The University of Warsaw

The University of Warsaw

With more than 200 years of history, the University of Warsaw is the second oldest university in Poland and at the same time the largest one. In 2019 there were:

  • 40 493 students (bachelor’s and master’s) and 2 451 doctoral students
  • 7 498 employees including:
    • 3 834 academic teachers
    • 774 engineering and technical employees
    • 366 librarians
    • 2 317 administrative employees



The rector is the head of the university. Together with the vice-rectors, he oversees UW administration and finances, makes key decisions, represents the University externally, and is in charge of the staff as well as undergraduates and postgraduates. Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak is the 45th Rector of the University of Warsaw. On 17th June 2020, he was elected as UW Rector. Previously, since 2016 Rector Alojzy Z. Nowak held the position of Dean of the Faculty of Management.

The Senate is the University’s most important governing body. It has the authority to pass documents which are of key importance to the University, such as bylaws, the mission statement and strategy for development, as set out by the Rector, financial and investment plans, and course regulations.

Mission and strategy of the UW

The University of Warsaw recognizes as still valid its mission as a public utility institution formulated by its founders in 1816:

The University should not only maintain in the nation both learning and skills at the level they have already attained in the scholarly world, but also further develand propagate them as well as apply their theory for the public good.

University of Warsaw belongs to the community of universities and accepts its universal aims, and its name is bound up with the capital of Poland. In response to the challenges arising from the transformation of our country, the new position of Poland in Europe and the world and the education of a knowledge-based society, University of Warsaw defines it mission as follows:

  1. The basis of the University’s activity is the unity of teaching and research.
  2. The mission of the University within society is to guarantee access to knowledge and acquisition of skill to all who are entitled.
  3. The civic mission of the University is the formation of those elites who will in their activities serve the “imperio rationis” rather than the “ratione imperii”.
  4. The cultural mission of the University is a synthesis of universal and local values.

Projects and scientific achievements

Scientists from the University of Warsaw carry out research on more than 3 000 topics from the range of humanities, social and natural sciences, as well as medicine and technical sciences. More than 1 500 projects are realised with grants won in Polish or international competitions. Teams from the UW work with institutions from all around the world; they have already earned their reknown position in many disciplines. You can read more about the latest discoveries, interesting research, and acquired grants here.

The University of Warsaw is present in more than 20 countries in 5 continents through archaeological excavations, ethnography and cultural studies research. Some sites have been the subject of research even for several decades. The archaeologists who investigate the ancient Egypt have at their disposal the University’s Research Station in Cairo, established in 1959. Polish telescopes operate at the Las Campanas Observatory in the Atacama Desert, Chile, where UW astronomers perform large-scale sky surveys.

European Charter for Researchers

The European Commission  introduced recommendations for member states of the European Union, whose aim is to create an attractive and open labour market for researchers. Recommendations were published in 2005 in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

In order to stress the significance of the Charter and the Code, the European Commission gives a “HR Excellence in Research Award” to the research institutions that have made progress in aligning their human resource policies according to the principles set out in the Charter and the Code. Universities, research institutions and enterprises, that have been awarded, have the right to use the icon to highlight their commitment to implement fair and transparent recruitment and appraisal procedures for researchers.

Ideas, included in the recommendations of the EC concerning working conditions of researchers and their recruitment, are coherent with many documents passed by the University of Warsaw, among others, the mid-term strategy of the University of Warsaw for the years 2014-2018. Adaptations of internal procedures to the recommendations included in the Charter are perceived by the University as a realization of its strategic goals – to provide the best conditions of development and to be an attractive institution for foreign researchers.

On 14th July 2014 Prof. Marcin Pałys, Rector of the University of Warsaw, established the Committee for the European Charter for Researchers and of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. On 28th August he signed the Declaration of endorsement of the European Charter of Researchers and the Code of Conduct for Recruitment of Researchers.

In 2016, UW has been granted “HR Excellence in Research Award”.

University of Warsaw HR excellence in Research

4EU+ Alliance

4EU+ Alliance map of the universities

The 4EU+ Alliance, that consists of six well-established research universities, responds to the call of the European Commission regarding the European Universities Initiative. The 4EU+ mission is to develop a barrier-free and continuously deepening cooperation in education, research and innovation within the Alliance. Through this collaboration and working in partnerships, the Alliance serves society to the highest level with our core values, e.g. academic and research freedom, collaboration in an interdisciplinary approach, integrity, creativity and openness, and internationalisation.

You can read more about the 4EU+ Alliance here.