From High School to the University – Francophonie celebration at MBU

MBU contributed to the International Month of the Francophonie 2018. During the first Friday the university welcomed all French active people from Banská Bystrica who prepared an interactive program for students from high schools mainly from the middle of Slovakia and their teachers of French language. The event called Zo strednej na vysokú – štúdium vo francúzskom jazyku (From High School to the University – French language studies) took place on March 2nd, 2018 in the premises of the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations.

There is plenty of French active people in Banská Bystrica, however, the added value is given to their will to commonly define the targets and to pull one strands towards their fulfilment. With no doubts, it also touches on the language education. French language has always had an important position in modern history of Slovakia (or former Czechoslovakia), this being justified by a support of the French Institute in Bratislava (Francúzsky inštitút v Bratislave). Not less important is the entry of the Slovak Republic into International Organisation of Francophonie (OIF), which enables us, being an observer, to contribute to the vision of this large group.

Promoting French as a language for labour market is one of the common ambitions. Finding employment after finishing a university in Slovakia undoubtedly depends on the results of the work in all study degrees and all the more it is valid in case of a language preparation. Indeed, the labour market and not only the Slovak one, has gone through some marking changes. It has been influenced by the series of new tendencies like migration, mobility, globalization and internationalisation and hand in hand with it goes the influence on the jobs offer where the high ambitions are put to language competences, which take a long time to acquire.

The aim of the event was to celebrate Francophonie by lying down the foundations of partnership between the deputies of secondary and tertiary education. The organizers wanted to mediate to the future graduates the information on the possibilities of French studies, on the current programmes in French language, offered by MBU and other Slovak universities. Nonetheless, the teachers from MBU wanted to thank to the colleagues from the high schools for their valuable contribution to the language preparation of our future graduates. The day of the Francophonie celebration at MBU was ceremoniously opened by the vice-rector for international and public relations, doc. PhDr. Katarína Chovancová, PhD., the vice-dean for international and public relations at Faculty of Political Science and International Relations, doc. PhDr. Jaroslav Ušiak, PhD. and a president of SFUI, doc. PaedDr. Radovan Gura, PhD.

The invitation was accepted by 60 French students and their teachers from Banská Bystrica, Banská Štiavnica, Brezno, Čadca, Prešov, Ružomberok and Zvolen. Many students from MBU contributed to the organisational part of the day – they were mainly from EFPOLIT and Pont francophone group. Almost twenty teachers from the three MBU faculties – Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Political Science and International Relations also gave the helpful hand. Part of the organisational team were the deputies from other francophone institutions: Academic Success Center CRU (Centre de Réussite Universitaire), Francophone University Association (Agence universitaire de la Francophonie ), Francophone University Association in Slovakia FrancAvis and Alliance française in Banská Bystrica, who, together with other organizers prepared some interactive workshops aimed at future vocation, interesting games and quizzes and gave prizes to winners. The whole event took place under the auspices of the Slovak-French University Institute (SFUI) situated in Banská Bystrica.

PaedDr. Mária Rošteková, PhD., SFUI vicedirector, assistant professor at Faculty of Political Science and International Relations