Ljubljana university
3. December, 2019

Ljujbljana university

Celebrating 100th Anniversary

On December 3rd 1919 at about 9:00 a.m. Fran Ramovš held the first lecture in Slovenian language at the Assembly room of the Provincial diet mansion in Ljubljana. This historic moment marks the establishment of Ljubljana University.

Fran Ramovš

Take a moment and think about Europe at the end of WW I, a  major crisis swept the continent, famine and general shortage of goods being just two of the problems people had to overcome, at this point, we also must keep in mind Ljubljana was hit by a major earthquake in 1895. The time for Slovenia to get it´s own university was ripe, the age of empires was over and a new political reality was here. The conditions on the other hand were not ideal.

There were a few attempts to have a Slovenian university in the past, before 1919. The first one came in the time of the Reformation, only to be swept away by Counterreformation, then there was the period of the Jesuits in Ljubljana with their attemps, but they were short-lived as well. In the revolutionary year of 1848, the push for the university also got a political connotation. The wait continued all the way to 1919. Slovenian lands were ruled from Vienna and all the political attempts to organize  higher education in Slovenia and in native language were constantly denied by the authorities. In most cases the argument was lack of educators and unsufficient language culture.

University of Ljubljana in 1919.

It would be wrong to think, that all this political problems keept Slovenians away from getting higher education. Students would study in Vienna, Graz or Prague. Since the establishemt of the Vienna University in 1365 over 6000 students from the area of Slovenia graduated and not just that, in the period from 1365 to 1918 there were 40 deans from Slovenia. That number is definitely noteworthy.

In the first semester Ljubljana university had 694 students attending lectures. There were five faculties opened (Law, Philosophy, Theology and Medicine), for the second semester they were joined by further 220 students af the Law faculty since all professors were attending the Paris Peace Conference. Today Ljubljana university is attended by about 38.000 students and employs about 6000 staff.

Until present time the university continues to be the leading educational institution of Slovenia, important in all walks of life of the country. May it remain so for the next 100 years and more!