Babeș-Bolyai University has officially been ranked a four star university, after a QS Star evaluation at the beginning of 2018. This distinction offers the status corresponding to a highly international university, demonstrating excellence in both research and teaching.
BBU provides a stimulating academic environment, through excellent opportunities for academic development and by ensuring employability for its graduates. The university also contributes to a knowledge based society through advanced innovations.
„Celebrating the centennial for the Romanian university also means preserving the academic tradition and excellence that the UBB has. Now that our strengths (that have to be maintained and developed) are acknowledged, our mission is to extend them, avoid dangers and seize every opportunity”, according to the Rector of the BBU, Professor Acad. Ioan-Aurel Pop, PhD.
Professor Daniel David, PhD, the Vice-Rector, responsible for research, competitiveness – excellence and scientific publications at BBU has added that: „On the level of competitiveness – excellence we aim to make the BBU a Plus***** institution, designating a five star world-class university! After the evaluation, BBU has scored over the limit for the awarding of a 4 star qualification, but has not yet reached the 5 star thresholds. This goal can be reached in a few years, through balanced and diverse politics, that aim for the BBU Plus*****! This distinction is the result of a team effort, coming from the entire academic community at BBU. Our community has managed to honour its academic tradition of excellence, despite chronic underfinancing and legal burdens (for e.g. ambiguous regulations). Unfortunately, in the past years, authorities have been unable to sustain a programme that actively sustains academic excellence. Moreover, such efforts coming from the academic environment have been either abandoned by authorities or, recently, even institutionally punished. These will not only negatively impact academia, but also our country’s competitiveness and the well-being of our community. We do hope that the future will bring proper financial and legal support.”
QS Star evaluation has applied criteria covering the following academic components: (1) Teaching (4 indicators); (2) Research; (3) Innovation; (4) Internationalization; (5) Employability (3 indicators); (6) Learning environment (6 indicators) and (7) Inclusiveness (4 indicators). One additional indicator (specialist criteria) targeted the evaluation of one academic programme.
The academic audit differs from the process of ranking universities. The latter aims at classifying universities by applying criteria relevant for ranking, while an academic audit assesses universities by applying international standards and organizes them accordingly. The QS Star system includes five categories:
A Five-star+ University (*****+) – An elite world-class university (A typical five-star + institution is not just world-class, but an elite destination to which the very best students and faculty worldwide will aspire. Its brand name will transform the résumé of anyone connected with it. Five Stars + can apply equally to the world’s foremost comprehensive and specialist institutions). One example is the Australia National University.
A Five-Star University (*****) – World-class university (A typical Five Stars university is generally world class in a broad range of areas, enjoys a high reputation and has cutting edge facilities and internationally renowned research and teaching faculty). An example is Boston University, USA.
A Four-Star University (****) – A highly international university, demonstrating excellence (A typical Four Stars university is highly international, demonstrating excellence in both research and teaching. The institution provides an excellent environment for students and faculty). An example for such a university would be Hull University, UK.
A Three-Star University (***) – A nationally well recognised university, with international visibility (A typical Three Stars university is nationally well recognised, and may have also begun to attract international recognition. This institution maintains a reputable level of research and its graduates are attractive to employers). An example is the Riga Technical University, Lithuania.
A Two-Star University (**) A regional/local university (A typical Two Stars university is active in research and has an established domestic reputation. The institution is a key part of its local community and will often have begun to consider international opportunities). An example is the Bath Spa University, UK.
A One-Star University (*) Emerging university on a regional/local level (A typical One Star university has established all the key components required to provide a quality service to its students and, in many cases, the foundations upon which to build a stronger domestic reputation. A One Star institution will often have been established within the last twenty years and will be putting in place the leadership and ambition to develop quickly.). An example would be the Ahmad Dahlan University, Indonesia.
There are approximately 27000 universities present in international rankings. BBU has been constantly been named among the top universities from Romania (in the metarankings for 2016 and 2017 the BBU is the leads the way among the universities in Romania) and is present among the top 5% on an international level.
Established in 1581, Babeș-Bolyai University has continued its academic tradition, despite historical hardships, and has remained anchored on an international academic level. The Alma Mater Napocensis finds its roots in the Major Jesuit College in Cluj (16th-17th century, language of instruction: Latin), in the Academia Claudiopolitana (18th century, having as languages of instruction Latin, German and Hungarian), in the Royal Hungarian Franz Josef University (19th century, with Hungarian as a language of instruction) and in BBU (20th century with three official languages of instruction: Romanian, Hungarian, German).
In 2019 BBU will celebrate its centennial from being re-established as a university in the Kingdom of Romania, after the Unification. BBU has been the subject of an academic audit, performed by the prestigious British system QS Star (one of the most relevant university rankings on the international level), in order to objectively assess its academic results and plan future strategies. Moreover, BBU’s endeavour was also motivated by the repetitive attempts of political decision makers, to minimize and even denigrate the most relevant universities in Romania, by establishing politically motivated national rankings/hierarchies.