The management of the University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and Technology (UMFST) “George Emil Palade” Târgu Mureș, through the rector Leonard Azamfirei, addressed, on July 14, 2022, the management of the Târgu Mureș City Hall and the Târgu Mureș Local Council with the aim of proposes the creation of an integrated dual education consortium.
In that address, the management of the Târgu Mureș City Hall and the Târgu Mureș Local Council are informed that UMFST “George Emil Palade” intends to submit a project whose value may reach the sum of 21 million euros.
In the same document, the UMFST rector states that to be viable, the project needs a land area of 20,000 square meters and requests an official response by July 21, 2022.
Leonard Azamfirei, arguments for a future consortium
We reproduce, in the lines below, the address of the rector of UMFST “George Emil Palade” Târgu Mureș to the Târgu Mureș Local Council and to the mayor Soós Zoltán, specifying that the document appeared in the public space on July 19, 2022, on the Facebook page of local councilor Claudiu Maior (Pro Romania):
In summary, the rector Leonard Azamfirei, who also holds the position of PSD senator, proposed the implementation of the concept of “integrated consortium for dual education”, in order to obtain funding through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The future consortium would also have an integrated campus for dual technical education at high school and university level, which is why the rector of UMFST “George Emil Palade” requested the local authorities of the “City of Roses” to participate in the future consortium with a land of 20,000 square feet.
At the same time, in the same document, the rector of UMFST “George Emil Palade” specified that the maximum value of a project related to a regional dual education consortium is 21.1 million euros and requested an answer by July 21, 2022 at the latest “so that the university can orient itself towards other possible consortium partners.”
“The lack of a response by this date will be considered a negative response”, completed his university prof. Dr. Leonard Azamfirei’s letter to the local authorities in Târgu Mureș, not before clearly stating the intention of the largest Mureș university: building a modern campus.
Marius Pașcan: “No official answer so far”
On August 17, 2022, the president of PMP Mureș, Marius Pașcan, who is also a teacher at UMFST “George Emil Palade” wrote, on his Facebook page, a text entitled “Târgu-Mureș Municipality risks losing 21 millions of euros because of irresponsible people”.
We reproduce, in the lines below, the respective text:
“It has been a month since, through an official address, the University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and Technology “George Emil Palade” from Târgu Mureș requested the Town Hall and the local municipal council of Târgu Mureș to establish a consortium, a regional dual education partnership for a project financed by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) totaling over 21 million euros.
“Each consortium – it is stated in the UMFST’s address to the City Hall – will receive funding to build and operationalize integrated campuses for dual technical education at high school and university level, which will ensure both the necessary infrastructure for an effective and relevant professional training for the needs of the labor market, and and the social infrastructure necessary to increase the attractiveness of professional education (accommodation spaces, meals, sports activities and other recreational activities). The infrastructure of these campuses will include an important digitization component.”
Obviously, the big universities and Romanian municipalities are in a competition in this regard. The rector of UMFST Târgu Mureș, Leonard Azamfirei, explicitly states in the address: “if the project is not of interest to the municipality of Târgu Mureș, we ask that you inform us of this as soon as possible (by July 21, 2022 at the latest), so that the university can turn to other possible consortium partners. Failure to respond by this date will be considered a negative response.”
PMP Mureș officially requested, as early as July 20, an emergency meeting of the decision-makers from the City Hall and the local Council to debate this project. No official response so far. Although the university, education and medical services represent the main brand of the municipality of Târgu-Mureș, the mayor Soós Zoltán and the local council of Târgu Mureș, dominated by the UDMR, seem not to be interested in the possibility of accessing 21 million euros. They were ethnically blocked in an address by an alleged graduate of the university, signed by Kürti Jenő, who claims that “the creation of a consortium cannot be accepted by ethnic Hungarian citizens, only on the condition of renouncing ethnic discrimination within the university, through the establishment of a faculty with teaching in the Hungarian language as well as the newly established faculty with teaching in the English language.”
As a professor at this university, I inform you that there is no “ethnic discrimination” at UMFST Târgu Mureș and education in the Hungarian language is carried out without problems, even under conditions of “positive discrimination” of Hungarian students. Can the municipality of Târgu Mureș afford not to access 21 million euros for the pretexts and irresponsibility of some idiots who run this city ethnocentrically?”
Soós Zoltán: “An answer has been sent”
The daily Zi de Zi requested the management of the Town Hall of Târgu Mureș, on August 17, 2022, to make the necessary clarifications in relation to this subject.
On August 18, 2022, the Chancellery of the Mayor of Soós Zoltán sent the following response: “Regarding your request regarding the address sent by UMFST “George Emil Palade” no. 5981/ July 14, 2022 to UAT Târgu Mureș, requesting a meeting with local decision-makers to analyze the project that the University wishes to implement, we would like to inform you that a response was sent on July 21, 2022, in which it was proposed that the requested meeting take place on July 28, 2022. Mr. Vice Mayor Alexandru György participated in this meeting”.
Alexandru György: “I met Mr. Azamfirei”
Contacted on August 18, 2022 to shed light on this case, Deputy Mayor Alexandru György, on vacation, was kind enough to respond to the request of the daily Zi de Zi on August 19, 2022.
“I myself replied (to the UMFST address – no) that it would be good to meet to see exactly what it is about, to understand more precisely the consortium that the UMFST wants to make. I met with Mr. Azamfirei, indeed, I think in July 28. The mayor was normally supposed to attend that meeting, but something came up and he couldn’t attend. At the meeting, the rector explained what they were going to do and it remained for us to identify a land where we could help them, but unfortunately we still haven’t identified a good place for such a thing. Even worse is that at the level of the Târgu Mureș municipality, not all the lands are registered with the Municipality so that they can enter a consortium like this, a land where they can build a campus of about 20,000 square meters. I still haven’t had time to talk to the mayor on this subject, after that I went on vacation and I’m still on vacation, and after that he was on vacation for a few days. I say that next week we clarify this subject, if we have a field somewhere”Deputy Mayor Alexandru György declared for the daily newspaper Zi de Zi.
I agree with the proposal, but the problem is the land
At the same time, he stated that according to administrative logic, the proposal made by the management of UMFST “George Emil Palade” will end up being debated in the City Council “only if a piece of land is identified.”
“Procedurally, we can say promote a draft decision for this consortium, so that we agree with it. The Municipality’s contribution to the consortium is that it provides the land. If we push a draft resolution right now that we agree to partner with UMFST for that project and we don’t have the land, we’re doing it for nothing. It is clear that in the end the decision is made by the City Council. I would really be pro for something like that, especially since I understand that the project has an important component aimed at innovation and research. I’m for, just to identify that land”, Deputy Mayor Alexandru György also stated.
Zi de Zi daily will continue to monitor this particularly important topic for the Târgumures community.