The Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (NCU) was founded in 1945. It is one of the largest universities in Poland, currently comprising 16 faculties (including 3 medical faculties at Collegium Medicum UMK in Bydgoszcz). It provides graduate and postgraduate courses for 18 331 students, offering education in over 100 fields of study and 55 postgraduate courses. The university employs 4453 staff on both Toruń and Bydgoszcz campuses, over half of whom are academic teachers. NCU alumni now number around 200 000.
NCU has state-of-the-art research infrastructure including the National Laboratory of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (FAMO), the Center for Quantum Optics and the Interdisciplinary Center for Modern Technologies to name but a few, as well as modern teaching facilities comprising, among others, Collegium Humanisticum and the brand new University Sports Centre. The Centre for Astronomy in Piwnice near Toruń houses a unique 32-meter radio telescope. Spitsbergen (in the Arctic Sea) is home to NCU Polar Station. The university has also organized the Polish Historical Mission at the University of Würzburg. NCU researchers can boast a number of spectacular successes which include, among others, the design and construction of an Optical Coherence Tomography instrument, an ultra-modern device for medical eye examinations.
NCU took part in the competition of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education "Excellence Initiative - Research University" and - as one of 10 Polish universities - has obtained the status of a research university. The objective of the "Excellence Initiative ¬ Research University" programme is to select and support the best Polish universities, which will be able to successfully compete with foreign institutions in the coming years. Research universities will receive a 10% higher subsidy in the years 2020-2026 for activities improving the quality of research and education. The programme is one of the most important measures undertaken as part of the reform of higher education and science in Poland.
The university participates in student and staff exchange programs at both international (the Erasmus+ program, YUFE) and national (the MOST program) levels. It develops studies in cooperation with universities abroad and is currently collaborating with the university in Angers (economics). Since 2020 NCU has been a member of Young Universities for the Future of Europe alliance (YUFE) – one of the first European Universities. This partnership aims to establish a new model of higher education engaging students, staff, citizens, and businesses, providing rich and various offer all can benefit from. Exchanging programs allow NCU community to take part in initiatives organised in 10 European countries both in physical and virtual form at the same time inviting foreigners to get more acquainted with NCU.
The University Library holds an imposing collection of nearly 3 million printed volumes, periodicals and special collection items. NCU campus hosts the Academic Centre for Arts and Culture ‘Od Nowa’, one of the oldest students’ clubs in Poland.
This has contributed to the Nicolaus Copernicus University’s position as one of the five best universities in Poland and it is also the reason why QS World University Ranking has placed NCU in the top 4% of universities in the world.