Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń

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Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń or NCU (Polish: Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu, UMK) is located in Toruń, Poland. It is named after Nicolaus Copernicus, who was born in Toruń in 1473.


The beginnings of higher education in Toruń

The first institution of higher education in Torun, the Toruń Academic Gymnasium was founded in 1568 on Piekary street. It was one of the first universities in northern Poland. The Academic Gymnasium was the precursor to scientific and cultural life (including the first museum created in 1594) in the region. Thanks to the efforts of Heinrich Stroband, city mayor in 1594, academics in Toruń received good working conditions for teaching and research. Among his professors in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were meritorious scholars of Polish and Prussian history, authors of textbooks and papers from various disciplines of humanities, and associates scientific journals.The establishment of the university in a modern form began in the nineteenth century. During the partitions of Poland the Prussian government planned to create a University of Theology, which was to include faculties of law and economics, unfortunately this project did not materialise. In the interwar period the city authorities of Toruń again sought to establish a university. Soon after the annexation of Pomerania to the reborn Poland in 1920, a new phase of efforts to develop the university began. Even before 1920 the Supreme People's Council had considered the proposal to establish higher educational institutions in the Polish territories annexed by Prussia at the University of Gdansk and in Toruń. However, political developments and the uncertain future of Pomerania prompted the council's leadership to accept the December 1918 resolution of the Sejm to overlook Toruń as a location for a new university and instead go ahead with the development of a university in Poznań. In 1920, the first declaration requesting the establishment of a university was put forward in November by the National Workers Party whose members chose Toruń-born Nicolaus Copernicus to be the patron of the University. For this purpose a number of educational societies, such as the Baltic Institute (later transferred to Gdynia, and then to Gdańsk) amongst others, were established in the town. Finally in 1938 it was decided to set up the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń as a subsidiary of Poznań's Adam Mickiewicz University; work was to start at the beginning of 1940. This program, however, was interrupted by World War II. It was not until 1947, (two years after the creation of the Nicolaus Copernicus University) that prof. Karol Gorski revealed that before the outbreak of World War II there was an approved plan to open Poznań University long-distance division in Toruń in 1940, to teach the humanities and theology.


Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection Faculty of Chemistry Faculty of Earth Sciences Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management Faculty of Education Sciences Faculty of Fine Arts Faculty of Health Sciences Faculty of History Faculty of Humanities Faculty of Languages Faculty of Law and Administration Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science Faculty of Medicine Faculty of Pharmacy Faculty of Political Science and International Studies Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Informatics Faculty of Theology


Number of students

Levels of study offered by institution

Shorter/intermediate university level qualifications First main university level final qualifications Advanced/postgraduate study Doctorate Higher/post doctorate

Diplomas and degrees

Licentiate (3 years undergraduate degree. Equivalent to Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts) Engineer (3 or 3.5 years technical degree. Equivalent to Bachelor of Engineering) Magister (5 years degree equivalent to a course-based Masters programme) Ph.D. Degree Habilitated Doctor Degree.


In 2017, Times Higher Education ranked the university within the 801-1000 band globally.

International cooperation

University of Padua – Italy University of Ferrara – Italy Sapienza University of Rome – Italy University of Oldenburg – Germany University of Göttingen – Germany University of Bamberg, – Germany Universität Rostock – Germany University of Greifswald – Germany Bundeswehr University Munich – Germany Université d’Angers – France Nottingham Trent University – United Kingdom Dominican University – USA Cranfield University – United Kingdom

Notable alumni

Piotr Pawel Bojanczyk, (1946-), former national champion, Ice Dancing Iwona Chmielewska (1960-), author and illustrator Zbigniew Herbert, (1924-1998), poet Maciej Konacki, (1972-), astronomer Mariusz Lemańczyk, (1958-), mathematician Zbigniew Nowek, (1959-), former head of Polish Intelligence Agency Janina Ochojska (1955-), astronomer, humanitarian and social activist Andrzej Person, (1951-), senator and noted sports journalist Jan Rompsczi, (1913-1969), poet and ethnographer Janusz Leon Wiśniewski (1954-), scientist and writer Aleksander Wolszczan, (1946-), astronomer Jacek Yerka (1952-), painter Tomasz Zaboklicki, (1958-), CEO of PESA SA
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