Jagiellonian University

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The Jagiellonian University (Polish: Uniwersytet Jagielloński, often shortened to UJ; historical names: Latin: Studium Generale, University of Krakow, Kraków Academy, The Main Crown School, Main School of Kraków) was established in 1364 by Casimir III the Great in Kraków. It is the oldest university in Poland. It is the second oldest university in Central Europe and one of the oldest universities in the world.

In 1817 it was renamed Jagiellonian University to commemorate Poland's Jagiellonian dynasty, which had revived the University of Krakow after it had fallen upon hard times.[1] In 2006 The Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Jagiellonian University as the top Polish university.[2]



Poland's King Casimir III 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 open the University of Krakow. The 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.[3] Its development was stalled by the death of the king, and later the academy was re-established (1400) by King Władysław Jagiełło and his wife Jadwiga. 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, Stanisław of Skarbimierz, Paweł Włodkowic, Jan of Głogów, and Albert Brudzewski, who from 1491 to 1495 was one of Nicolaus Copernicus's teachers. Jagiellonian University was the first university in Europe to establish independent chairs in Mathematics and Astronomy.

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