Škoda Auto University inaugurates new Technical Education Centre Na Hejdovce
The opening ceremony, which took place on Tuesday, 19 September 2023, was attended by a number of distinguished guests led by the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Mikuláš Bek and the President of the Czech Rectors' Conference, the Rector of Charles University, Milena Králíčková. Škoda Auto a.s. was represented by Maren Gräf, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ŠAU and member of the Board of Directors of Škoda Auto a.s. responsible for People and Culture, Holger Peters, member of the Board of Directors of ŠA responsible for Finance and IT, Jaroslav Povšík, Chairman of the KOVO Trade Union, and representatives of strategic partners AIKIT Digital and Adastra Group.
The Educational Technical Centre, which is designed as a small factory, represents a significant step forward in the field of education, research and innovation and offers well-equipped laboratories and research centres that simulate the real operation of an industrial enterprise. The facility includes a production and logistics laboratory, practical informatics, physics, electrical engineering and automation laboratories, a data centre, a 3D printing laboratory, a virtual reality, electromobility and Industry 4.0 laboratory, and a mechanical and electrical engineering research laboratory. Simply a place where theory becomes practice.
"The construction of the technical campus represents a major milestone in the development of Škoda Auto University both in terms of the development of technically oriented study programmes and in terms of project activities of departments and opportunities for cooperation with practice. Cooperation with practice is a key element of all study programmes at ŠAVŠ and the construction and equipment of the technical campus is to a large extent a result of this," adds Pavel Mertlík, Rector of Škoda Auto University.
The mission of the Education and Development Centre is to connect education, science, research, development and innovation through cutting-edge technologies, to strengthen practical skills and create space for students, academic team, public and partners to face new common challenges.
"With the opening of the Technical Education Centre Na Hejdovce, Škoda Auto University becomes the first private university with its own modern educational and development technical campus. This is an important strategic milestone in our transformation towards becoming a sustainable mobility provider. Moreover, it is the people who develop products for our customers and shape our business. That's why the training of our current and future employees is perhaps the most important element of our success yesterday, today - and tomorrow," emphasises the contribution of the centre Maren Gräf, Chairman of the ŠAU Board of Management and Škoda Auto Board Member for People and Culture.
The new centre will serve not only for modern teaching of Škoda Auto University students, but also, thanks to cooperation with strategic partners, for the development of their skills and knowledge gained from specialists from practice, as well as for broader educational activities for the public, clubs, lectures or workshops. One of the projects for the public is, for example, the IT Academy for children, there will also be 3D printing courses and a number of other technically oriented events.
"Škoda Auto University is the first example of a successful private institution that not only brings the necessary professional profile to Czech higher education, but also shows that it is possible to mobilize private corporate funds for higher education. In all international comparisons, the Czech Republic stands out in that there is virtually no private money flowing into higher education. And we need to change that. Škoda Auto with its university is a model that can be used in other regions of the Czech Republic," says Mikuláš Bek, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports.
The name of the Educational Technical Centre, which is located at náměstí Míru 27 and is adjacent to Havel Park and Hejda Garden, is linked to the history and person of Josef Hejda. He lived in Mladá Boleslav between 1891 and 1970, came from a family of booksellers and was a prominent publisher. Josef Hejda was an agent of progress in Mladá Boleslav and the Na Hejdovce Educational Technical Centre continues this tradition. "When we were choosing the name for our Educational Technical Centre Na Hejdovce, we liked the combination of history with a place where the future will be created so much that we did not hesitate and are already looking forward to what new common challenges the modern space will bring us," adds Sandra Lacinová, Bursar of Škoda Auto University.