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Tradition and Innovation
October 29, 2010   
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The Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań is almost 400 years old and delivers a long list of education and research programs in a variety of fields. The university is one of the top institutions of higher education in Poland.

The Adam Mickiewicz University uses 40 buildings with a total area of 330,000 square meters. Collegium Minus, the office of the university rector, is based in the Poznań city center, along with the University Library and the main campus. A number of new facilities are under construction in the Morasko neighborhood of Poznań. The new buildings will house five faculties and a swimming pool. The university also owns the 22-hectare Botanical Gardens. The gardens are one of the university’s most important research facilities.

The Adam Mickiewicz University also teaches students at several branches in the cities of Słubice, Gniezno, Kościan, Piła, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Wągrowiec, Śrem, and Kalisz.

An army of students and staff

The university has more than 47,000 students enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s programs, in addition to over 1,300 Ph.D. students, pursuing 49 fields of study and 183 majors.

The Adam Mickiewicz University has a staff of over 55,000, including researchers, librarians, administrative workers and technical personnel.

A large group of students are people with disabilities. At present, there are 758 students with mobility, visual and hearing impairments and disabilities. A program called Open University gives such students access to technical assistance, physical therapy classes and mainstreaming events.

Since 1998, the university’s students have been able to take up one- and two-semester studies abroad as part of the Socrates-Erasmus/LLP Erasmus student exchange program. In 2009 alone, a total of 906 graduate and postgraduate students left to study in Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and other countries. The Adam Mickiewicz University, in turn, hosted 152 exchange students from Turkey, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Finland, Malta, and Switzerland.

Aided by several other state-run universities and research institutes as well as the city of Poznań, the Adam Mickiewicz University is working to establish the Wielkopolska Center for Advanced Technology to conduct research on what are called biomaterials. The project is subsidized by the European Union as part of its Innovative Economy Operational Program.

The Adam Mickiewicz University is also building an Intercollegiate NanoBioMedical Center, together with the Poznań University of Technology, the Poznań University of Medical Sciences, and the Poznań University of Life Sciences. The project aims to provide master’s and Ph.D. studies in nano-biomedical technology.

Cutting-edge research

In a league table of institutions of higher education compiled by Rzeczpospolita daily, the Adam Mickiewicz University ranks third nationwide. It has also been named “the most Ph.D.-friendly university in Poland” in a competition held under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

The university’s Prof. Bogdan Marciniec has won an award from the Foundation for Polish Science for contributing to the industrial production of organosilicon compounds. Marciniec has also received an award from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for his outstanding achievements in science, and an award for helping strengthen ties between science and business.

Last year, the Adam Mickiewicz University conducted zl.62.5 million worth of research projects. These included nine projects carried out jointly with other state-run universities in Poznań. Eight projects were financed by the city of Poznań.

Research is conducted at individual departments, institutes, laboratories and interdisciplinary centers such as the European Integration Center, which, together with the Faculty of Physics, offers a postgraduate program for those aspiring to become research project managers. The studies are designed for academics and employees of research-and-development centers.

Close to business

The Adam Mickiewicz University runs a science and technology park that is home to laboratories and companies dealing with chemistry, physics, archeology, IT, geology and economics. The facility opened in 1995 as the first science and technology park in Poland. The park offers a wide range of research and teaching facilities as well as support for innovative businesses and those looking for new ideas. It also helps scientists put the results of their research to a practical use.

The university’s science and technology park is a member of a consortium carrying out a key project as part of the European Union’s Innovative Economy Operational Program. The park is also working on a project for the construction of a set of hi-tech business incubators targeted at companies with major development potential in sectors such as chemicals, biotechnology and IT.

In September 2004, the university established an innovation and technology transfer center that encourages and coordinates innovation and entrepreneurship among teachers, researchers, graduates and postgraduate students. The center also deals with technology transfer and the commercial use of research conducted at the university. The center organizes conferences on innovation and intellectual property management. During one such conference, the university signed a cooperation agreement with the Polish subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, which operates a factory in Poznań. The university is also negotiating similar agreements with automotive company Volkswagen Polska in Antoninek near Poznań.

The Adam Mickiewicz University also works with companies such as Fortis, Philips Lighting Poland, Solaris Bus & Coach, and Pratt & Whitney.

Agnieszka Dokowicz

The history of the Adam Mickiewicz University dates back to 1519 when the Lubrański Academy was established, the predecessor of what later became the University of the Piasts, the early name of the Adam Mickiewicz University. The University of the Piasts succeeded a Jesuit College that in 1611 became the first university in Poznań by virtue of a privilege granted by King Sigismund III Vasa.

The first academic year at the University of the Piasts began May 7, 1919. After the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Nazis closed the university, but thanks to the determination and heroism of its professors and students, the school managed to train over 2,000 students in its underground education program. The institution resumed its operations after the war ended. The university was renamed after the great Polish Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz on Dec. 24, 1955.
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