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"Lucian Blaga" University

he roots of the "Lucian Blaga" University of Sibiu

he first school opened in the citadel of Sibiu as early as 1380 and was a milestone in the history of education in the city on the banks of the Cibin River. However, the beginnings of higher education in Sibiu were marked by the setting up in 1786 of a Teacher Training School - one of the first pedagogical institutions in Transylvania. In 1850, the School changed its profile and became a Theological-Pedagogical Institute for Higher Education, which initially offered two-year courses, and, starting with 1861, three-year courses; simultaneously, a Pedagogical section was founded, with a four-year program of studies.  Training courses for the future priests of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Transylvania were organized during the same period, which marked the beginning of theological education in Sibiu.

Therefore, the roots of a modern and dynamic university, deeply rooted in the community of Sibiu, go as far back as the Middle Ages, but the most representative landmarks of its early history are the Saxon Academy of Law (1844) and the Andreian Theological Seminary (1874). The history of Higher Education in the city of Sibiu was closely related to the history of the 18th and19th century theological and law institutions, but the real foundation of the University of Sibiu was laid when King Ferdinand I University of Cluj took refuge in Sibiu between 1940 and 1945. Following the Vienna Dictate in August 1940, the King Ferdinand I University was evacuated in a short time, the decision to move to Sibiu was taken at the University Council meeting on September 1, 1940.

The main building of the university at the time was the Domniţa Ileana girls’ high school, located at no.5-7 Victoriei Blvd. (built between 1937 and 1940), currently the Faculty of Letters and Arts.

During the 1940-1945 exile, the University preserved the same structure: faculties, departments, institutes, and was led by the eminent historian Silviu Dragomir, elected president of the University. Mention should also be made of other illustrious men of culture such as Lucian Blaga (the patron of the Sibiu University since 1995), Ioan Lupas, Constantin Daicoviciu, Emil Racoviţă, Emil Haţieganu, Onisifor Ghibu, who held conferences, organised literary circles and fostered the cultural and social development of the city of Sibiu.

At this time of hardship in Romanian history, the city of Sibiu was lucky to house a university, which brought forth a wish to maintain an academic life in the city even after the return to Cluj of the King Ferdinand I University in 1945. This wish was accomplished over 20 years later, in 1969, when the Sibiu Faculty of Philology and History was founded as a department of the University of Cluj-Napoca. Years later, the University branched out to acquire new academic programmes, such as Law or Mechanics and became an independent Higher Education Institution (1976-1985).

During the same time period, 1940 – 1945, the Orthodox Theological Institute continued to function in Sibiu and later became the "Andrei Şaguna" Faculty of Theology, which extended the range of university programmes in Sibiu in the middle of the 20th century

oundation and development of the University of Sibiu (1969-1985 / 1989)

On June 30, 1967 the Minister of Education of the time, Ştefan Balan gave his consent and, two years later, the Council of Ministers issued Decision No. 1322 of June 12, 1969, establishing the Faculty of Philology and History of Sibiu as a branch of "Babeş-Bolyai" University of Cluj. This is how Ştefan Pascu, the Chancellor of the Cluj University at the time, explained the choice of these two particular academic programmes:

 ... The choice of a department of history can be explained by the rich historical past of this part of the country, by the opportunities for scientific research provided by the rich archives and libraries of the city, as well as by the need for stuff qualified in the field. Moreover, I find the establishment of a department of German language and literature at the Faculty of Letters in Sibiu a particularly good idea.... Let us not forget the close ties between the cities of Sibiu and Cluj.

 The new faculty was accommodated in the building of  High School no. 3 (formerly "Domniţa Ileana" High School), on Victoriei Blvd, currently the building of the Faculty of Letters and Arts. The first series of students (24 in the German Language and Literature Programme and 28 in the History Programme), coordinated by the new dean Nicolae Lupu, first stepped into the premises on October 3, 1969, animated by the presence at the opening of the academic year of renowned scholars, such as: Constantin Daicoviciu, Miron Constantinescu, Ştefan Pascu and others.

 Starting with 1971, in addition to the two already existing academic programmes, an English Language and Literature Programme was initiated, followed by the establishment of a second faculty, the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, by Council of Ministers decision no. 775 of 30 June 1971. The normative duration of studies towards a degree was 4 years and the Faculty trained specialists for local government. As a result of the restructuring of Romanian higher education, the Sibiu Institute of Higher Education was established on July 1, 1976, which included the Faculty of Philology and History, the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Law and the Faculty of Mechanics.

 Proof of the respect gained by the young university of Sibiu stands the fact that the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Law was invited to organise the first edition of the so called Quadrangle of the Faculties of Law (a mock trial contest), which included the faculties of Cluj-Napoca, Bucharest, Iasi and Sibiu.

 The rapid development of the University of Sibiu was abruptly stopped in 1984, when, by State Council Decree no. 213 of June 23, 1984, no places for students were granted for the Departments of Philology, History and Law, and the Institute of Higher Education turned into the Institute for Associate Engineers, subordinated to the Polytechnic Institute of Cluj-Napoca. As a result of this decision, the last promotion of philology, history and law students graduated in 1987. 

he University of Sibiu, a new name that encompasses all academic programmes in Sibiu

 As a result of the 1984 Sate Council Decision that granted no places for students in the Departments of Philology, History and Law and turned the Institute of Higher Education into an Institute for Associate Engineers subordinated to the Polytechnic Institute of Cluj-Napoca, the University of Sibiu received quite a blow. Fortunately, this decision was in place only until the 1990s, when, due to major changes in the Romanian political system, the academic activity was resumed in the city of Sibiu.

 The academics of the Institute for Associate Engineers, as well as many other representatives of the Sibiu academic environment sent a delegation to present their desiderata to the then Minister of Education, Mihail Sora and his deputy, Paul Cornea. The delegation included famous names, such as: Corneliu Bucur and Mircea Tomuş (both members of the ruling political party o the time), Constantin Voicu (Chancellor of the Orthodox Theological Institute of Higher Education), Herman Pitters, Paul Philippi and Hans Otto Schtamp (representatives of the Protestant Theological Institute). The project they presented to the minister proposed the establishment of six faculties: The Faculty of Mechanics, the Faculty of Computer Science and Automation, the Faculty of Philology and History, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Textile and Food Chemistry and Technology, and the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

 According to the provisions of Decision no. 225 of March 5, 1990, five faculties opened their doors in the first academic year of the new University (1990-1991): the Faculty of Letters, History and Law, the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Textile and Food Technology. By Protocol no. 1375 of September 27, 1991 the Orthodox Theological Institute of Higher Education  became the “Andrei Șaguna” Faculty  of Theology.

 On May 12, 1995, on the 100th anniversary of poet and philosopher Lucian Blaga’s birth the University of Sibiu received the official approval to change its name to "Lucian Blaga" University of Sibiu. The choice of this name was prompted by the special significance of Lucian Blaga's personality to Romanian culture, as well as by his strong ties to the city of Sibiu between 1940 and 1945. The renaming ceremony took place in the "Avram Iancu" Auditorium, in the presence of Liviu Maior, Minister of Education (later granted the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of ULBS at the proposal of the Faculty of History and Patrimony), Oliviu Gherman, President of the Romanian Senate and ,Dorli Blaga, Lucian Blaga’s daughter.. The then Chancellor of the University, Professor Dumitru Ciocoi-Pop, PhD, emphasized the importance of the event in his speech:  

 We strongly believe in this auspicious union of names and significances. We believe that the University of Sibiu will always honor the name of the one who, like no other, has rooted the Romanian cultural identity into the university.

At present, the structure of the University includes nine faculties, namely: the Faculty of Theology, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Letters and Arts, the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Environment Protection, Food and Agricultural Sciences, and the Faculty of Economics.

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