UNYP Affairs: Interview with UNYP’s Rector, Dr. Andreas Antonopoulos

Although the University of New York in Prague is physically closed for the duration of the Czech national quarantine for COVID-19, we were able to talk to Dr. Andreas Antonopoulos, the Rector of UNYP, about the university’s current situation, as well as the start of a new MBA collaboration with GEA College (Ljubljana, Slovenia). Dr. Antonopoulos teaches Entrepreneurship-related courses in UNYP’s MBA programs. 

In the early 1990s, Dr. Antonopoulos began his career as an electrical and electronics engineer, simultaneously pursuing a Ph.D. degree. Several years later, while working as a middle manager in a US multinational, Dr. Antonopoulos had the opportunity to obtain an MBA. He established his first company shortly after receiving his MBA, and began to teach Entrepreneurship in MBA programs in 2005. 

Let’s begin with the unavoidable topic of COVID-19 and the Czech national quarantine. How did UNYP manage to smoothly transition to remote teaching on such short notice? 

It was a rapidly developing situation. As with all the other universities, we were following instructions from the Czech government, and these instructions were changing daily. We monitored the situation and took carefully-considered decisions. We began our preparations two weeks before the official order to close all educational establishments in Prague– proactively identifying the possibility of a closure and working with all our faculty members to prepare them for an eventual closure and transition online. UNYP’s IT department worked very effectively with us to train all the staff, so that everyone was ready to begin working online. In my opinion, it was a reasonably smooth transition, considering the circumstances, the abrupt nature of events and the fact that we didn’t lose much working time during the process of switching from offline to online teaching.

Our students didn’t miss out on the opportunity to conclude the semester either, and although it might not be too apparent to the student body, we were also cooperating closely with our partners during this time. We put a lot of extra work into communication and collaboration with our Double Degree and Study Abroad partner universities from the United States, Europe and elsewhere, in order to provide support and solutions for their students studying with us, and we have received some really very positive feedback from them. I would like to take the opportunity to thank UNYP’s faculty and staff for all the extra work and effort they have put into managing this crisis. 

The University of New York in Prague is closely monitoring the coronavirus pandemic. 

What are your thoughts on the future of the development of the situation?

Right now, we are eight to nine weeks out from the end of the semester, and I think it was only logical to decide to complete this semester online. We are taking into consideration the fact that the situation around the new coronavirus is still unfolding, and it is probably going to last longer than most people initially thought. We understand that it will take some more time for things to get back to normal. However, this exercise gave us the ability to identify a lot of strengths that UNYP already has, and various tools that we could use in the future to enhance our classes. 

What does this situation means for UNYP applicants, in particular people who are looking into studying at UNYP starting the Fall semester? 

We are running the Admissions process in the context of the new reality. Before the quarantine, a good part of the Admissions work took place online, so this department has been affected much less than Operations. At this stage, we understand that there is still going to be a demand for quality higher education in the Czech Republic and other countries. Degree seekers might become more selective and careful in choosing a particular degree. In terms of education quality, UNYP’s reputation speaks for itself, so we are hoping that there might be some unexpected further growth potential. 

We want to finish with a few questions for Dr. Antonopoulos on a more positive topic. In 2020, the University of New York in Prague and GEA College (Ljubljana, Slovenia) are beginning an exciting new collaboration on the implementation of a new MBA program. The majority of the course will be taught in Ljubljana, with some lectures taking place in Prague. The MBA students will have the opportunity to learn from international lecturers with extensive academic and entrepreneurial experience, and to contribute to cultural exchange in their respective business spheres. 

UNYP expands MBA program to Slovenia with a new partner

What is the main benefit of this MBA degree? And what is its value for companies and society?

This program equips students with skills and knowledge that can positively impact their career and life by giving them a profound understanding of business processes. For companies, the value is immediate and substantial as our graduates can apply a lot of the theory, knowledge, and skills that they develop during the program directly to the operations of the company. Society will benefit from businesses that operate more efficiently, and from managers with better work ethics and the concept of social responsibility. 

What are your expectations as a lecturer?

I hope to have enthusiastic students with a desire to grab onto the opportunities that high-growth entrepreneurship can offer to them, whether they would like to pursue a new venture or advance a corporate career.

What do you enjoy about teaching Entrepreneurship? 

The most exciting aspect of teaching Entrepreneurship is continuously covering, analyzing, and presenting in class some of the most breathtaking and innovative new venture products and services that are changing the way we do business and we live our lives. Additionally, I enjoy the experience of overseeing my students working on and delivering a practical real business plan, based on their own original ideas. I am pleased and proud to have had several of my students start new ventures based on projects that they prepared for my course. 

Follow us

Go to top