Prague, Czech Republic – Milena Kralickova was elected as the new rector of Prague’s Charles University this week, marking the first time in history a woman will be in charge of the country’s oldest institution.
Serving until now as the vice-rector of Charles University, she was elected by an absolute majority of 55 voices out of 69 members of the university’s academic senate present.
After being confirmed in office by the President, she is set to replace the current rector Tomas Zima in February 2022. Her term should run until 2026.
Milena Kralickova, 49, studied general medicine at the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Plzen, and has been vice-rector for academic affairs of the Czech Republic’s oldest and most prestigious university since 2014.
A Fulbright Commission ambassador, she has also played a key role in the 4EU+ Alliance, a network of European universities including Charles University, the Sorbonne in Paris and others in Warsaw, Heidelberg, Milan and Copenhagen.
As the new rector, she promised to strengthen the digitization of the institution, reduce administrative burdens and facilitate a more efficient drawing of European funds, including as part of the EU-funded National Recovery Plan.
Several other top Czech educational institutions are set to elect their new rector in the coming months, including the Czech Technical University (CVUT) next week, the University of Economics (VSE) next month and the Academy of Fine Arts (AVU) in December.
Founded in 1348 by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and modelled on universities in Paris and Bologna, Prague’s Charles University is the oldest in Central Europe and one of the oldest in the world in continuous operation.
Regularly ranked among Europe’s best in international rankings, its alumni include the likes of Franz Kafka, Milan Kundera, or Edvard Benes.
Main photo credit: Charles University in Prague