The Jagiellonian University (Polish: Uniwersytet Jagielloński) is a research university founded in 1364 in Kraków by Polish King Casimir III the Great. 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 (position number 371) and the ARWU as second-best Polish higher-level institution. The Jagiellonian University is one of the leading Polish scientific institutions, collaborating with major academic centres from all over the world. The Jagiellonian University is located in the historic city of Kraków, the former capital of Poland and a great cultural centre, visited by millions of tourists annually. Some of the University buildings are major historical sites themselves.
The most famous alumni of the Jagiellonian University was Nicolaus Copernicus 1473-1543; astronomer; promoter of heliocentrism. Other very famous alumni of JU were: Ignacy Łukasiewicz (pharmacist deviser of the first method of distilling kerosene from seep oil), Karol Olszewski (physicist, chemist, the first to liquefy oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere), Ivo Andric (Nobel laureate in literature), Karol Wojtyła later John Paul II, Leader of the Catholic Church, Stanisław Lem (science-fiction writer), Wisława Szymborska (poet, 1996 Nobel laureate in Literature), Wojciech Inglot (chemist, founder of Inglot company), Norman Davies (the preeminent historian of Central and Eastern European history).
Nowadays there are 48 thousand students (including 3300 foreign ones) studying at the Jagiellonian University, taught by 3850 academic staff (including 540 professors and 730 associate professors) at 15 faculties and 84 different fields of study.
Achievements of Jagiellonian University