|Latin: Universitas Jagellonica Cracoviensis|
|Motto||Plus ratio quam vis
(Let reason prevail over force)
|Rector||Prof. Wojciech Nowak, MD, PhD|
|Affiliations||EUA, Coimbra Group, Europaeum, Utrecht Network, EAIE, IRUN|
The Jagiellonian University (Polish: Uniwersytet Jagielloński [univɛrsɨtɛt`jaɡiɛllɔɲski], often shortened to UJ; historical names include Latin: Studium Generale, University of Kraków, Kraków Academy, The Main Crown School, and Main School of Kraków) was established in 1364 by Casimir III the Great in Kazimierz (district of Kraków). It is the oldest university in Poland, the second oldest university in Central Europe and one of the oldest universities in the world. It was positioned by QS World University Rankings as the best Polish university among the world's top 500 and the ARWU as second-best Polish higher-level institution.
The university fell upon hard times when the occupation of Kraków by Austria-Hungary during the Partitions of Poland threatened its existence. In 1817, soon after the creation of the Duchy of Warsaw the university renamed as Jagiellonian University to commemorate Poland's Jagiellonian dynasty, which first revived the Kraków University in the past. In 2006, The Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Jagiellonian University as Poland's top university.
Founding the university 
In the mid-14th century, King Casimir III of Poland realized 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 an academy 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.
The Kraków Academy's development stalled upon the death of King Casimir, 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 Jagiełło and his wife Saint Jadwiga, the daughter of the 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 academy, allowing it to enrol 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.
The golden age of the Renaissance 
For several centuries, virtually the entire intellectual elite of Poland was 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. It is interesting to note that during the second half of the 15th century, over 40% 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 neighbours at the time. In fact, despite a number of expansion projects during the late 18th century, many of the universities 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.
Decline and near closure after the partitions 
After the third partition of Poland in 1795 and the ensuing Napoleonic Wars, Kraków was 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 the Emperor Ferdinand 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, with 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 Emperor Franz 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 universities 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 an independent Polish state, 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 universities many varied literary collections to be relocated to their new home by the outbreak of war in 1939.
The university in the modern era 
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. The university, along with the rest of Poland's higher and secondary education, was shut down 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 so 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. Sadly, as was typical for the period, construction work proved slow and many of the stated goals were never achieved; it was this poor management and disregard for the university's future that eventually led a number of scholars to openly criticise the government for its apparent lack of interest in educational development. On the other hand, a number of new buildings, such as the Collegium Biologicum, were built with funds from the legacy of Ignacy Paderewski.
By 1991 Poland had thrown off its communist government and in that same year the Jagiellonian university successfully completed the purchase of its first building plot in Pychowice, where, from 2000, construction of a new complex of university buildings, the so-called Third Campus, began; its completion is currently planned for 2015. The new campus, officially named the '600th Anniversary Campus', is being developed hand in hand 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 946.5 million zlotys, or 240 million 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 in to develop new departments, research centres and better support the work of its students and academics.
The university's main library, the Jagiellonian Library (Biblioteka Jagiellońska), is one of Poland's largest, with almost 6.5 million volumes; it is a constituent of the Polish National Libraries system. It is home to a world renowned collection of medieval manuscripts, which includes Copernicus' De Revolutionibus and the Balthasar Behem Codex. The library also has an extensive collection of underground political literature (so-called drugi obieg or samizdat) from Poland's period of Communist rule between 1945 and 1989.
The beginning of the Jagiellonian Library is traditionally considered the same as that of the entire university (then known as the 'Krakow Academy') - in the year 1364; however instead of having one central library it had several smaller branches at buildings of various departments (the largest collection was in Collegium Maius, where works related to theology and liberal arts were kept). After 1775, during the reforms of Komisja Edukacji Narodowej, which established the first Ministry of Education in the world, various small libraries of the University were formally centralized into one public collection in Collegium Maius. During the partitions of Poland, the library continued to grow thanks to the support of such people as Karol Józef Teofil Estreicher and Karol Estreicher. Its collections were made public in 1812. Since 1932, it has been recognised as a legal deposit library, comparable to the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford or Cambridge University Library, and thus has the right to receive a copy of any book issued by Polish publishers within Poland. In 1940, the library finally obtained a new building of its own, which has subsequently been expanded on two occasions, most recently in 1995-2001. During the Second World War, library workers cooperated with underground universities. Since the 1990s, the library's collection has become increasingly digitised.
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 institues. 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.
Notable Alumni 
- Saint John Cantius 1390–1473. Scholastic; theologian
- Jan Długosz 1415–1480; historian
- Stanisław Kazimierczyk also known as Saint Stanislaus of Kazimierz, C.R.L. 1433-1489; theologian
- Laurentius Corvinus 1465–1527; humanist; lecturer at the University
- Nicolaus Copernicus 1473–1543; astronomer; promoter of heliocentrism
- Francysk Skaryna 1485?–1540?; pioneer of the Old Belarusian language (historically Old Lithuanian Language); first to print a book in an Eastern Slavic language (1517 in Prague)
- Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski 1503?–1572; diplomat; political thinker; religious thinker
- Marcin Kromer 1512–1589; historian; Prince-Bishop of Warmia
- Jan Kochanowski 1530–1584; Polish nominal poet
- Bartosz Paprocki c.1543-1614; writer; historiographer; translator; poet; genealogist
- Stanisław Koniecpolski 1590?–1646; military commander; military politician; Grand Hetman of the Crown
- John III Sobieski 1629–1696; military leader; monarch of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; victor of the Battle of Vienna
- Wincenty Pol 1807–1872; poet; geographer
- Ignacy Łukasiewicz 1822-1882; pharmacist; deviser of the first method of distilling kerosene from seep oil
- Carl Menger 1840–1921; economist; lawyer; founder of the Austrian School of economics
- Karol Olszewski 1846–1915; physicist; chemist; the first to liquefy oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
- Wacław Sierpiński 1882–1969; mathematician
- Bronisław Malinowski 1884–1942; anthropologist
- Oskar Halecki 1891–1973; historian, social and Catholic activist
- Ivo Andric 1892–1975; Nobel laureate
- Adam Obrubański 1892-1940; reporter, manager of the Polish National Team, murdered by the Soviets in the Katyn Massacre
- Henryk Sławik 1894–1944; diplomat; designator of a Righteous Among the Nations for the rescue of Jews in World War II Hungary
- Tadeusz Pankiewicz 1908–1993; pharmacist; Righteous Among the Nations who aided Jews in the Kraków Ghetto
- Józef Cyrankiewicz 1911–1989; communist politician; prime minister of Poland 1947–1970
- George Zarnecki 1915–2008; art historian specializing in English Romanesque art
- Antoni Kępiński 1918–1972; psychiatrist
- John Paul II (Karol Wojtyła) 1920-2005; Pope of the Catholic Church
- Zbigniew Czajkowski ("Father of the Polish School of fencing") b. 1921
- Stanisław Lem 1921–2006; writer
- Bohdan Lepky; writer
- Wisława Szymborska 1923-2012; poet; 1996 Nobel laureate in Literature
- Norman Davies b. 1939; British historian
- Krzysztof Zanussi b. 1939; film director
- Leo Sternbach 1908–2005; chemist; inventor of the benzodiazepine
- Paulo Szot born c. 1970; opera singer; Broadway musical theatre actor
- Bat-Erdeniin Batbayar born c. 1954 politician, political analyst and writer.
- Kazimierz Papée 1889-1979; Polish Ambassador to the Holy See 1939–1958
- Andrzej Łobaczewski 1921-2007; psychologist who studied totalitarianism and ponerology
- Czeslaw Olech b. 1931; mathematician
- Mietek Pemper 1920–2011; studied Law; Holocaust survivor who compiled Schindler's list
- Wojciech Inglot 1955-2013; chemist; founder of Inglot company
Faculties and departments 
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:
- Law and Administration
- Pharmacy and Medical Analysis
- Health Care
- Polish Language and Literature
- Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science
- Mathematics and Computer Science
- Biology and Earth Sciences
- Management and Social Communication
- International and Political Studies
- Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology
Notable professors 
- Stanisław of Skarbimierz (1360–1431), rector, theologian, lawyer
- Paweł Włodkowic (1370–1435), lawyer, diplomat and politician, representative of Poland on the Council of Constance
- Albert Brudzewski (1445–1497), astronomer and mathematician
- Maciej Miechowita (1457–1523), historian, chronicler, geographer, medic
- Jan Brożek (1585–1652), mathematician, physician and astronomer
- Henryk Jordan (1842–1907), professor of obstetrics
- Walery Jaworski (1849–1924), gastroenterologist
- Ludwik Rydygier (1850 – 1920), general surgeon
- Władysław Natanson (1864–1937), physicist
- Stanisław Estreicher (1869–1939), founder of the Jagiellonian University Museum
- Tadeusz Estreicher (1871–1952), pioneer in cryogenics
- Marian Smoluchowski (1872–1917), pioneer of statistical physics
- Bohdan Lepky (1872–1941), literature
- Stanisław Kutrzeba (1876–1946), rector, General Secretary of the Polish Academy of Learning
- Andrzej Gawroński (1885–1927), founder of the Polish Oriental Society, master of Sanskrit
- Stanisław Kot (1885–1975), historian and politician
- Tadeusz Sulimirski (1898–1983), historian and archaeologist, experts on the ancient Sarmatians
- Stanisław Smreczyński(1899–1975) zoologist.
- Henryk Niewodniczański (1900–1968), physicist
As of 2008, the university has 52,445 students (including 1,612 degree students from abroad) and 3,657 academic staff. About 1,130 international non-degree students were enrolled in 2007. Programmes of study are offered in 48 disciplines and 93 specialisations. The university has an exchange program with The Catholic University of America and its Columbus School of Law. It also hosts a "semester-abroad" program with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the University of Guelph.
Student associations 
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:
|Selected locations around the city|
See also 
- List of medieval universities
- Nawojka, the university's legendary first female student from the 15th century
- Sonderaktion Krakau, a Nazi German operation against professors and academics from the University of Kraków
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jagiellonian University|
- Waltos, Stanisław. "History". Jagiellonian University. Retrieved 2010-09-28. (Polish)
- Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) "Jagiellonian University ranking among world universities". Retrieved August 1, 2011 from the Internet Archive. See: rank 287 worldwide as the first listed Polish university among the top 500 in 2006.
- Davies, Norman (1982). God's Playground; A History of Poland, Vol. I: The Origins to 1795. Columbia University Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-231-05351-8.
- Weigel, George (2001). Witness of Hope – The Biography of Pope John Paul II. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-018793-4.
- "Campus of the Sixcentenary". Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- "Campus of the Sixcentenary". Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- Bętkowska, Teresa (18 May 2008). "Jagiellonian University: Cracow's Alma Mater". Warsaw Voice. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- "BJ: Medieval manuscripts". Bj.uj.edu.pl. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- Visiting the Biblioteka Jagiellonska (Jagiellonian Library) in Cracow. Last accessed on 4 May 2007.
- "Academic Ranking of World Universities: Global". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "World University Rankings 2012-2013". The Times Higher Education. 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
- Newsletter, web: UJ-News35-PDF.
- "Annual Summer Law Program". The Catholic University of America. Retrieved 2010-09-28.