The University of Žilina was established as the Railway College on 1 October 1953 by the separation from the Czech Technical University in Prague. It has gone through numerous changes during its history. Finally, in 1996, it was renamed from the University of Transport and Communications to the University of Žilina in Žilina.
The University as a public university provides education at all three levels of higher education (Bachelor’s degree, Engineer/Master’s degree and Doctoral degree) in both full-time and part-time forms. So far, approximately 63 000 graduates have finished their studies (1800 graduates from abroad) at the University. Approximately 11 000 students currently study in all forms of studies. There are more than 1 500 employees and 650 of them are university teachers. With its more than half century history, the University has taken a prominent place in the Slovak educational system not only with the number of its students, with the range of accredited study programmes, but also with its scientific and foreign activities based on cooperation with domestic and foreign companies and institutions.
In the field of science and research, individual working places of the University have been involved in solving of more than 150 scientific and research projects, which are financially supported from public sources through countrywide grant schemes in the sum of 2,1 mil EUR. Currently, scientific teams have been working on 35 projects supported from abroad, mainly within the EU 6th and 7th Framework Programmes. Except for solving project tasks, the issues of quality technical equipment of experimental working places and increasing quality of human sources have been monitored.
Scientific teams closely cooperate with partners from various industrial branches in the applied research. 6 centres of excellence are supported via the Operational Programme “Research and Development“ within the framework of structural funds. The University is also involved in 4 projects solved by centres of competence within this Operational Programme. There have been created 3 centres of the applied research. Achievements are presented mainly through publication activities, submitted applications for patents, presentations at international scientific symposiums and conferences, but also at trade fairs and exhibitions. Cooperation with foreign universities enables students and teachers to participate actively in international educational and research projects (LLP/ERASMUS, Grundvig, Comenius, TEMPUS, COST, CEEPUS, the 6th and 7th Framework Programmes, etc.).
The University belongs to the most active universities in the Lifelong Learning Programme – LLP. Within its ERASMUS Programme, the University – as the only one in Slovakia – has been listed among 40 most successful universities of the EU in the field of teacher mobility for a ten year period. As for the number of outgoing ERASMUS students and the number of teaching staff mobilities, the University has one of the prominent positions among Slovak universities participating in the Programme.