Education in Austrian Galicia:
University of Lviv (Universität Lemberg)

The origins of the University of Lviv go back to a cathedral-school of the late middle ages. This school was reformed into a convent-like educational institution in 1455; education was further provided by a Greek-Slavonic school since 1556 and a religious Collegium of the Jesuites of Lviv since 1608. These institutions can be seen as predecessors of a proper university, as it was finally founded by the Polish king Jan Kazimierz Vasa (1648-1668) in 1661.

In 1758, the university was re-enforced by King August III. After Galicia had turned Habsburgian in 1772, it became a victim to the dissolution of the Jesuite Order in 1773. The University of Lviv was made a "Lyzeum", comparable to a liberal arts school - a university solely dedicated to philosophical and theological studies. In 1776, this Lyzeum was named "Collegium Theresianum".

Since 1773, there was also a "Collegium Medicum" in Lviv, as a teaching facility for surgeons. Maria Theresia′s attempts to re-found a full university in Lviv were met by her son Joseph II in 1784. During this period, many Latin schools and other institutions of higher education (often seen as "universities" by themselves and the locals) were dissolved and sacrificed for the slim and centrally organised state universities of a Josephinian understanding. This applies for example to the "University" of Zamosc. The master-plan for higher education of Joseph II saw only one university for Bohemia (Prague), one for Austria (Vienna) and one for Galicia (Lviv).

The era′s power-games between Prussia and the Habsburg Empire were also reflected on the level of higher education: In response to the re-foundation of the University of Lviv, the Prussian Minister Graf von Hoym proposed the foundation of a Polish-German university in the Prussian share of divided Poland. This proposal was rejected by Chancellor von Goldberg in 1794, and finally abandoned in 1802.

After the Third Division of Poland in 1795, most facilities of the University of Lviv were transferred to Krakow despite of growing student numbers since its foundation. In 1805, the university was "downgraded" to a Lyzeum once again - officially merging with the more traditional University of Krakow. Only the educational reforms and the expansion of universities under Emperor Franz I of Austria (nee II HRR) in 1817 led to the re-assignment of full university status to the Lyzeum of Lviv under the new brand "K.k. Franzens-Universität". Note that the reign of Franz I and his son Ferdinand I were the years of Metternichian absolutism with very tight regulations for universities and potentially revolutionary groups. Only medical degrees were not awarded by the University of Lviv until 1891, when the Faculties of Divinity, Law and Philosophy were finally joined by a Medical one.

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Further Reading

Studentenverbindung: Fraternities and Burschenschaft

Wikipedia on the Habsburg Empire (Habsburg Monarchy)

Wikipedia on Nationalism

Sources for 19th century History (key to nationalism)