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When you think of a university, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

For me, I think, science, career, study programs, faculties and of course the student life. I never stop to think about the impact and activities of a higher education institution outside of the scientific/academic aspects.

I guess this was the thought of the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CZU), my home away from home for the past six years, as they have created the book "CZU from 77 sides", a book that highlights some of the many topics at the university in a creative, visually appealing, and light-hearted way. This inclusive, international, and multicultural institution that welcomes students from all over the world (my Nicaraguan self-included) has produced many unique results which have not only impacted the Czech Republic but also quite a lot abroad.

Developed through the collaboration of more than 100 authors from CZU, the book represents a light alternative to professional publications or simple informative magazines. It gives the general public, new incoming students, and current student like myself a quick insight into 77 key areas in which the university is working on in an easy to ready storytelling fun way.

Some of the topics covered are: the consequences of climate change, the shortage of workers in agriculture and forestry, food security, bark beetle-infested forests and sustainable solutions just to mention a few, this gives you an idea of how this creative book is spreading the word and creating awareness on the various achievements and activities of this institution like wildfire.

One of my favourite chapters in the book is “Being an entrepreneur while studying” This chapter highlights the principles of the “Finnish Team Academy®” concept/project which links the worlds of business and education. This concept offered to CZU students since 2019 as a learning by doing and team learning approach, encourages entrepreneurship at the university. During their studies, young entrepreneurs form teams in which they operate as independent companies. Students work on real projects that they search for themselves. They thereby create their own customer network with which they communicate and for which they work. Throughout three years of studies, they obtain the necessary marketing and sales skills as well as the knowledge needed to run their own business.

YPARD is also featured in the book!

As a fellow YPARDian and the Communications Focal Point for YPARD Europe, seeing YPARD’s feature feels like an achievement in its own right! The YPARD Europe Coordination Unit has been hosted by CZU for the past five years, the institution has always supported us unconditionally, but holding the book in my hands and seeing the YPARD chapter just gives me a sense absolute joy. The most noteworthy part is not just that YPARD was featured in this awesome book, no, no, no…. the best part is that Dr. Libuska Mercl, YPARD Europe Coordinator was one of the main editors of the book! This goes to show the trust and connection YPARD Europe has with CZU as our hosting institution.

This thought-provoking book is complemented by original and playful illustrations, resulting in a unique publication in the field of popularization of science and research.

This book makes for a great gift to family and friends as it not only highlights the achievements of this institution but also shows the other side of universities and the impact, they have in various fields outside of the academic scope! In addition to the Czech version, CZU has also published an English book for all foreign colleagues and friends entitled "CZU from 77 sides".

Both versions are available in the CZU shop (canteen) or at the CZUe-shop at, so get yours and learn all about CZU the YPARD Europe hosting institution!

Picture credit: Klára Ji?i?ná

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Wednesday, 21 February 2024

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