About universityThe University of Žilina was established on October 1, 1953 as the College of Railways in Prague. In 1959 the institution changed its name to the University of Transport and moved to Žilina. As a result of the increasing role of communications within the curriculum and research orientation of the University, the name was amended to the University of Transport and Communications in 1980.
Following wide-ranging changes at the beginning of the nineties, it was renamed again to the University of Žilina pursuant to the law passed by the Slovak National Council on November 20, 1996. This change reflected the University’s educational restructuring, which is based on effective theoretical and professional preparation, communications skills, use of information telecommunication technologies, marketing, economics and law emphasizing the future demands of customers.
The University of Žilina is the only university located in the northwest region of the Slovak Republic. In terms of prof essional profile, the University is unique in Slovakia as it has a long tradition of providing education in the fields of transport and communications. Furthermore, during the last period of development the University became an educational institution with a broad profile in many areas of science, technology, economics, management, and recently, educational and natural sciences.
The University enjoys a very close cooperation with transport, telecommunication and industrial companies as well as public and private institutions across the region and country. Further, the University contributes to the technological and operational development of transport and telecommunication systems, networks and services as the main conditions for the future economic, and the social development of the Slovak Republic.
The University of Žilina provides education at all three levels of higher education both in full-time and part-time forms (Bachelor's degree, Engineer/Master's degree and Doctoral degree). Finally, all of the University’s faculties provide a supplementary course of pedagogical studies for students and graduates.
Over the last 57 years more than 52 000 students have graduated from the University; 1662 of them have been awarded the Ph.D. degree.
The University has established contacts with many universities abroad. Professors and research workers at the University participate in international educational and research projects. These include the European Union projects TEMPUS, COPERNICUS, COST, LLP/ERASMUS, Leonardo da Vinci, than CEEPUS, National Scholarship Programme, DAAD. The academic staffs are actively involved in cooperations within the EU´s 6 th and 7 th Framework programmes.
The University envisages an establishment and gradual development of new courses and curricula reflecting advances in science and technology. Development of life-long learning and continuing education programmes will become one of the main tasks in the near future. Continuing and distance education at the University will focus on the demands and requirements of Slovak industry and the public and social sectors of services.
Slovakia is a wonderful secret in the heart of Europe. With the lower Carpathians and more than a hundred historic castles, Slovakia is a scenic country. On my first train trip through the country, I saw sunflower fields that stretched from the railroad into the horizon. Žilina is located on the main railway halfway between Slovakia’s largest cities: the capital, Bratislava, and Košice in the east. Žilina has all the conveniences of a large city with the warmth of a small town. Nestled in the Small Fatra, the Žilina region offers skiing, hiking and bicycling. Since medieval trade routes Žilina has always been the busiest traffic junction Slovakia. So, it is no wonder that the College of Railways in Prague re-established itself and evolved to become the present day University of Žilina. As an educational and research institution specializing in engineering, transport and communication, the University is a primary resource for industries and civic organizations in Žilina and Slovakia. Even though the Žilina community is heavily involved in several areas of industry, the town centre is picturesque. The brick-paved pedestrian street leads from the train station to the upper and lower town squares, which are lined with shops and cafes constructed in colourful old-style facades. Žilina´s cultural atmosphere includes theatre, music, art galleries and the cinemas. Local pubs and discos cater to the young college crowd while live music, theatre and outdoor performances attract the young and old. Many of Žilina´s residents are Slovakian families who have lived in this region for many generations and account for the rich history and culture that is present. However, the city will continue to be progressive because of the large number of university students during the school year, and the several tourists stopping through during the summer and wintertime.
(Cristy, a USA Peace Corps Volunteer at ŽU)
I spent 9 months at Žilina University and experienced a variety of things. I think that Žilinčania (Citizens of Žilina) are really outgoing people. I'm not good at speaking English. When I talked to someone in Slovakia to ask something with my poor English, they spoke to me friendly as if we were old acquaintances. Through playing sports and dancing in a club with some Slovakian friends, I strongly felt that the language barrier doesn't matter for Žilinčania.
Many students at Žilina University are very earnest about their studies. Sometimes, they discuss with passion their research issues from morning till the late night. I'm studying Tribology which deals with the issues of friction, wearing and lubrication in the mechanical engineering. The work in the laboratory of Žilina University works well as a "lubricant" for the human relations.
The city of Žilina is my hometown in Slovakia. I hope that the international exchange between Slovakia and Japan will become more popular and our relationship will improve to a higher level in the future.
Hirotomo KOBAYASHI, Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan