ZAGREB, November 4, 2018 – The University of Zagreb Day and the beginning of the 350th academic year was celebrated at the Croatian National Theatre on Saturday at a ceremony which heard that this university is one of the oldest Croatian institutions which has been continuously contributing to the preservation of Croatian science, tradition and culture.
On 23 September 1669, under a decree by Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary and Croatia, the Jesuit Academy in the royal free city of Zagreb was given the status and privileges of a university, which the legislature of the Kingdom of Croatia adopted on 3 November 1671. Therefore, the University of Zagreb accepts 1669 as the year of its foundation and November 3 as its day.
Rector Damir Boras said the University was one of the oldest institutions in Croatia and that autonomy was one its most important features.
It has 34 components and about 70,000 students, it is one of Europe’s 15 biggest universities, and since 1874, when the modern University of Zagreb was opened, more than five million students have graduated from it.
The University’s task is to implement programmes of strategic importance for Croatia, Boras said, adding that this year there were 149 undergraduate, 33 integrated and 163 graduate study programmes.
The University of Zagreb is highly desirable for studies and 100,000 students who participated in a poll gave its teachers a grade of four on a scale of one to five, Boras said. The University has the leading role in research and innovation the region, having won 98 awards at innovation fairs, which makes it the most awarded institution in the field of innovation, and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing leads in the number of patents, he added.
It has six centres of excellence and is successfully absorbing European funds for regional development.
Boras underlined the importance of financing science and education in line with GDP growth so as to meet the target of 1.4 to 2% in line with strategic documents adopted by parliament. He noted that the current outlays for that were below the European Union average.
Curricula and study programmes should be aligned with social and labour market needs and the University, having a prominent role in the schooling of socially responsible persons, should be a partner and not a service to employers, said Boras.
Read more about Croatia’s education system here.