Publish Date: 16.06.2010

Category: News from the University

Today, Chancellor Prof. Stane Pejovnik, PhD, together with Andreja Kert, Head Secretary of the University, opened an exhibition on the founding of the University of Ljubljana in 1919 in Vienna. The exhibition was arranged by the University Archive Services led by Jože Ciperle, PhD.
University of Ljubljana Chancellor Prof. Stane Pejovnik, PhD, stressed the close connection between the cultural and scientific life of Ljubljana and Vienna and the significance of the founding of the University, which has been providing support to the Slovenian nation ever since. Today, the University of Ljubljana is a Slovenian university of global calibre and has made Slovenia one of the 31 countries of the world with the top 3% best universities. It is a good university and old in the noblest sense of the word. This exhibition gives us the opportunity to use our past realisations when looking ahead and helping to shape the future of Slovenia, still a young country. “Our most important task was and always will be to produce highly qualified graduates in all fields of science and art. Our graduates must be critical in their thinking, highly educated and capable of working in diverse environments. A university should produce graduates of all academic levels, who are aware that the academic knowledge they acquired should only be used for the benefit of people and all humanity. The University of Ljubljana is very successful at this,” said Chancellor Prof. Stane Pejovnik, PhD.
In his introductory speech, Mitja Valič, Director General of the Directorate for Investments at the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology and Director of the Korotan Student Residence, spoke about the importance of university autonomy, public education and maintaining academic excellence and international competitiveness of a university, in all of which the University of Ljubljana excels. He also presented the latest developments in Slovenia in the field of higher education: the public discussion on shaping the Slovenian higher education sphere and the preparations for the reform of higher education legislation. “The conference on the social position of students, which was recently held in Ljubljana, has shown that students and the government have common goals: public education, quality studies and academic and research excellence,” he said. Mr. Valič finished his speech by saying that it is very nice to know that the University is also an institution ensuring the unification and enrichment of Slovenian language and culture.
The Korotan Curator Anton Levstek, MA, stressed that Korotan has become a centre for Slovenian cultural life in Vienna and has provided the possibility of closer contact between Slovenians who live and study in Vienna.
In his speech, Jože Ciperle, PhD, briefly outlined the efforts for the founding of the University of Ljubljana in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. He stressed that the demand for a Slovenian university was a permanent part of the Slovenian political programme from 1848 on, but it was not met by the Austrian authorities until the end of the monarchy in 1918. Until then, Slovenian students studied mostly in Vienna, Graz, Prague and Krakow. Dr. Ciperle mentioned that the number of Slovenian students at Austrian universities and higher education institutions rose from some 350 (at the end of the 19th century) to almost one thousand in 1913. Thanks to the efforts of a small circle of people (Karl Verstovšek, lawyer Danilo Majaron and Prague University Professor, Mihajlo Rostohar), the central government in Belgrade established the University of Ljubljana in June 1919. The University quickly developed and became the centre of Slovenian cultural and scientific life.