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 develop and propagate them as well as apply their theory for the public good.”
The University realizes its aim with the participation of the whole University community: its scholars, students and staff.
Since its establishment our University’s community has written numerous glorious pages in its history. It has produced many outstanding scholars and created famous scientific schools. It actively resisted armed force, organizing clandestine classes when the University was not allowed to function openly. Our students and graduates have served Poland and the world. These proud annals are our continuing obligation.
We must also remember what has been inglorious: submission to political pressure, religious and social discrimination, expulsion of scholars and students. Let this be a living historical lesson for us.
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.
The University brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines. It is the place of a diversity of scientific research. Young researchers in direct contact with teachers develop their research awareness and improve their methodological skills. At the same time the University propagates throughout society this multifaceted knowledge and these sophisticated skills. New communication technology allows this propagation to take place regionally, nationally and worldwide.
The University offers undergraduate and doctoral studies, organizes summer schools, postgraduate studies and vocational courses, initiates interdisciplinary programmes and introduces new teaching techniques.
The high level of scientific research, its connection with the education of students and the diversity and attractiveness of our teaching will determine the position of the University in the country and in the world, and so decide the University’s future. We seek to be the best Polish university and a leading university in Europe. We recognize our particular responsibility toward Central and Eastern Europe.
2.The mission of the University within society is to guarantee access to knowledge and acquisition of skill to all who are entitled.
Knowledge and education today decide the lot of people and entire nations. The University generates knowledge allowing us to know and understand the world around us. Skills acquired through study ensure high professional qualification and preparation for proper fulfilment of public roles.
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”.
The University is a community of dialogue. The exchange of views, the clash of arguments, openness to new ideas and conceptions is bound up indissolubly here with respect for diversity and for personal dignity. In this way the University develops its capacity for cooperation regardless of political, ideological or religious differences, and creates a model of public debate. The shaping of the civic attitudes of students is thereby combined with the development of their personalities.
4.The cultural mission of the University is a synthesis of universal and local values.
In the emerging conflict between globalism and regionalism a special role is to be played by institutions which succeed in combining universal techniques of communication and knowledge of universal significance with maintenance of respect for the historical and cultural identity of regions and states. The University where many disciplines are cultivated – from mathematical and natural sciences to social and humanistic sciences – is a place where such a symbiosis exists naturally. The University is also an institution, which assists the dialogue between the integrating societies of Western Europe and its Eastern neighbours.
The mission of University of Warsaw approved by the Senate shall bind all members of our academic community. It is a signpost for our activities and the basis for University programmes. The University’s plans for development and the decisions of University authorities should be made with reference to it.