The history of AMU

On October 28, 1611, under the Royal Charter granted by King Sigismund III Vasa, the Jesuit College became the first university in Poznań. The document was then affirmed with charters issued by King John II Casimir in 1650 and King John III Sobieski in 1678. Based on these charters, the university had the right to grant MA and Ph.D. degrees. The inauguration ceremony of the first academic year at the newly founded Piast University of the (the initial name of the University of Poznań; its current name was adopted on December 24, 1955) took place on May 7, 1919, i.e. 308 years after the university had been formally established by the Polish king. The day happened to be the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the Lubrański Academy, which did not hold the status of a university but is considered the spiritual predecessor of the Piast University.

The first faculty to begin educational activity immediately after the ceremony was the multidisciplinary Faculty of Philosophy, established on April 4, 1919. On April 5, 1919, at the first Faculty Meeting, Professor Heliodor Święcicki was elected Rector of the University. The newly founded Piast University was supported by professors from Kraków, Lviv, Vilnius and Warsaw. In the years between WWI and WWII, the university (renamed the University of Poznań) thrived, educating students at five faculties in the following fields: law and economy, medicine, the humanities, mathematics and natural sciences, and agriculture and forestry. Every tenth university graduate in Poland received their degree at the University of Poznań.

In 1939, Germans immediately closed all Polish higher education institutions, including the University of Poznań. However, the determination and heroism of professors and academic youth allowed for educating over 2,000 students in underground-university courses. Since November 1940, the university functioned as the underground University of the Western Lands, whose founder and first rector was Professor Ludwik Jaxa-Bykowski. It was mainly composed of academic staff from the University of Poznań but within only three years its structure expanded from two to six faculties. With the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising, the university had to suspend operations.

However, immediately after the cessation of hostilities in the city, the university resumed its activity, admitting 4,000 students. After several years, a number of faculties separated from the main university to form independent higher education schools: School of Medicine, School of Agriculture and School of Physical Education. The University of Poznań, renamed Adam Mickiewicz University in 1955, has survived the fragmentation of its structure, remained the main university in Poznań and gradually grown in importance within the Polish education system. With the collapse of the contemporary political regime in 1989, the University gained new opportunities for development.