Multilingualism is a strategic resource of our times. The European language policy, as reflected by “Babeş-Bolyai” University’s Language Policy, recommends, in addition to the study of one’s native language, the study of a further two modern languages, felt to be a necessary asset to future professionals facing the challenges of an increasingly diverse and globalised world.
The Department of Modern Languages and Business Communication at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration is a complex teaching and research unit in the field of modern languages applied to professional communication. Through a set of high-standard programmes, the department covers the teaching and learning of modern languages and of communication skills for business purposes and for the public sphere at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, as well as at “Babeş-Bolyai” University’s Faculties of European Studies and of Business.
The constant concern for modern language teaching and learning has been a major component in the education of specialists in economics, as illustrated by the founding of the Modern Language Institute, which functioned as part of the Trade and Industry Academy of Cluj between 1943 and 1948.
Before 1992, the modern language classes at “Babeş-Bolyai” University’s Faculty of Economics, founded in 1961, were taught by members of the foreign language departments at the Faculty of Letters.
The changes that took place in Romania after 1990, as well as the development of the Faculty of Economics and the higher student interest in studying modern languages led in 1993 to the joint decision of the Council Board of the Faculty of Economics and of the “Babeş-Bolyai” University Senate to set up the Faculty of Economics Department of Modern Languages. At the outset, the department only numbered three members teaching practical courses in English and French applied to business and to the public sphere. The following year saw the introduction of German language courses. Italian language courses started in 2000, Spanish language courses in 2002 and, in 2009, the department also initiated courses in Romanian as a foreign language. At present, in addition to the languages mentioned above, the department offers elective courses in Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Besides the Faculty of Economics, the department has catered for the students at the Faculty of Business and at the Faculty of European Studies, ever since these were founded.
The growing number of students has led to the development of the department by the addition of new members, so that, at present, it has 37 teaching staff and two secretarial staff (see Appendix 4). The department functions in Cluj-Napoca, but also in the cities where the three above-mentioned faculties have current branches: Sfântu Gheorghe, Bistriţa and Sighet.
The faculty unit has steadily diversified its course offer, adding to the practical courses applied to business and to the public sphere new courses in professional communication, intercultural business communication, advertising and publicity discourse analysis, conflict management discourse analysis, negotiation discourse analysis, special events, foreign language project management, Romanian language and style in professional communication. As a result of these trends, the 2005 joint decision of the Council Board of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and of the “Babeş-Bolyai” University Senate led to the department’s name being changed to the Department of Modern Languages and Business Communication.
An important landmark in the evolution and consolidation of the department was the setup in 2006 of the Master’s Programme in International Business Administration and Communication, with its two modules: international business communication and business administration (2 years, full time and distance learning, accredited by CNCSIS), comprising courses taught in Romanian, English and French (see Appendices 3 & 4).
Over time, in addition to teaching activities, department members have also carried out a vast research activity in the form of books, textbooks, grammar books, dictionaries, translations, articles and essays, and the participation in national and international projects and grants. Specialisation in the field has been carried out through doctoral programmes (14 members have already been awarded a PhD degree, others are doctoral students at different stages of thesis completion), attending special training programmes abroad as well as various conferences at home and overseas (see the sections on “Department members” and “Research activity”).
In October 1999, the “Babeş-Bolyai” University Senate decides the setting up, as a joint departmental unit, of the LINGUA Centre for the development and improvement of communication in the public sphere (http://lingua.ubbcluj.ro/), associate member of the European Confederation of Language Centres in Higher Education (CercleS). The Centre’s mission, ever since its foundation, has been to offer high standard linguistic services, not only to students and faculty members, but also to community members interested in improving and testing their modern language proficiency level. As of 2002, the Centre has also supported the publishing of the centre’s journal, the LINGUA Journal, an annual that comes out in two discrete issues: Issue A. Linguistics, and Issue B. Culture and Civilisation. As a result of a cooperation agreement between “Babeş-Bolyai” University and Arizona State University (USA), as of 1999 the LINGUA Centre has also become a factor in institutional internationalisation, hosting the LINGUA Centre International Summer School: Romanian Language and the Multicultural Central European Area.
Taking into account the large number of department members and the diversity of its activities, as a result of the Decision of the Council Board of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration no. 117 of 03.03.2009, the Modern Languages and Business Communication Faculty Chair and the LINGUA Centre now constitute the Department of Modern Languages and Business Communication. This is also the start of InfoLINGUA, the department’s online Newsletter.
At the moment, the department operates with 7 classrooms, of which 3 language laboratories (1 Tandberg laboratory), and 7 offices, all equipped with computers, multimedia projectors and audio players. The department also has a Resource Centre of more than 2000 volumes, as well as special audio and video teaching materials.
 Following the Berlin Conference of 28-30 June 2001, dedicated to 2001 as European Language Year, the “Babeş-Bolyai” University Senate adopted, in its December 2001 meeting, the document entitled For a European Language Policy at “Babeş-Bolyai” University, published in Issue no. 21 of the “Babeş-Bolyai” University Newsletter, which stipulates that, as far as Romanian students are concerned, the 1+2 formula is applied (mother tongue A + two modern languages: B and C). See also the university site for any updates on this document.
 “Babeş-Bolyai” University received the “high confidence level” qualification as a result of the evaluation made by ARACIS, became a permanent member of ENQUA and was acknowledged by EQAR as of 2009.
 The Lingua Centre obtained the Formative Services Supplier Licence (Series CJ Nr. 000487) issued by the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth and the Ministry of Labor, Family and Equal Opportunities on 04.03.2008, enabling it to run specialisation programmes in the field of foreign language communication.
The Centre Trademark has been registered with the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks, Certificate no. 84880, issued according to Law no. 84/1998, on 26.02.2007.