The Wroclaw University of Economics is a long-established centre of scientific and educational activities in the region. Its precursor, The Higher School of Trade, was established on the initiative of the Wroclaw Association for the Advance of Economic and Trade Sciences, the original founder and proprietor, in accordance with the Act of 1937 on privately owned schools of higher education. The majority of staff was represented by former lecturers and employees of King Jan Kazimierz University and the Academy of Foreign Trade in Lvov, and of King Stefan Batory University in Vilnius. Professor Kamil Stefko was the first elected Rector of the school. The inaugural lecture was given by professor Wincent Stys (future Rector of the Higher School of Economics on the day of 3 February 1947. The Higher School of Trade was a single-faculty trade school offering 3-year courses in the following specialisations: General Trade, Cooperative Management, Administration and Public Economy, Trade Insurance. In 1948, total number of student admissions was set at 2817, ranking the school as the second largest institution of higher education in Western Poland. Between 1947-1950, total number of students exceeded 6000.
In 1950, the school was nationalised and transformed into Higher School of Economics, with two faculties – Industry and Finance. In 1954, these were supplemented by the Faculty of Engineering and Economics in Food Processing. In 1958, the Faculty of Industry was renamed to Faculty of Company Economics, and finally in 1969, to the Faculty of National Economy (at present, it bears the name of Faculty of Economic Sciences, since 2006).
Another important milestone in our history came in 1974, with the formal adoption of a new name: Oskar Lange Academy of Economics. In 1976, the organisational structure was supplemented by another faculty – Engineering and Information Technology. In 1982, a new filial Faculty of Municipal Economy and Services was established in Jelenia Gora.
On 18th of March 2008, by power of an act of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland, the school was formally renamed to Wroclaw University of Economics. The formal change was introduced on May 6th 2008.
In the first academic year of its operation, our precursor institution admitted 1853 students. Admissions figures have grown steadily over the years. In the 1970s, the number of our students passed the 5 thousand threshold, and reached 10 thousand in the 1990s. The largest group of students was registered for 2005, coming close to 18 thousand mark. In May 2015, the number of UEW students was 12 207 and according to the most recent report in 2017 we had 11 604 students.
Today, the Wrocław University of Economics is ranked among the top economic schools of higher education in Poland, an important centre of education, science, and research. Its activities are aimed at maintaining and strengthening the position of the University on regional, national, European, and international levels, improving competitive advantage, and shaping its image of a modern institution, open and friendly to its employees, students, and the environment. Our University is fully privileged to provide academic training in the area of economic and management sciences.
Qualified personnel of the Wrocław University of Economics have always been our greatest asset. UEW employees receive numerous awards for didactic and scientific achievements, and have exercised responsible duties over a number of scientific associations and societies, both in Poland and abroad. The most prominent of our colleagues have been awarded honorary titles by local and foreign institutions of higher learning. Prof. Zdzisław Hellwig received honorary doctorates of Cracow University of Economics and Prague University of Economics; prof. Józef Popkiewicz – of the Technical Univesity of Dresden; prof. Ber Haus – of Katowice University of Economics, and prof. Stanisław Urban – of Cracow University of Agriculture.
Our University has also awarded honorary titles to a number of leading economists. Of the 19 scientists honored with the UEW doctorus honoris causa title are such figures as: Jochen Schumann, Giuseppe Calzoni, Robert Leroy King, János Kornai, Reinhard Selten – Nobel Prize laureate born in Wrocław, Andrzej Stanisław Barczak, Leszek Balcerowicz, Jerzy Rokita and Janusz Lewandowski. Research endeavors of our employees have always been in close relation to didactic pursuits.