The campus of the Jagiellonian University is centrally located within the city of Kraków. The university consists of fifteen faculties, including the humanities, law, the natural and social sciences, and medicine. The university employs roughly 4,000 academics, and has more than 40,000 students who study in some 80 disciplines. More than half of the student body are women. The language of instruction is usually Polish, although several degrees are offered in either German or English. The university library is one of Poland's largest, and houses several medieval manuscripts, including Copernicus' De Revolutionibus.
Due to its history, the Jagiellonian University is traditionally considered Poland's most reputable institution of higher learning, this standing equally being reflected in international rankings. The Jagiellonian University is a member of the Coimbra Group and Europaeum.
In the mid-14th century, King Casimir III the Great realised that the nation needed a class of educated people, especially lawyers, who could codify the country's laws and administer the courts and offices. His efforts to found an institution of higher learning in Poland were rewarded when Pope Urban V granted him permission to set up a university in Kraków. A royal charter of foundation was issued on 12 May 1364, and a simultaneous document was issued by the City Council granting privileges to the Studium Generale. The King provided funding for one chair in liberal arts, two in Medicine, three in Canon Law and five in Roman Law, funded by a quarterly payment taken from the proceeds of the royal monopoly on the salt mines at Wieliczka.
Development of the University of Kraków stalled upon the death of King Casimir, its founder, and lectures were held in various places across the city, including, amongst others, in professors' houses, churches and in the cathedral school on the Wawel Hill. It is believed that, in all likelihood, the construction of a building to house the Studium Generale began on Plac Wolnica in what is today the district of Kazimierz.
After a period of disinterest and lack of funds, the institution was restored in the 1390s by King Władysław II Jagiełło and his wife Saint Hedwig, the daughter of King Louis of Hungary and Poland. The royal couple decided that, instead of building new premises for the university, it would be better to buy an existing edifice; it was thus that a building on Żydowska Street, which had previously been the property of the Pęcherz family, was found and acquired in 1399. The Queen donated all of her personal jewelry to the university, allowing it to enroll 203 students. The faculties of astronomy, law and theology attracted eminent scholars: for example, John Cantius, Stanisław of Skarbimierz, Paweł Włodkowic, Jan of Głogów, and Albert Brudzewski, who from 1491 to 1495 was one of Nicolaus Copernicus' teachers. The university was the first university in Europe to establish independent chairs in Mathematics and Astronomy. This rapid expansion in the university's faculty necessitated the purchase of larger premises in which to house them; it was thus that the building known today as the Collegium Maius, with its quadrangle and beautiful arcade, came into being towards the beginning of the 15th century. The Collegium Maius' qualities, many of which directly contributed to the sheltered, academic atmosphere at the university, became widely respected, helping the university establish its reputation as a place of learning in Central Europe.
Golden age of the Renaissance
For several centuries, virtually the entire intellectual elite of Poland were educated at the university, where they enjoyed particular royal favour, often being provided with game from the royal hunt to satisfy their needs at mealtime. Whilst it was, and largely remains, Polish students who make up the greater part of the university's student body, it has, over its long history, educated thousands of foreign students from countries such as Lithuania, Russia, Hungary, Bohemia, Germany, and Spain. During the second half of the 15th century, over 40 percent of students came from outside the Kingdom of Poland.
The first chancellor of the University was Piotr Wysz, and the first professors were Czechs, Germans and Poles, many of them trained at the Charles University in Prague in Bohemia. By 1520 Greek philology was introduced by Constanzo Claretti and Wenzel von Hirschberg; Hebrew was also taught. At this time, the Collegium Maius comprised seven reading rooms, six of which were named for the great ancient scholars: Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Galen, Ptolemy, and Pythagoras. Furthermore, it was during this period that the faculties of Law, Medicine, Theology, and Philosophy were established in their own premises; two of these buildings, the Collegium Iuridicum and Collegium Minus, survive to this day. The golden era of the University of Kraków took place during the Polish Renaissance, between 1500 and 1535, when it was attended by 3,215 students in the first decade of the 16th century, and it was in these early years that the foundations for the Jagiellonian Library were set, with the addition of a library floor to the Collegium Maius. The library's original rooms, in which all books were chained to their cases in order to prevent theft, are no longer used as such. However, they are still occasionally opened to host visiting lecturers' talks.
As the university's popularity, along with that of the ever more provincial Kraków's, declined in later centuries, the number of students attending the university also fell and, as such, the attendance record set in the early 16th century was not again surpassed until the late 18th century. This phenomenon was recorded as part of a more general economic and political decline seen in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, which was suffering from the effects of poor governance and the policies of hostile neighbors at the time. In fact, despite a number of expansion projects during the late 18th century, many of the university's buildings had fallen into disrepair and were being used for a range of other purposes; in the university's archives there is one entry which reads: 'Nobody lives in the building, nothing happens there. If the lecture halls underwent refurbishment they could be rented out to accommodate a laundry'. This period thus represents one of the darkest periods in the university's history and is almost certainly the one during which the closure of the institution seemed most imminent.
After the third partition of Poland in 1795 and the ensuing Napoleonic Wars, Kraków became a free city under the protection of the Austrian Empire; this, however, was not to last long. In 1846, after the Kraków Uprising, the city and its university became part of the Austrian Empire. The Austrians were in many ways hostile to the institution and, soon after their arrival, removed many of the furnishings from the Collegium Maius'Auditorium Maximum in order to convert it into a grain store. However, the threat of closure of the University was ultimately dissipated by KaiserFerdinand I of Austria's decree to maintain it. By the 1870s the fortunes of the university had improved so greatly that many scholars had returned. The liquefaction of nitrogen and oxygen was successfully demonstrated by professors Zygmunt Wróblewski and Karol Olszewski in 1883. Thereafter the Austrian authorities took on a new role in the development of the university and provided funds for the construction of a number of new buildings, including the neo-gothic Collegium Novum, which opened in 1887. It was, conversely, from this building that in 1918 a large painting of KaiserFranz Joseph was removed and destroyed by Polish students advocating the reestablishment of an independent Polish state.
For the 500th anniversary of the university's foundation, a monument to Copernicus was placed in the quadrangle of the Collegium Maius; this statue is now to be found in the direct vicinity of the Collegium Novum, outside the Collegium Witkowskiego, to where it was moved in 1953. Nevertheless, it was in the Grzegórzecka and the Kopernika areas that much of the university's expansion took place up to 1918; during this time the Collegium Medicum was relocated to a site just east of the centre, and was expanded with the addition of a number of modern teaching hospitals – this 'medical campus' remains to this day. By the late 1930s the number of students at the university had increased dramatically to almost six thousand. Now a major centre for education in the independent Republic of Poland, the university attained government support for the purchase of building plots for new premises, as a result of which a number of residencies were built for students and professors alike. However, of all the projects begun during this era, the most important would have to be the creation of the Jagiellonian Library. The library's monumental building, construction of which began in 1931, was finally completed towards the end of the interwar period, which allowed the university's many varied literary collections to be relocated to their new home by the outbreak of war in 1939.
On November 6, 1939, following the Nazi invasion of Poland, 184 professors were arrested and deported to Sachsenhausen concentration camp during an operation codenamed Sonderaktion Krakau (Special Operation Krakow). The university, along with the rest of Poland's higher and secondary education, was closed for the remainder of World War II. Despite the university's reopening after the cessation of hostilities in 1945, the new government of Poland was hostile to the teachings of the pre-war university and the faculty was suppressed by the Communists in 1954. By 1957 the Polish government decided that it would invest in the establishment of new facilities near Jordan Park and expansion of other smaller existing facilities. Construction work proved slow and many of the stated goals were never achieved; it was this poor management that eventually led a number of scholars to openly criticise the government for its apparent lack of interest in educational development and disregard for the university's future. A number of new buildings, such as the Collegium Biologicum, were built with funds from the legacy of Ignacy Paderewski.
By 1991 Poland had overthrown its Communist government. In that same year the Jagiellonian University successfully completed the purchase of its first building plot in Pychowice, Kraków, where, from 2000, construction of a new complex of university buildings, the so-called Third Campus, began. The new campus, officially named the '600th Anniversary Campus', was developed in conjunction with the new LifeScience Park, which is managed by the Jagiellonian Centre for Innovation, the university's research consortium. Public funds earmarked for the project amounted to 946.5million zlotys, or 240million euros. Poland's entry into the European Union in 2004 has proved instrumental in improving the fortunes of the Jagiellonian University, which has seen huge increases in funding from both central government and European authorities, allowing it to develop new departments, research centres, and better support the work of its students and academics.
The Jagiellonian University maintains an academic partnership with Heidelberg University, Germany's oldest university. In particular, there are close ties between both Heidelberg's and Kraków's law schools. In conjunction with Heidelberg and Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, the Jagiellonian University offers specializations in German law.
In addition to the Jagiellonian Library, the university maintains a large medical library (Biblioteka Medyczna) and many other subject specialised libraries in its various faculties and institutes. Finally, the collections of the university libraries' collections are enriched by the presence of the university's archives, which date back to the university's own foundation and record the entire history of its development up to the present day.
The university is divided into 15 faculties which have different organisational sub-structures which partly reflect their history and partly their operational needs. Teaching and research at UJ is organised by faculties, which may include a number of other institutions:
In 1851, the university's first student scientific association was founded. Now, over 70 student scientific associations exist at the Jagiellonian University. Usually, their purpose is to promote students' scientific achievements by organizing lecture sessions, science excursions, and international student conferences, such as the International Workshop for Young Mathematicians, which is organized by the Zaremba Association of Mathematicians.
The links below provide further information on student activities at the Jagiellonian:
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań is one of the major Polish universities, located in the city of Poznań, Greater Poland, in the west of the country. It traces its origins to 1611 and officially opened on May 7, 1919. Since 1955, it has carried the name of the Polish Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz. The university has been frequently listed as a top three university in the country.
John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, established in 1918, is the third oldest functioning university in Poland. The only private college in Poland with the status of a "university".
World War II saw the cultivation of underground education in Poland. Secretly conducted education prepared scholars and workers for the postwar reconstruction of Poland and countered German and Soviet threats to eradicate Polish culture.
Sonderaktion Krakau was the supposed codename for a German operation against professors and academics of the Jagiellonian University and other universities in German occupied Kraków, Poland, at the beginning of World War II. It was carried out as part of the much broader action plan, the Intelligenzaktion, to eradicate the Polish intellectual elite especially in those centres that were intended by the Germans to become culturally German.
Kraków is considered by many to be the cultural capital of Poland. It was named the European Capital of Culture by the European Union for the year 2000. The city has some of the best museums in the country and several famous theaters. It became the residence of two Polish Nobel laureates in literature: Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz, while a third Nobel laureate, the Yugoslav writer Ivo Andric also lived and studied in Krakow. It is also home to one of the world's oldest universities, the Jagiellonian University of Kraków.
The University of Lviv, presently the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv is the oldest university foundation in Ukraine, dating from 1661 when the Polish King, John II Casimir, granted it its first royal charter. Over the centuries it underwent transformations, suspensions and name changes that reflected the geo-political complexities of this part of Europe. The present institution can be dated to 1940. It is located in the historic city of Lviv in Lviv Oblast of Western Ukraine.
Tadeusz Estreicher was a Polish chemist, historian and cryogenics pioneer.
The Collegium Maius located in Kraków Old Town, Poland, is the Jagiellonian University's oldest building, dating back to the 14th century. It stands at the corner of ulica Jagiellońska and ulica Świętej Anny near the Main Square of the historic city centre. Collegium Maius is the location of the Jagiellonian University Museum, a registered museum established on the initiative of Prof. Karol Estreicher after meticulous restorations which lasted from 1949 until 1964 bringing the edifice back to its original look from before 1840.
Stanisław Estreicher was a Polish historian of Law and bibliographer; professor of the Jagiellonian University in 1906. Following the 1939 invasion of Poland, he was briefly offered to form a puppet quasi-government by Nazi Germany. He paid with his life for his refusal to do it.
The Collegium Novum is the Neo-Gothic main building of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, built in 1873-1887. Based on a design by architect Feliks Księżarski to match the oldest building of the University, it was opened for the 500th anniversary of the University's foundation. The Collegium Novum replaced a former academic boarding school called Jeruzalem, consumed by fire in the mid-19th century.
Jagiellonian Library is the library of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and with almost 6.7 million volumes, one of the largest libraries in Poland, serving as a public library, university library and part of the Polish national library system. It has a large collection of medieval manuscripts, for example Copernicus' De Revolutionibus and Jan Długosz's Banderia Prutenorum, and a large collection of underground literature from the period of communist rule in Poland (1945–1989). The Jagiellonian also houses the Berlinka art collection, whose legal status is in dispute with Germany.
The University of Warsaw, established in 1816, is the largest university in Poland. It employs over 6,000 staff including over 3,100 academic educators. It provides graduate courses for 53,000 students. The University offers some 37 different fields of study, 18 faculties and over 100 specializations in Humanities, technical as well as Natural Sciences.
The Botanic Garden of the Jagiellonian University is a botanical garden, founded in 1783 in Kraków. It is located east of the Old Town and occupies 9.6 hectares. It belongs to the Jagiellonian University and is classified as a historical location.
Faculty of Law and Administration is the oldest unit of the Jagiellonian University. In 1364, when the University was established, 8 out of 11 chairs were devoted to legal sciences. At the beginning only courses in Canon Law and Roman Law were available. At present, the faculty is recognised as the best law faculty in Poland with the best bar passage rates and one of the finest in Central Europe.
Association of Law Students’ Library of the Jagiellonian University is the oldest and one of the biggest student scientific associations in Poland.
The MA Program in Transatlantic Studies at Jagiellonian University, is a full-time, interdisciplinary graduate program in Krakow, Poland, geared predominantly towards international students. Students pursuing their Master of Arts focus mainly on the relationships between North America and Europe. This program, which began in 2007, offers an innovative approach to international affairs at one of Central Europe's oldest institutions. The two-year plan of study includes three semesters of in-classroom education and a fourth semester for a thesis defense. Students are able to choose from a wide array of courses covering the synergy between culture, politics, international relations, history, and economics. The program is commonly referred to as "TAS" and uses English as the only language of instruction. Graduates of the program receive a diploma in cultural studies with major in transatlantic studies and are accredited according to the international Bologna Process with 120 ECTS points.
The Nicolaus Copernicus Monument in Kraków is a notable landmark of Kraków, Poland. It memorializes the astronomer Copernicus, who studied at the Kraków Academy and whose father came from that city, then the capital of Poland.
Karol Estreicher was a Polish historian of art, writer and bibliographer, recipient of the Order of Polonia Restituta, son of Stanisław Estreicher.
Bartosz Brożek is a Polish philosopher and jurist whose main research interests are in philosophy of law, philosophy of science, logic and cognitive science. He is currently professor of jurisprudence at the Jagiellonian University and vice dean of the Faculty of Law and Administration, as well as a deputy-director of the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Kraków. Author or co-author of 20 book monographs and more than 70 scientific papers. He holds PhDs in both law (2003) and philosophy (2007), habilitation in law (2008) and the title of full professor (2013).
This page is based on this Wikipedia article Text is available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.