It is 1918. In an independent Poland, newly liberated from foreign rule, trade starts to develop, and the economy is consolidating. Thanks to a favourable situation in the world market, the region of Wielkopolska is enjoying a rapid development. This creates a need for a school which would train – theoretically and practically – highly qualified workforce for industry, trade and services. The idea to start an educational and research institution of an academic character is taken up by prominent figures of Wielkopolska’s business community.
New university building is constructed at the heart of the city, in the area that used to be a moat surrounding Prussian defensive walls. The building is impressive and its facade is decorated with eight towering columns. The facility was put into use on 1 July 1932 (dedication took place on 12 November, on the day of inauguration of the academic year 1932/1933).
To this day, the Main Building of the University glamorises one of the central streets of Poznan - aleja Niepodległości.
In 1950, the school is nationalised and renamed Wyższa Szkoła Ekonomiczna (WSE).
In 1974 the school is given yet another name – Akademia Ekonomiczna (AE) – together with the right to award Master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral degrees.
Construction of a new PUE building - Collegium Altum - took 12 years. The facility consists of 22 floors with 485 rooms and 43 classrooms. The height of the building designed by Lech Sternal, Witold Milewski and Zygmunt Skupniewicz, together with the television mast, is 103.35 m. The red sky scraper is a dominant and representative element of the urban landscape of Poznan. As the building is located in the city center, the 18th floor offers a view on the whole panorama of Poznan and the surrounding area from the four corners of the world.
The 1990s bring with them a fundamental political transformation. A market economy prevails, and free movement of goods is again possible. We see the return of profit orientation and effective resource management. A company’s success depends again on the ability to interpret demand trends, monitor the firm’s financial standing and environment, and choose the right directions of development. In response to the changes taking place, AE develops a modern curriculum, based on a diversity of specialisms and forms of instruction. The school introduces entirely new curricula and syllabuses at all levels of education; its study process is modelled on that used by Western universities. The number of professors is growing rapidly, and cooperation with many foreign universities is initiated.
In response to the growing number of students and the demand for better equipped classrooms a decision is made to build a new building. In 2002 the University is given a plot of land at Towarowa street 55, with a total area of 2761 sq m. In 2003 a public tender is announced for the project of the new building which bears the name Centrum Edukacji Europejskiej (Center for European Education). 53 projects have applied. The competition has been won by Autorskie Studio Architektury „ATRIUM” – Marian Urbański from Poznań. The building also changes its name into Centrum Edukacji Usług Elektronicznych (Education Centre for Electronic Services) and it will house the Faculty of Informatics and Electronic Economy with its departments:
Department of Mathematical Economics, Department of Information Systems, Department of International Logistics, Department of Information Technology
In 2006, following the guidelines of the Bologna process and the principles of the European Higher Education Area, the school introduces three-cycle studies. Simultaneously, it expands and strengthens its academic potential, obtaining six authorisations to award doctoral degrees.
On 27th December 2008, AE officially receives the status of a university and acquires its present name – Poznan University of Economics.
At the initiative of prof. Jerzy Trajkowski, a group of University’s employees asked the authorities to set up busts of two professors who had been especially meritorious for the school. The statues were to be put on platforms on both sides of the entrance stairs. The academic community decided that the busts should represent prof. Edward Taylor, founder of the so-called Poznań School of Economics, and prof. Zbigniew Zakrzewski, long-standing Vice-Rector and Rector of the University of Economics and the author of numerous books and publications about Poznan.
The sculptures were made by prof. Wieslaw Koronowski, head of the Department of Sculpture at the University of Arts in Poznan. The castings were prepared by Piotr Szmyt.
The official unveiling of the monuments took place during the 85th inauguration of the academic year.
The official opening of a modern building - Educational Center of Electronic Services – was held on 25 February 2015. The 15 000 m2 building is located on Towarowa. The facility includes 12 classrooms (with 50, 80 and 100 seats), several computer labs with five datacenters, and three auditoriums with nearly 280 seats each. The appearance and a facade of the new building of the Poznan University of Economics refer to the surrounding buildings. The designers came up with some interesting architectural solutions. A large part of the walls and internal columns was made in the technology of architectural concrete with specially selected recipe. The construction took 3300 m2 of sand stone and granite, 5500 m2 of glass, 10 thousand m3 of concrete, 1,500 tonnes of steel, 78 km of structured cables and 62 km of cords and heavy current supply wires. The facility is home to the Department of the Faculty of Informatics and Electronic Economy.
The new PUEB logo consists of two components: an emblem and full name of the university. It is a colorful digital and graphic composition in the form of a horizontally-cracked ring with a filled central area. The inner surface of the emblem is a drawing situated along the vertical axis of the ring. The drawing symbolizes the hat and the caduceus of Mercury – the mythological patron of trade and economics. The caduceus is depicted in a conventional form of its symbol – the staff entwined by two serpents, topped by a pair of wings. In mythology, the caduceus was a symbol of peace and trade. It is also a symbolic staff of heralds and messengers. On the emblem, the caduceus is symmetrically divided by the number 1926 – the year of the University’s founding. The new emblem manifests long tradition of the University, indicates its identity and the main area of research and didactic activity (economic sciences).