher education of medicine and pharmacy in Cluj. In 1919 the Romanian Faculty of Medicine was founded, as part of the “Dacia Superior” University. The first dean and organizer of the Faculty was Iuliu Hatieganu, one of the founders of medical education in Romanian. Thanks to his initiative, new disciplines were created, such as: medical semiology, radiology, dentistry and the history of medicine, which were premieres in Romanian medical education.

The history of the medicine and pharmacy education in Cluj registered a turning point in 1948, by its separation from the University of Cluj and the establishment of the Medical-Pharmaceutical Institute. Initially it had five faculties: general medicine, pediatrics, dentistry, pharmacy and hygiene. The Faculty of Medicine had the highest share.

Since 1990, the history of the Cluj School of Medicine and Pharmacy has registered a rapid and consistent development. That same year, the old name of I.M.F. was changed to the University of Medicine and Pharmacy. The name of Iuliu Hatieganu was placed on the U.M.F. frontispiece in 1992, as a sign of respect and consideration for her founder.

The souvenir sheet of the issue, with a face value of 28.50 lei, presents a beautiful picture belonging to the Botanical Garden in Cluj-Napoca, institution that is part of Babes-Bolyai University. With the establishment of the “Dacia Superior” University, starting with 1919, professor Alexandru Borza is called within the University Commission to participate in the reorganization of the higher biological education in Cluj. He expands the area, already acquired, to 13 ha and organizes, under the University’s rigorous scientific basis, the new Botanical Garden, which today bears its name.

The institution is officially opened for visitors on June 25th, 1925. After the event, between 1930 and 1935, the building of the Botanical Institute, officially inaugurated in 1937, was added in the presence of King Charles II, which currently houses the Botanical Museum and the largest Herbarium in Romania.

The founder’s wish was that in this new botanical garden, the principles of plant phylogeny and phytogeography should blend harmoniously with the principles of ecology, artistic refinement and public training requirements. 

Romfilatelia thanks the Babes-Bolyai University and the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, both from Cluj-Napoca, and photographer George Avanu for the documentary the support granted to this postage stamp issue.