“It is a happy day for the University because of you, the most important part of our community. You have chosen the place where you can fulfil yourself in studying and exchange views with respect for other people,” Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak, the UW Rector, addressed new students and doctoral candidates during the opening ceremony of the academic year.

On 2nd October, the inauguration ceremony of the 2023/2024 academic year was celebrated by students, doctoral candidates, employees and guests of the University of Warsaw. The University authorities and members of the Senate walked grandly from Kazimierzowski Palace to the Auditorium Maximum on the historical campus at Krakowskie Przedmieście, where the official part of the ceremony was held in Adam Mickiewicz’s hall.

After listening to the national and European anthems, the ceremony was opened by Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak, the Rector of the University of Warsaw. Prof. Nowak welcomed the assembled guests, including the representatives of the Association of Soldiers of the “Krybar” Combat Group in the World Association of Home Army Soldiers.


In his inaugural speech, the Rector presented, among others, the University’s achievements and future challenges.


“It is a happy day for the University because of you, the most important part of our community. You are the future. You have chosen a place where you can fulfil yourselves in studying and exchange views with respect for each other. The University has always been, is and will always be open to various views. The UW cares about equality, justice, tolerance and respect between people. You may have different concerns, you may be critical. The key is to maintain mutual respect, always,” Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak, the UW Rector, addressed the newly admitted students and doctoral candidates.


“You are in good hands. We are proud that you are coming to us,” added the UW Rector, presenting the University’s offer, including the international exchange opportunities within over 1,000 entities, benefiting from internships and placements with business partners or participation in scientific life.


“We do everything to support you, also financially. The University is a large institution, in which we all need each other very much. We are proud of our collaboration partners and of building a European university. The new strategy of the University of Warsaw assumes adaptation to the changing reality, but also shaping this reality,” said the Rector of the University of Warsaw,  referring to, e.g. the idea of an open, green, intelligent and supportive university.

As one of the most important achievements of the past academic year,  Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak indicated the return of medical studies at the University of Warsaw. “This is a moment to thank all the people who supported this process. The establishment of the Faculty of Medicine is a proof that despite our differences we can do something together for common good,” the UW Rector said.


Among the challenges and goals for the upcoming period, the Rector mentioned expanding scientific research, increasing the number of publications and patents, intensifying the creation of international research groups led by UW scientists, strengthening internationalisation and creating additional sources of funding for the University.


Matriculation ceremony

The Rector’s speech was followed by the matriculation ceremony. The students and doctoral candidates, who obtained the highest admission scores, took an oath and received traditional student books from the Rector, thus joining the University of Warsaw’s community.

During the ceremony, the speeches were delivered by Aleksander Hebda, the President of the UW Students’ Council, and Martyna Dudziak-Kisio, the Vice President of the PhD Students’ Union.


“Studies are the best time for you to get to know yourself, ask questions, challenge the reality and search for the truth. The University of Warsaw has a great offer when it comes to academic movement, artistic or sports activities. Social support is also important. An unquestionable success is the extension of the University of Warsaw Library’s opening hours,” Aleksander Hebda said.


“In front of you there are opportunities that are often not available to doctoral candidates at other Polish universities. The University of Warsaw participates in the nationwide  ‘Initiative of Excellence – Research University’ programme. It is worth noting in this context that we are not perceived as students, but young researchers who are entitled to funding to conduct their own research, publish in the best journals and internationalise their research careers from the very beginning. The programme places numerous demands on us, but it also offers great opportunities. Our voice is being heard, and our presence visible and appreciated,” Martyna Dudziak-Kisio addressed the doctoral candidates.

Unpredictable future

The inaugural lecture was given by Prof. Hieronim Grala, a historian and expert in Eastern Europe’s mediaeval and modern history, from the Faculty of „Artes Liberales”, the University of Warsaw. His lecture concerned methods of historical policy and the importance of seeking the truth, which is the task of an academic institution.


“A representative of the academia, a member of universitas, cannot hide in an ivory tower in the face of the invasion of ignorance, half-truths and manipulation. It is, after all, their duty to bear witness to the truth, to be present in our contemporary agora. This is the duty of the scholar and the citizen, from which no one will ever exempt us,” Prof. Hieronim Grala emphasised.

The recording of the inauguration ceremony of the 2023/2024 academic year can be found on the YouTube channel of the University.


Inauguration at the Faculties

At the end of September and the beginning of October, the 2023/2024 academic year was also inaugurated by most faculties and units of the University of Warsaw. More information can be found on the websites of the individual units.