University of Ljubljana
The University of Ljubljana (UL) is the oldest and largest university
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 in Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

. With 64,000 enrolled graduate and postgraduate students, it is among the largest universities in Europe.


Although certain academies (notably of philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

) were established as parts of Jesuit-led higher education as early as the 17th century, the university as such had first been founded in 1810 under the named Écoles centrales by the French Imperial
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 administration of the Illyrian Provinces
Illyrian provinces
The Illyrian Provinces was an autonomous province of the Napoleonic French Empire on the north and east coasts of the Adriatic Sea between 1809 and 1816. Its capital was established at Laybach...

. The university was disbanded in 1813, when the Austrian
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 Government regained control.

The quest for a national university

During the second half of the 19th century, several political claims for the establishment of a Slovene language university in Ljubljana were made. They gained momentum in the fin de siècle
Fin de siècle
Fin de siècle is French for "end of the century". The term sometimes encompasses both the closing and onset of an era, as it was felt to be a period of degeneration, but at the same time a period of hope for a new beginning...

 era, when a considerable number of renowned Slovene academians worked throughout Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

, while ever more numerous Slovenian students were enrolled in foreign-language universities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, particularly in the Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

n and Czech lands
Czech lands
Czech lands is an auxiliary term used mainly to describe the combination of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia. Today, those three historic provinces compose the Czech Republic. The Czech lands had been settled by the Celts , then later by various Germanic tribes until the beginning of 7th...

 (Charles University in Prague
Charles University in Prague
Charles University in Prague is the oldest and largest university in the Czech Republic. Founded in 1348, it was the first university in Central Europe and is also considered the earliest German university...

 or University of Olomouc, of which Slovene philosopher Franc Samuel Karpe became the Rector in 1781). In the 1890s, a unified board for the establishment of a Slovenian university was founded, with Ivan Hribar
Ivan Hribar
Ivan Hribar was a Slovene and Yugoslav banker, politician, diplomat and journalist. At the turn of the century, he was one of the leaders of the National Progressive Party, and one of the most important figures of Slovene liberal nationalism...

, Henrik Tuma, and Aleš Ušeničnik
Aleš Ušenicnik
Aleš Ušeničnik was a Slovene Roman Catholic priest, philosopher, sociologist and theologian. He was one of the main philosophers of neo-Thomism in Slovenia and in Yugoslavia....

 as its main leaders. In 1898, the Carniola
Carniola was a historical region that comprised parts of what is now Slovenia. As part of Austria-Hungary, the region was a crown land officially known as the Duchy of Carniola until 1918. In 1849, the region was subdivided into Upper Carniola, Lower Carniola, and Inner Carniola...

n regional parliament established a scholarship for all those students who were planning a habilitation
Habilitation is the highest academic qualification a scholar can achieve by his or her own pursuit in several European and Asian countries. Earned after obtaining a research doctorate, such as a PhD, habilitation requires the candidate to write a professorial thesis based on independent...

 under the condition that they would accept a post at Ljubljana University when founded. In this way, a list of suitable faculty started to emerge.

Nevertheless, unfavorable political circumstances prevented the establishment of the University until the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the establishment of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs
State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs
The State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was a short-lived state formed from the southernmost parts of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy after its dissolution at the end of the World War I by the resident population of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs...

 in 1918, the founding of the university became possible. On November 23, 1918, the first meeting of the Founding Board of Ljubljana University was called, presided over by Mihajlo Rostohar
Mihajlo Rostohar
Mihajlo Rostohar was a Slovenian psychologist, author and educator, who played an important role during the creation of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs...

, professor of psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 at the Charles University in Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

. Together with Danilo Majaron, Rostohar convinced the Yugoslav
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

 central government in Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 to pass a bill formally establishing the university. The bill was passed on July 2, 1919; in late August, the first professor were appointed and on September 18 the full professors established the University Council, thus starting the normal functioning of the institution. The first lectures started on December 3 of the same year.

First decades

In 1919, the University comprised five faculties: law, philosophy, technology, theology and medicine. The seat of the university was in the central Congress Square
Congress Square
Congress Square is one of the central squares in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.The square was built in 1821 at the site of the ruins of a medieval Capuchin monastery, which had been abolished during the reign of Habsburg Emperor Joseph II. The square was used for ceremonial purposes during...

 of Ljubljana in a building that had served as the State Mansion of Carniola from 1902 to 1918. The building was first designed in 1902 by Jan Vladimír Hráský
Jan Vladimir Hrásky
Jan Vladimir Hrásky was a Czech architect, builder, engineer, and hydrologist.Hrásky is known in Slovenia as an original author of building in Neo-Renaissance style of Carniolan Provincial Manor in Ljubljana , where from 1919 is a seat of the University of Ljubljana, and of the National Hall in...

, and was later remodelled by a Czech
Czech people
Czechs, or Czech people are a western Slavic people of Central Europe, living predominantly in the Czech Republic. Small populations of Czechs also live in Slovakia, Austria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Russia and other countries...

 architect from Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Josip Hudetz.

In the mid 1920s, the university was renamed the "King Alexander
Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Alexander I , also known as Alexander the Unifier was the first king of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as well as the last king of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes .-Childhood:...

 University in Ljubljana" (Universitas Alexandrina Labacensis) and continued to grow and develop both in size and quality despite financial troubles and constant pressure from Yugoslav governments’ centralist policies. In the 1930s, the university became the platform for numerous student activities, both cultural and artistic as political. In 1941, Jože Plečnik
Jože Plecnik
Jože Plečnik , was a Slovene architect who practised in Vienna, Belgrade, Prague and Ljubljana.-Biography:...

's National and University Library
National and University Library of Slovenia
The National and University Library is one of the most important national educational and cultural institutions of Slovenia. It was established in 1774 by a decree released by the Empress Maria Theresa. It is located in the centre of Ljubljana, in a building designed by the architect Jože Plečnik...

 was completed, as one of the major infrastructure projects of the University in the interwar period. After the invasion of Yugoslavia
Invasion of Yugoslavia
The Invasion of Yugoslavia , also known as the April War , was the Axis Powers' attack on the Kingdom of Yugoslavia which began on 6 April 1941 during World War II...

 in April 1941, the University continued to function under the Italian and Nazi German occupation
Province of Ljubljana
The Province of Ljubljana was a province of the Kingdom of Italy and of the Nazi German Adriatic Littoral during World War II. It was created on May 3, 1941 from territory occupied and annexed to Italy after the Axis invasion and dissolution of Yugoslavia, and it was abolished on May 9, 1945, when...

, despite numerous problems and interference in its autonomous operation. Several professors were arrested or deported to concentration camps and large numbers of students joined either the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People
Liberation Front of the Slovenian People
On 26 April 1941 in Ljubljana the Anti-Imperialist Front was established. It was to promote "an international massive movement" to "liberate the Slovenian nation" whose "hope and example was the Soviet Union"...

 or the Slovenian Home Guard.

After 1945

Following the end of the WW2 the first and only foreigner was elected to hold the office of the Rector - he was the Czech professor Alois Král, who had lectured at Faculty of Technical Sciences since 1920 and also held the position of dean thereof four times. After the establishment of Communist Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

 in 1945, the university was again put under political pressure: numerous professors were dismissed, some were arrested and tried, and the Theological Faculty was excluded from the University. Some of the most brilliant students emigrated. Nevertheless, the University managed to maintain its educational role and even regain a limited degree of autonomy from the mid 1950s onward. In the 1960s and early 1970s it again became a lively platform for various student activities. It suffered a serious setback in autonomy from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s, when some professors were again dismissed by the authorities. In 1979 it was renamed "Edvard Kardelj
Edvard Kardelj
Edvard Kardelj also known under the pseudonyms Sperans and Krištof was a Yugoslav communist political leader, economist, partisan, publicist, and full member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts...

 University in Ljubljana" after the Communist leader. In 1990, with the fall of Yugoslavia, it was regiven its original name.

Since the mid 1980s, the university has managed to expand and catch up with advanced Western currents in all fields. Despite increasing competition from other Slovenian universities, it remains the largest and central institution of higher education in the country. On a domestic and international level, the study courses run at the University of Ljubljana and its projects follow the latest world discoveries and trends in the field of arts, science and technology, to which the contribution of numerous Slovenian professors and researchers is of great importance.


, the university has 23 faculties and 3 academies, situated throughout urban Ljubljana:
  • Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television
    Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television
    The Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television is an academy of the University of Ljubljana in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is the only college and graduate school in Slovenia with a similar curriculum. It is composed of three colleges: the College for Theatre and Radio, the College for Film and...

  • Academy of Fine Arts and Design
    Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana
    The Academy of Fine Arts and Design , is a prestigious art academy and institution based in Ljubljana, Slovenia . It is part of the University of Ljubljana....

  • Academy of Music
  • Faculty of Administration
    Faculty of Administration, Ljubljana
    -General:The Faculty of Administration as part of the University of Ljubljana has now been actively involved in international academic relations for a number of years...

  • Faculty of Architecture
  • Faculty of Arts
  • Biotechnical Faculty
  • Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology
  • Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodesy
  • Faculty of Computer and Information Science
  • Faculty of Economics
    Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana
    The Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana was founded in 1946 as a part of the public University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. It was one of the first faculties in country to establish new internationally comparable Bologna 3+2 programmes in 2005. In 2006 the FELU was awarded EQUIS...

  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Electrical Engineering
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Maritime Studies and Transport
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
  • Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Social work
  • Faculty of Sport
  • Faculty of Theology
  • Veterinary Faculty
  • Faculty of Health Studies

The university was initially located in the centre of Ljubljana where the central university building and the majority of its faculties are located. Later on, some new, modern buildings and a small scale campus were constructed in the northern part of the city (Bežigrad).


The University of Ljubljana practices basic, applied and development research, striving for excellence and quality of the highest standard in all fields of science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 and arts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

, such as the humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

, social sciences
Social sciences
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

, linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

, arts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

, medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, natural sciences and technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

. The University is known for the quality of its study courses in the humanities, and in scientific and technological fields, as well as in medicine, dentistry
Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body. Dentistry is widely considered...

 and veterinary science.

Based on its own research projects as well as advances in research at home and abroad, the University provides instruction and training to prominent scientists and experts, capable of leading sustainable development, with a view to respecting the legacy of European Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 and Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 as well as human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

. The University also promotes interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary studies.

Achievements in the fields of science and arts are shared with other universities and institutions carrying out scientific research. It thus contributes its share to the world's treasure of knowledge and at the same time, disseminates this knowledge within the country’s borders. The University works in co-operation with various economic institutions in both the public and private sectors, with the government and local authorities as well as other civil institutions. In this way it encourages the harnessing and application of its research and educational achievements and contributes to social development.

The University of Ljubljana has a consolidating role in the academic community of professors, researchers, students and other associates, and strives to establish a fine reputation both at home and around the world. According to its statute, the research, education, public activities and relations among its members is carried out based on the following principles:
  • Professional excellence or ensuring the highest possible quality;
  • Academic freedom of its staff and students, particularly creative freedom;
  • Autonomy in relation to the State, politics, capital or Church;
  • Humanism and human rights, including equal opportunity and solidarity.

The University of Ljubljana houses the permanent seat of the International Association for Political Science Students
International Association for Political Science Students
The International Association for Political Science Students is a platform for political science students and students interested in political science issues...

 (IAPSS), an international academic group consisting of 10,000 political science graduate and undergraduate students worldwide.

Prominent faculty and alumni

Since its foundation in 1919, the University of Ljubljana has employed several prominent faculty. Its alumni have formed the elite in the economic, political, social and cultural spheres in Slovenia.

See also

  • List of modern universities in Europe (1801–1945)
  • Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
    Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
    The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts is the national academy of Slovenia, which encompasses science and the arts and brings together the top Slovene researchers and artists as members of the academy....

  • Jožef Stefan Institute
    Jožef Stefan Institute
    The Jožef Stefan Institute , is the largest research institute in Slovenia. The main research areas are physics, chemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology, information technologies, reactor physics, energy and environment...

  • Ljubljana Student Organisation
    Ljubljana Student Organisation
    The Student Organisation of the University of Ljubljana is a student organization based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is the largest student organization in Slovenia and one of the largest in Europe. Its representative body is elected by all students of the University of Ljubljana...

External links

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