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Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń

Nicolaus Copernicus University
Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu
UMK logo 2015.svg
Latin: Universitas Nicolai Copernici (UNC)
Established24 August 1945
Academic affiliations
EUA, Socrates-Erasmus
RectorAndrzej Sokala [pl]
Students30,835 (November 2010)
Gagarina 11, 87-100
, ,
Sporting affiliations
Angels Toruń (football)

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.


Mosaic by Stefan Knapp depicting Copernicus, NCU Aula

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.[citation needed]

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.


The Rektorat administrative building at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
Astronomical observatory in Piwnice
The Collegium Maximus houses the university's museum collections


Staff / Year 2003 2004 2006 2008 2009 2010
Professors 373 475 485 497 474 485
Habilitated doctors 85 111 107 131 121 123
Senior lecturers 576 805 852 964 995 1,027
Teachers (total) 1,427 2,009 2,077 2,244 2,203 2,221
Other staff 1,663 2,102 2,059 2,180 2,149 2,119
Total staff 3,090 4,111 4,136 4,424 4,352 4,340
The Nicholas Copernicus University's Collegium Maius
The main campus has an artificial pool (pictured in front of the Aula, the main entrance and the Rektorat) as an architectural focal point.

Number of students

Students / Year 2003 2004 2006 2008 2009 2010
Full-time day students 17,455 20,622 20,688 20,575 21,575 22,725
Extramural students 14,501 16,680 17,178 10,641 9,247 8,110
Postgraduate students 3,889 4,526 2,673 2,487 2,517 2,275
Total 35,845 41,828 40,539 33,703 33,339 33,110

Levels of study offered by institution

  • Shorter/intermediate university level qualifications
  • First main university level final qualifications
  • Advanced/postgraduate study
  • Doctorate
  • Higher/post doctorate
A part of the university's Collegium Medicum which is based in neighbouring Bydgoszcz.

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.


University rankings
Global – Overall
THE World801-1000 (2018)

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

International cooperation

Notable alumni

See also

Coordinates: 53°01′06″N 18°34′20″E / 53.01833°N 18.57222°E / 53.01833; 18.57222

This page was last updated at 2023-01-10 22:40 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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