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I had chosen the MBA Programme of the UNESCO Department (University of Bucharest) to complete my studies in the area of management with a double experience in the fields of sociology and business administration, as I consider that being a manager and working in today’s business environment is, above all, dealing with people and their expectations. I was from the beginning attracted by this master programme due to its collaboration with higher education institutions from Switzerland, France and Germany and because it is a programme taught in English (I had previously followed the courses of a master in France and I wanted to do one in English). My experience at the UNESCO Department was a very successful one throughout the two years spent in this programme, combining courses in sociology like Organizational behavior and Ethics of international relations with finance-related courses – like Finance and Accounting for Managers and Risk Management. My efforts were focused on teamwork (group projects) as well as individual assignments (reports, essays and papers to be presented in class), and the benefits from studying side by side with a small but diversified cohort of students were important: I had the possibility to do projects with people coming from the areas of sociology, engineering, and economy – people working in multinationals, SMEs or the education system. I would like to thank all the professors and the staff of this master programme for sharing their time and knowledge with us and thus contributing to our formation as future professionals and managers. And I encourage the future students to analyze carefully the offer of the UNESCO Department and to take profit of the courses taught here if they are accepted in the master programmes.

Now: Financial Software Consultant, Finastra, Romania Ilie-Constantin FLOREA

Former student, MBA

Recently, following the course of events in the international academic world, especially in Europe, has emerged a multitude of programs of short and long term that addresses the issue of intercultural relations from different points of view. Each higher education institution that offers this type of training has put its imprint on both the content and the form of programs. And this according to their culture and circumstances in which it is located.

Department UNESCO Chair in Inter-cultural and Inter-religious Exchanges is one of the latest departments from the University of Bucharest. Although, the project started in 1995, by the Swiss professor Martin Hauser, in 1999 took the name of Department UNESCO Chair on the Study of Intercultural and Interreligious Exchanges. In 2002 it became an autonomous Department within the University of Bucharest.

What does it offer?

Department Chair UNESCO offers the students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in the context of 3 Master programs, on the basis of the Bologna System:

  1. Intercultural Communication
  2. Intercultural Management
  3. MBA – Business Administration.
  1. Intercultural Communication – is a program that gives the students the possibility to experience European cultures in their depths. The courses which are being taught by both Romanian and foreign professors (from Switzerland, France, Germany etc.) are related to the fields of: culturology, history, sociology, philosophy of religions, political science etc. Courses such as: Phenomenology and ontology of European Culture, European Cultural Identity and Globalization, The Linguistic and Semiotic Aspects of the Intercultural Communication, Presence of Women in European Cultures, Anthropology of Intercultural Relations etc. engage together the students and the professors in an exciting itinerary. The professors, who are coming from the academic or diplomatic areas, present in their courses, opened to general public, the latest changes all over the world. This Master program is indispensable to those who work or want to work in the organizations active in this field, both nationally and internationally. It’s even more useful for those who would like to work in European structures.
  2. Intercultural Management – is a program that offers students a quality education by bringing together, under the same roof, both the field of culture and of management. This model is the most interdisciplinary as possible, since it combines humanities with sciences. During the courses, which are taught in English or French, the students learn: what does people understand by culture, what is a multicultural society, what are the possible interactions between different cultures and how to manage them. The parette of courses is composed of thematic disciplines such as: cultural studies, sociology, history, religious philosophy etc. and expands the disciplines that deal with issues of conflict management, human resources, organizations and intercultural projects. The professors come from Romanian and international academia. Another important aspect of this Master program is that it is organized in collaboration with the Haute Ecole de Gestion in Fribourg (HEG Fribourg-HSW), which is the Swiss higher education institution specialized in management.
  3. MBA – Business Administration is new to the educational options offered by the Department Chair UNESCO. It became possible thanks to the very close collaboration with the School of Business Administration (HEG-HSW Fribourg) of Fribourg, Switzerland. The professor come from different countries such as: Switzerland, Germany, United States of America, Romania etc. The palette of the courses is composed of thematic subjects such as: Leadership and Organizational Culture, Business Communication, Finance and Accounting for Managers, Organizational Behavior, HR Management, Management Issues in Multinational Corporations, Entrepreneurship Skills and Coaching for Leadership, Competitive Strategy and Business Performance, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Business Security etc.

Last but not least, the professors of the Department UNESCO Chair could coordinate doctoral theses in the fields of economics, sociology, history and philosophy of religion, theology etc.

What are the differences between these Master programs and other?

There are similarities with other European masters programs, but the programs offered by the Department UNESCO Chair at the University of Bucharest remain unique for the following reasons:

  • Firstly, the basic approach of its programs is “historic” – in order to understand or manage other cultures or intercultural relations, one must know and understand his or her own history. In addition, the Romanian example constitutes the starting point for discussions on the eastern and western Europe connections.
  • Secondly, the courses that are being taught give the students a very solid background knowledge, not only in 1 or 2 fields, but in many areas, exploring subjects related to sociology, gender studies, religion, history, anthropology, economy, etc. Because the professors are coming from different countries, this offers the student the opportunity get in touch with different cultures and to practice the intercultural communication.
  • Another important aspect is that these master programs take place in Romania, an Eastern country, which is in transition and evolving very fast, adapting this way to the European Union.

Although the Department UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Exchanges is relatively young in the field of higher education (2002), it managed to establish itself as one of the few departments from the University of Bucharest, and even Romania, which develops the teaching of interculturalism as a discipline.

Maria-Daniela POMOHACI

Former student, Intercultural Communication

Working for the MBA and the master programs in Intercultural Communication and Intercultural Management of the UNESCO Chair at University of Bucharest has been a unique experience. Rarely a teacher is confronted with such an amazing variety of talents. Learning is constructed a collective dialogue rather than a simple transmission of knowledge, and the richness and diversity of the opportunities offered to students is impressive.

Basile ZIMMERMANN

Directeur, Institut Confucius, Université de Genève, Genève (CH)

My experiences from the lectures at the UNESCO Chair for the Study of Intercultural and Interreligious Exchanges at the Faculty of Philosophy are exceptionally positive! I was surprised not only about the language (English) skills of the students but even more how open and engaged the students entered discussions during and after the lectures. Anyhow I have to admit that the quality of the students in my Bucharest courses with regard to knowledge and interest is surprisingly high compared with students in Germany. My impression was that those students who attend the lectures at the UNESCO Chair represent a positive high quality selection driven by clear personal interests in intercultural, international affairs. For the future intensified inclusion of Romania into the European scientific, cultural and in particular business community these students represent a special human resources asset!

Franz-Lothar ALTMANN

Professor, Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft (SOG), Munchen (D)

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