Warsaw University of Technology builds upon the traditions of Polish technical universities that used to function in Warsaw – the Polytechnic Institute founded in 1826 thanks to the efforts of Stanisław Staszic and the School of Hipolit Wawelberg and Stanisław Rotwand established in 1895.
Warsaw University of Technology started on its own in 1915 thanks to the efforts of the Association for Scientific Courses and the Citizens’ Committee of the City of Warsaw. Working uninterruptedly, the University has been producing generations of graduates and has had an increasing number of scientific and technical achievements.
It is not only the oldest but also the best technical university in Poland; in the ranking of Polish universities, it has taken the first place in its category for nine years. At Warsaw University of Technology, over 180 student research groups, organisations and associations are active, and the educational offer includes more than 30 fields of study (also with English as a medium of instruction).
The Warsaw University of Technology, so named in 1915, continues the tradition of the Preparatory School for the Institute of Technology set up in Warsaw in 1826 thanks to the efforts of Stanisław Staszic. The University's roots also reach down to the Hipolit Wawelberg and Stanisław Rotwand School of Machine Construction and Electrical Engineering, created in 1895. The many generations of engineers it turned out and its significant contributions to the development of technical sciences earned the Warsaw University of Technology an acclaimed position in the country as well as international renown.
Looking back at the history of the Warsaw University of Technology, we see not only achievements in academic teaching and scientific research but also efforts to steep young people in patriotism and to safeguard the academic community ethos. It were the results of these efforts that led the academic community to repeatedly stand up in defense of the highest of values: the sovereignty of the Republic of Poland, freedom and civic rights, ethical principles and spiritual values nurtured over many centuries of Poland's history. Time and again the Warsaw University of Technology paid a heavy price for its commitment to these values ― suffering severe repression, seeing its activities curbed, and even being denied its very existence ― and yet it always came back to life, under different names, preserving freedom of thought and never weakening in its attachment to the European university tradition. Today too our community works on to promote patriotism, solidarity, humanity and tolerance in succeeding generations of students, cultivating the University's heritage and the best of its traditions, taking care to preserve the unbroken adherence to recognized values and maintain the integrity of its achievements. Its political impartiality notwithstanding, the Warsaw University of Technology retained its own identity as an institution taking an active part in public life, striving as far as possible to provide the young people of our day with equal opportunities to gain an education.
The Warsaw University of Technology is an academic institution of higher learning, shaping the future social elites ― educated people with a broad outlook on the world, conscious of their own views but also understanding and respecting the world views of others. The University not only gives shape to the minds of its student but also forges their characters, awakens in them the kind of creative attitudes engineers should display, furnishing them not only with knowledge but also with skills. Knowledge is best imparted by those who actively expand it, and skills passed on by those who had to learn them through practice.
Education and scientific research are activities targeting the future, requiring a vision of society and an idea of the individual and collective needs in the times to come. Accordingly, the University must anticipate the roads mankind will be embarking on and the future course of global economic and cultural relations evolution. An academic institution of higher education will be in a position to play the role of an intellectual center, a place where the increasingly faster changing reality may be taken stock of, only if it understands the contemporary world around it and has a vision of the future. The ever greater complexity of the world around us requires technical higher education schools to increasingly transcend in their teaching curricula and research the classical boundaries of engineering disciplines, to open up more to exact and natural sciences as well as to sciences dealing with the socio-economic environment. The pace of change we are witnessing has prompted the University to include the promotion of life-long education and the creation of condition it requires among vital constituents of its mission.
The Warsaw University of Technology is a community of students and teachers. Its unity stood well the test of history. Whenever faced with a challenge ― the need to speak out on matters of public import, or looming danger ― the community members instantly set aside their mutual animosities, turned a blind eye to differences in opinion, promptly rallied around the same ideas and took united action, placing common good at the top of their priorities. The sensitivity which naturally characterizes young people requires special emphasis to be placed on fundamental principles and value systems. The community of the University must provide models of good conduct in both academic and public life and must also be exceptionally sensitive to every manifestation of evil and indecency, and especially to every violation of human dignity and every deviation from truth in a bid to further individual or group interests.
In its operations the Warsaw University of Technology attaches special importance to respect for human and civic rights and to academic freedoms. Every member of its community is free to express his or her thoughts, evaluations and convictions while respecting ethical principles and the law. The academic staff enjoy freedom in undertaking scientific research and publishing the results thereof, and are guaranteed a role in drafting teaching curricula. Students of the Warsaw University of Technology share in decision-making with regard to every aspect of their school, and are indeed themselves alone responsible for some areas of its operation.
All students and staff, together and separately, are required to safeguard the good reputation of the Warsaw University of Technology. Such is the tradition of the University, passed on from generation to generation. The Warsaw University of Technology staff are expected to spare no time in looking after their undergraduate and postgraduate students, to keep up credibility of the written and spoken word, and have regard for the reputation of the University when conducting their scientific research. The students are required to honestly apply themselves to their studies and properly represent their University at all times, both within and beyond its walls. The Warsaw University of Technology maintains ties with its graduates, expecting them to demonstrate dignified attitudes in professional and public life, to add to the achievements of the University and to continue upholding its tradition.
Academic activity hinges on creativity in scientific research, teaching and study. Creative attitudes cannot develop and be passed on to future generations without freedom. The Warsaw University of Technology must thus remain an autonomous institution of learning. While invoking the constitutionally guaranteed autonomy of higher education institutions along with the applicable laws and its own statutes as the legal basis of its operation, the University makes use of its autonomy to determine and implement its own strategy and development policy, all the while respecting the requirement of openness in the public domain. Autonomy offers rights but also brings with it obligations and responsibility. Autonomy is the right to independently formulate the University's mission but also the responsibility to provide education in line with the needs and expectations of the public; it means independence in selecting research tasks and responsibility for the property and budget in its trust; finally, it is the right to shape the minds and characters of academic staff and also the responsibility for the weight of the diplomas it confers.
The Warsaw University of Technology works in partnership with other higher education institutions in Warsaw which are particularly close to it in nature. Together, these schools strive to provide a mutually complementary educational and research package. The Warsaw University of Technology also boasts a rich tradition in cooperation with other academic centers, in Poland and abroad. Such cooperation is becoming increasingly important in the face of accelerating civilizational changes worldwide. The Warsaw University of Technology, recognized in Europe and around the world, is steadily increasing its contribution to international educational and research projects.
The mission of the Warsaw University of Technology always remains the same: The knowledge and skills imparted to its students and the scientific studies it conducts must always serve Man and Mankind.