The Poznań University School of Physical Education is the oldest sports university in Poland and third oldest in Europe, after Ghent and Copenhagen.
The University has grown from the tradition of one of the departments of the Poznań University, which was formed in 1919. It was the first Polish academic centre which provided education in physical education. It was headed by Eugeniusz Piasecki – a well-known Polish doctor and theoretician, commonly known as “the father of physical education and sports sciences”. Piasecki was chosen to be the patron of the University. In 1922 the department gained autonomy as the School of Physical Education with the right to confer MA degrees.
After the war, in 1945, the school was transformed into an independent High School of Physical Education. The dynamic scientific development led to gaining the status of University School of Physical Education in 1973. In the following year the University opened its second faculty – the Faculty of Tourism and Recreation. It was the first such faculty in Poland and it was where the methodological foundations for this field of study in Poland originated. In 2003 the third faculty of the University was opened – the Faculty of Physical Culture in Gorzów Wielkopolski.
In 1968 the Faculty of Physical Education received the right to confer PhD degrees and since 1993 its confers post-doctoral degrees (doktor habilitowany). The Faculty of Physical Culture in Gorzów Wielkopolski received this right in 2005.
In 2013 the University School of Physical Education, as the only university in Poland, received the right to confer PhD degrees in the field of health sciences.
As the years passed the education and sports facilities of the University were extended. In 1999 sport facilities were built: a multifunctional stadium with a field hockey field, and in 2001 the swimming pool with the sports recovery facility was built. In 2004 the main library was opened after a modernisation. Nine years later a modern education building with laboratories and classrooms was built. In 2015 a modern team sport hall was opened. This building was recognised in the ranking of the most beautiful buildings in Poland prepared by Skyscrapercity website and was nominated for the ArchDaily award in the category “Building Of The Year”.
After 97 years of activities the Poznań University School of Physical Education is one of the best physical culture academic universities in Poland, carrying out research on a high level, developing sport, and educating physical education teachers, managers, sport coaches, dieticians, physiotherapists, dancers and scholars in neurobiology.