BBU enters the QS Stars University Rankings

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.

CERN confirms a theory developed by BBU researchers

Recently, researchers from CERN have offered the first experimental evidence for the existence of odderon, a subatomic particle which was predicted for the first time in a 1973 theory by Basarab Nicolescu (Babes-Bolyai University) and the polish physicist Leszek Lukaszuk. The article that discusses this discovery and references the contribution of professor Basarab Nicolescu (BBU) was published in CERN Courier, and can be found here.

Inspiring participation – Cluj Info Day – European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)

On Friday the 16th March, European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) held an Info Day at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, to encourage a greater number of researchers from Romania to participate in COST Actions. More details about the event can be found on the COST webpage.

EON Reality and Babes-Bolyai University Create A Virtual Reality Application To Assess And Modify Cognitive Biases

The original press release from EON Reality can be accessed here.

IRVINE, CA, January 26, 2018 – EON Reality, Inc., the world leader in Augmented and Virtual Reality based knowledge transfer for industry and education, and the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy from Babeș-Bolyai University, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, released today the first prototype of a Virtual Reality based application for the assessment and modification of cognitive biases for promoting mental health, as part of the joint project “VR-Mind Regulation.”

Researchers and psychologists have regarded cognitive bias modification (CBM) interventions as a promising new approach in the treatment of mental health problems. CBM interventions work by changing the automatic ways in which patients with depression, anxiety and other psychological problems, process the information coming from the environment. However, most of the CBM procedures up until now do not accurately approximate the real-world, are not interactive, and do not immerse the patients in the experience. These features reduce the efficacy of the intervention as well as the motivation of the patients to practice with these new treatments.

To overcome these limitations, EON Reality and Babeș-Bolyai University’s (UBB) STAR Institute have teamed up to develop a new Virtual Reality (VR) application that can deliver CBM interventions in an immersive environment using an ecological and interactive interface, delivered via the latest generation of VR headsets. The application will be able to target all three types of biases, attention, memory and interpretation, both for measurement and treatment.

“The integration between immersive virtual-reality and the advances in clinical cognitive sciences will change the future of how mental health treatments are delivered, making them more efficacious/effective, more accessible and more appealing to the patients.” said Prof. Daniel David, Ph. D., coordinator of the UBB STAR Institute. “After it has been tested, we expect to have this application used by patients that have the required technology at home to use it as a tool, part of their treatment, under the guidance of a psychotherapist, monitoring their progress. We also expect that many research groups working on CBM to switch from computer-based applications, to immersive, VR-based ones, such as the application we are developing in the “VR-Mind Regulation” project.”


Mental health treatment delivered through Virtual Reality makes treatment more accessible and more appealing to patients

The application integrates gamification and customization features, which will increase the adherence of the patients and their satisfaction with the intervention protocol. The application is also developed to keep a close record of user’s behavior, which will make it a powerful research tool.

“The collaboration between Babeș-Bolyai University and EON Reality is extremely powerful as it combines the deep subject-matter expertise of the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and the advanced capabilities of EON Reality in Augmented and Virtual Reality applications and platform development and implementation. We are delighted to make together Virtual Reality have a positive impact in psychotherapy.” said Mats Johansson, President of EON Reality.

About EON Reality
EON Reality is the world leader in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) based knowledge transfer for industry and education. EON Reality’s success is tied to its belief that knowledge is a human right and should be available, accessible, and affordable for every human on the planet. To carry this out, EON Reality, since 1999, has developed the de-facto standard for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality based knowledge transfer software that supports devices from mobile phones to large immersive domes. EON Reality’s global app development network, with twenty-two locations worldwide, has created the world’s leading AR/VR library for knowledge transfer with over 7,000 applications. Over 36 million people worldwide have downloaded these applications. For further information, visit

New members of the International Consulting Board of the STAR-UBB Institute

The STAR-UBB Institute has two new members in its International Consulting Board, the world-leading scientists and economists: professor, Ph.D., Eric Maskin, Harvard University, USA (Nobel Prize winner in economics, in 2007) and professor, Ph.D. Ariel Pakes, Harvard University, USA.

The International Consulting Board is composed of academic personalities which have the function of delivering (a) suggestions for the performance and development of STAR-UBB Institute and (b) international evaluation once every 4 years, on the basis of a STAR-UBB Institute’s Board report. The full composition of the International Consulting Board is as follows:

UBB and AEGON strengthen the collaboration between the University and the socio-economic environment

The Babeș-Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca, through the Institute of Advanced Studies in Science and Technology – STAR-UBB Institute ( will implement, in the second half of the year 2017, together with AEGON company, a new active collaboration project between the academic and the socio-economic environment.

The collaboration will focus on defining the Romanians’ psycho-cultural mechanisms regarding the adoption of “insurances”, focusing on existing difficulties and viable modalities to overcome them, but also on existing opportunities and ways of using them for the benefit of people.

The project will last 5 months and will be implemented as an UBB-AEGON Advanced Fellowship within the STAR-UBB Institute, administratively run through the UBB Office for Management and Technological and Cognitive Transfer.

The initiative represents a new step in redefining the UBB’s relationship with the community and the socio-economic environment following the logic of advanced research and education universities (world-class), a redefinition that UBB has approached since the beginning of this year. Babeş-Bolyai University is thus designed as an advanced research university where the knowledge generated by research (research-development-innovation) forms the basis of both the educational act – in a humboldtian model of the transfer of knowledge in the modern logic of the process of learning –teaching through research / discovery, as well as services to the socio-economic environment – innovative and/or community/educational type (outreach).

With this new type of relationship, besides stimulating the traditional top-down approach (proposing services to the community and the socio-economic environment according to the available UBB expertise, matching or developing the needs of the beneficiary in innovative ways), the STAR-UBB Institute becomes an innovative services Hub in a bottom-up approach too – delivering innovative services solutions to the issues directly posed by the community and the socio-economic environment.

In both versions, services solutions do not only focus on solving existing problems but also on optimization and development. Such issues that are approachable in the bottom-up logic are complex and because they often overcome the beneficiary’s resources, they require a cutting-edge academic approach and integrated professional expertise. Through its consortia, UBB can mobilize the most advanced academic and professional expertise available not only internally and nationally but also internationally, thus offering the chance for innovative services solutions that will consequently support competitive advantages for the beneficiary in the community and the socio-economic environment.

In this new paradigm, UBB has already initiated a series of partnerships in the form of Advanced Fellowships developed within the STAR-UBB Institute, with national or international companies. Through the use of advanced innovative knowledge in solving complex practical problems, these partnerships are offering competitive advantages to the UBB collaborators.

UBB-EON Advanced Fellowship at STAR-UBB Institute of Babeș-Bolyai University

Recently, Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca (UBB) has redefined its relation with the economic environment through its newly created Institute of Advanced Studies in Science and Technology (STAR-UBB Institute –

UBB is an advanced research university (world-class), where knowledge generated by research (research-development-innovation) is at the basis of both (1) teaching – in a humboldtian model of imparting knowledge in the modern logic of learning/teaching through research (discovery), and of (2) services to the socio-economic environment – innovative and/or community/educational ones (outreach).

Several new partnerships have already been initiated in this new paradigm with national (e.g., NTT DATA) and international companies, in the form of Advanced Fellowships of the STAR-UBB Institute. The use of advanced innovative knowledge to solve complex practical problems of our collaborators offers a competitive advantage to our collaborators.

A recent collaboration with EON Reality Inc. American Company ( has implemented the program “VR-based Application for the Assessment and Modification of Cognitive Biases for Promoting Mental Health”. The program will be implemented as UBB-EON Advanced Fellowship through the STAR-UBB Institute by a group of psychologists of the International Institute of Psychotherapy of UBB ( Administrative aspects of the program will be managed by the Office for the Management and Technological and Cognitive Transfer of UBB.

UBB-NTT DATA Advance Fellowship at STAR-UBB Institute of Babeș-Bolyai University


Babes-Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca (UBB), through the Institute of Advanced Studies in Science and Technology (STAR-UBB Institute –, will implement, in the forthcoming period, a project initiated in a joint venture with the NTT DATA company, designed to define “the IT-specialist psychosocial profile in the following five years”.

The project will last for six months and will be implemented as a UBB-NTT DATA Advanced Followship within the STAR-BBU Institute, administratively run by the Office for Management and Cognitive Technological Transfer from UBB.

This initiative is a first step towards redefining UBB’s connection to the community and socio-economic environment, in the framework of world-class universities.

Through this first endeavor, the STAR-BBU Institute becomes a resource of innovative services, and, with a bottom-up focus on the beneficiaries, it offers services and novel solutions for the problems directly relevant for and raised by the community and the socio-economic environment. The services and solutions are not focused on problem-solving alone, but also on optimization and development. The STAR-BBU Institute is an excellence structure within UBB, integrating advanced expertise in fields where UBB is internationally competitive.

The new role undertaken by UBB through the STAR-BBU Institute comes to complete the traditional approach of top-down focus from the provider, characterized by promoting services to the community and the socio-economic environment following the existent expertise within UBB, addressing current needs of beneficiaries or developing new ones in an innovative way.

Through various consortia UBB is a part of, UBB can bring together the most advanced academic and professional expertise, not just at internal and national level, but also internationally, thus offering the chance for novel services/solutions, which then become competitive assets for the beneficiaries in the community and the socio-economic environment. This is necessary in the context when some bottom-up problems are extremely complex, often exceeding the resources of beneficiaries, and therefore need to be addressed by top academic resources and integrated professional expertise.

Babes-Bolyai University is the Top Romanian University in the University Metaraking-2016 of the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research

The Ministry of Education and Research has established a High Level Experts Group to examine, together with national and international consultants, the presence of the Romanian universities in several major international academic rankings of universities. The following international academic rankings of universities were examined and included in the University Metaraking-2016: (1) Academic Ranking of World Universities/ARWO; (2) Center for World University Rankings/CWUR; (3) Leiden Ranking/CWTS; (4) Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers of World Universities/PRSPWU; (5) QS-Top Universities Ranking/QS; (6) Scimago Institutions Ranking/Scimago; (7) Times Higher Education–World University Rankings/THE; (8) University Ranking by Academic Performance/URAP; (9) World’s Best Universities Rankings/US-News.

Each of the above mentioned international ranking was standardized based on quintiles (i.e., the ranks were divided in five equal classes; universities were places in Class 1 if they were ranked in the first 20% of the rankings available in each rank, and in Class 5 if they were ranked in the las 20% of the ranks). Subsequently, each university obtained points based on their location in various quintiles in each ranking (i.e., 5 points for Class 1, 4 points for Class 2, 3 points for Class 3, 2 points for Class 4, and 1 point for Class 5). Their position in the University Metaraking-2016 (see Table 1) was based on the total score derived from the sum of the points.

As one can see in Table 1, twenty (20) Romanian universities are comprised in the University Metaranking-2016 (see here for full text). The Top-3 Romanian universities are: (1) Babeş-Bolyai University; (2) Bucharest University and (3) Bucharest Politehnic University. There are a total number of 92 universities in Romania, 55 of them being public and 37 being private universities.


Tabel 1. University Metaraking-2016.

Ranks Romanian Universities Total Score (Quintiles)
1 Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai din Cluj-Napoca 13
2 Universitatea din București 10
3 Universitatea Politehnica din București 8
4 Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza din Iași 7
5 Universitatea de Vest din Timișoara 6
6 Universitatea de Medicină și Farmacie Carol Davila din București 3
6 Universitatea de Medicină și Farmacie Iuliu Hațieganu din Cluj-Napoca 3
6 Universitatea Tehnică Gheorghe Asachi din Iași 3
7 Universitatea de Medicină și Farmacie Grigore T. Popa din Iași 2
7 Universitatea Politehnica din Timișoara 2
7 Universitatea Tehnică din Cluj-Napoca 2
7 Universitatea Transilvania din Brașov 2
8 Academia de Studii Economice din București 1
8 Universitatea din Craiova 1
8 Universitatea Dunărea de Jos din Galați 1
8 Universitatea Lucian Blaga din Sibiu 1
8 Universitatea de Medicină și Farmacie Victor Babeș din Timișoara 1
8 Universitatea din Oradea 1
8 Universitatea Ovidius din Constanța 1
8 Universitatea Petrol-Gaze din Ploiești 1

Invitation to the presentation “Benefits of Open Access to Modern Journal and the Increasing of Their International Visibility”

STAR-UBB Institute, in partnership with Studia UBB, invites you to a presentation meeting on the subject of “Benefits of Open Access to Modern Journals and the Increasing of Their International Visibility”, which will take place on the 17th of November 2017, starting 11:00 AM, in Club Room, University Hall (Casa Universitarilor). The full announcement can be downloaded here.