On Wednesday, 1st October, lectures will start at the University of Warsaw. This is also the day of the official inauguration of the academic year 2014/2015, taking place at 2.00 p.m. in the biggest university hall – the Adam Mickiewicz Hall in Auditorium Maximum.


Celebrating in togas


Warsaw University celebrates inaugurations of consecutive academic years in a special way. Following the tradition, the rectors of the University, members of the Senate and invited guests, all dressed in togas, will pass between two buildings in the main campus – from the Kazimierzowski Palace which is the seat of the Rector’s Office, to the biggest aula in Auditorium Maximum, where the celebration will take place.


A short agenda


Traditionally, in the beginning of the inauguration the Choir of the Unviersity of Warsaw will sing an uplifting Latin students’ hymn “Gaudeamus igitur”. Next, professor Marcin Pałys, the Rector of the University, will officially open the new academic year and deliver a speech summarizing the past year, followed by a presentation of plans for the new one. First-year students who got the highest results in the recruitment process will pledge an oath – they will swear a diligence in learning and promoting the good name of the University. They will also receive indexes – or booklets which, up to recently, were used to record the results of education. Today, indexes were replaced by an electronic system. Finally, the participants will have the chance to listen to the inauguration lecture by professor Joanna Pijanowska from the Faculty of Biology about whether altruism is contrary to the Darwinian theory.


Who, where, when?


One year of education at the University of Warsaw is divided into two semesters – winter (lasting from October to January) and summer (from February and September). In the end of January – beginning of February, during the winter exam session, the students pass exams on the winter semester courses. The second exam session takes place in June – this is when students pass exams for all-year and summer courses. July and August are a time of holiday and well-deserved rest. For those who did not succeed in passing all the exams on time, the first half of September is devoted to a re-sit session; these two weeks are the time to finally complete all formalities related to the finishing academic year.