Jagiellonian University

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Group.png Jagiellonian University  
POL Jagiellonian University logo.png
Poland's most reputable institution of higher learning.

The Jagiellonian University,also known as the University of Kraków, is a public research university in Kraków, Poland.


Founded in 1364 by Casimir III the Great, the Jagiellonian University is the oldest university in Poland, the second oldest university in Central Europe, and one of the oldest surviving universities in the world. Notable alumni include astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, poet Jan Kochanowski, Polish King John III Sobieski, constitutional reformer Hugo Kołłątaj, chemist Karol Olszewski, anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski, writer Stanisław Lem, and President of Poland Andrzej Duda. Students at the University who did not earn diplomas included Nobel laureates Ivo Andrić and Wisława Szymborska. Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) enrolled in the Jagiellonian University of Krakow in 1938[1] to study Polish Studies at the JU Faculty of Philosophy, but shortly after enrollment, his studies were interrupted by Sonderaktion Krakau. In 1953, Father Wojtyła presented a dissertation at the Jagiellonian University of Krakow on the possibility of grounding a Christian ethic on the ethical system developed by Max Scheler.[2]

The campus of the Jagiellonian University is centrally located within the city of Kraków. The university consists of sixteen faculties, including the humanities, law, the natural and social sciences, and medicine. The university employs roughly 4,000 academics, and has almost 40 thousand students who study in some 80 disciplines.[3] More than half of the student body are women.

Due to its history, the Jagiellonian University is traditionally considered Poland's most reputable institution of higher learning.

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. Nevertheless, teaching at the Secret Jagiellonian University was organized, attended by about 900 students.

University classes were launched just a month after the end of the occupation of Krakow. Scientists from Lviv and Vilnius came to Krakow, forced by the Soviets to repatriate. The Communist Party took control of the university and removed some rebellious professors. Several faculties were separated, from which new universities were created (Agricultural Academy, Academy of Physical Education, Medical Academy), the Faculty of Theology was also eventually closed. Some professors, including Roman Ingarden, were expelled from the university. The communist authorities also abolished the autonomy of universities.

During this period, Karol Wojtyła, the later Pope, also studied at the university, at the later disconnected Faculty of Theology.

Things started to improve materially during the 1950s. 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.


Alumni on Wikispooks

Elżbieta Bieńkowska4 February 1964PoliticianChairing the European Commission's High-level Group of Personalities on Defence Research
Andrzej Duda16 May 1972PolandPolitician
Greg Hajdarowicz27 October 1965PolandProducer
Polish drug company founder and film producer. Attended his first Bilderberg meeting in 2018.
Edward Lucas3 May 1962UKJournalist
NATO/II journalist