“ALEXANDRU IOAN CUZA” UNIVERSITY OF IASI, 160 YEARS

Romfilatelia marks the anniversary of the oldest Romanian higher education institution through the postage stamps issue “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, 160 years, which will enter into circulation on Wednesday, August 26th, 2020.

The history of Romanian education in Moldavia includes among its pages some landmarks: the College of Cotnari (1563), the College of the Three Hierarchs Monastery in Iasi (1640), founded by Vasile Lupu, the Princely Academy of Iasi (1707), founded by Antioch Cantemir.

After the establishment of the Princely Academy, the Romanian language replaced Latin, as language
of instruction of courses. The most important historical moment of the Moldavian education, however, is the appearance of the Academia Mihaileana (Michaelian Academy), created in 1835 by the scholar Gheorghe Asachi, with the direct support of Prince Mihail Sturdza. The functioning of this Academy, in which the first faculties of Law and Philosophy were established, but especially the profound transformations occurred at political level (the Union of the Romanian Principalities from 1859), prepared the founding in Iasi of the first University of Romania, in 1860 (the University from Bucharest was founded in 1864).

Taking over the teaching staff, programmes and experience of the Academia Mihaileana, the University of Iasi, inaugurated on October 26th, 1860, took the name of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, decisive factor in establishing the Institution and the leader of the great reforms that laid the foundations of the modern Romanian state.

The university has been, after its establishment, in a continuous change, in full harmony with the evolution of the Romanian society and culture. Initially starting with only three faculties: Philosophy, Law and Theology, the University later included the faculties of Letters and Philosophy, Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Law and Medicine. After the Great Union of 1918, the requirements of the Romanian society, influenced by the European progress, favoured the approach of new fields: Medicine and Pharmacy, Agriculture, Electrical Engineering and Technological Chemistry, reaching reorganization in 1937, after which “Gheorghe Asachi” Polytechnic Institute of Iasi was born.

In the interwar period, the University was among the European institutions of the same rank, both by the variety of fields of study and by the high level of course content.

Adapting to the demands of the communist education system, the organizational structure of the period 1968-1969 included eight faculties: Mathematics-Mechanics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology-Geography, Law, Philology, History-Philosophy, Economics (in 1974 the Faculty of Chemistry was transferred to the Polytechnic Institute).

After 1989, the organizational structure, the curriculum, the university autonomy and the decision-making freedom made that “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University to be one of the best performing universities in Romania, a standard for excellence in research and didactic flexibility.

On the stamps of the issue, both with the face value of Lei 8.50, is illustrated the University Palace, built between 1893 and 1897, later extended according to the plans of the architect Louis Blanc. Along with the building, the postage stamps also include the portraits of Gheorghe Asachi (1788-1869) and Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1820-1873), as well as the current logo of the University.

Romfilatelia thanks “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi and the Iasi branch of the Romanian National Archives for the documentary and photographic support granted to the achievement of this postage stamps issue.