University of Kragujevac was built on the foundations of the Lyceum (Licej Knjazevstva Serbskog), the first higher education institution in modern Serbia. With the decree of Prince Milos Obrenovic of July 1, 1838., the Lyceum (Lyceum - gardens where philosophy was taught) was founded, and Athanasius Nikolic, an educated engineer, professor of mathematics, geography and „načertanija“ was named for a rector of the Lyceum in Kragujevac.
At that time, Serbia, according to the first census from 1834, had only 678 192 mostly illiterate and rural residents, who were engaged in agriculture. Number of primary schools was 72, with 2514 students, and the state paid for education of 26 students. Other schools were municipal or private, and the obligatory elementary education did not exist.
In a year when the Lyceum was founded, and even in 1839 when it separated from secondary school called (Gimnazija), there were no laws on education in Serbia, but the content and the way of teaching depended on the Ministry of Education, the teachers themselves and Instruction from the Ministry (from 1838) to bring in humanistic character to secondary schools.
Disciplines which are studied at the Lyceum are philosophy, general history, mathematics, geometry, physics, natural law, European statistics, German, French, interpreting the Gospels, drawing, and from 1841. the first year of law opens at the Lyceum, signifying the beginning of the schoolof law, for the purposes of the civil service.
In short, with the Lyceum in Kragujevac, Sumadija, Serbia was established as a modern European state.
University of Kragujevac was founded on 21 May 1976.
Its establishment was preceded by two departments of the Belgrade Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Economics, which began to work in late 1960s. Departments of the University of Kragujevac include: Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Science and Technical and Teaching Faculty in Cacak and two scientific research institutes: the Institute for Field Crops in Kragujevac and Fruit and Grape Research Institute in Cacak.
In striving to preserve their spiritual heritage, on May 21, 1976, University of Kragujevac is not re- established, but regained its most important modern Serbian value.
University of Kragujevac today consists of 12 accredited faculties with legal personality, work permits, which are located in 6 cities of central Serbia: Kragujevac, Cacak, Jagodina, Kraljevo, Uzice and Vrnjačka Banja.
University Library is a part of the University of Kragujevac and has its general scientific character, whose activity is a function of teaching and scientific and research processes at the University.
In this way it contributes to successful studing, dissemination and promotion of knowledge, teaching and scientific creativity of teachers and staff at faculties and institutes of the University of Kragujevac, and also provides a repository of doctoral dissertations through open access to source of knowledge and cultural heritage that is endorsed by the academic community of the University of Kragujevac.
University integrates functions of all faculties and organizational units in its composition, such as implementing of a unified policy, aimed at continuous improvement of the activities of higher education, or improving the quality of teaching, training of scientific research and artistic youth, introducing students to scientific research, as well as the creation of material conditions for operation and development of the University.
University of Kragujevac, its emergence and development based on the concept of widespread university, has turned into one of its distinctive advantages, which allows him to use economic, geographical and human resources of the territory which stretches over 5,000 km2, inhabited by approximately 2.5 million inhabitants, which has become a basic tool of development and integrative symbol of Central Serbia.
NEW DIRECTIONS IN DEVELOPMENT
Starting from the fact that the Republic of Serbia is in the period of transition and crisis which already lasts a long period of time and which takes in all segments of society, there is a need for wisely organized and high quality system of higher education, as one of the key conditions for the development of a society based on knowledge, being able to rely on their own mind that will ensure the development of science, scientific research, quality education, in a word human resource base that will be the basis of biological and economic sustainability and higher employment of population. Because our common future may be valid only if it is based on the possession and use of knowledge.
Basic directions of development, the University of Kragujevac see in raising the quality of teaching and efficiency levels of study, increasing the number of study programs that are running at the University of Kragujevac, which are aimed at educated graduate student whose employment is needed in Central Serbia, and for whom through the process and programs of international mobility scholarships are provided for the purpose of acquiring and sharing knowledge, skills and practices at the most prestigious universities.
At the same time, through an organized system of professional practices the University for student provides several months during their studies to spend, in addition to institutions, enterprises and other forms of business organizations in the territory of the seat of the University and its faculties, in the most prestigious international companies, such as FAS and subcontractors, to acquire basic experience and apply their knowledge acquired during their studies, which are necessary for their employment, as an initial working volunteer experience, which is an increasingly common condition of employment.
In order that a graduate student has knowledge of the latest completion of undergraduate, master's and doctoral studies, University of Kragujevac insists on modernizing knowledge and scientific achievements of its teaching staff and researchers for whom the process of mobility also provides raise of the overall level of teaching and scientific competence.
At the same time, these activities provide teachers and young researchers at the faculties of the University of Kragujevac, their involvement in research and international projects in the course of the study, especially doctoral programs, including scholarships for the best students of the University annually.
In this sense, the University of Kragujevac see its further development through the provision of necessary conditions for strengthening scientific and artistic work, not only through the implementation of international scientific and artistic projects, equipping of faculties, scientific research units and laboratories, multimedia and IT workshops and halls with the latest equipment, but also through creation of a database of quality mentors, without which there are no conditions for the creation of good base of scientific and artistic youth, nor raise of the level of scientific research and artistic work.
Publication of results of scientific and artistic work in leading referencing scientific journals, as one of the main criteria for ranking universities, but also a necessary condition for the defense of doctoral dissertation and the promotion of a teacher to a higher position, University of Kragujevac will endeavor to facilitate with a range of activities, especially for associates, assistants and researchers. It will provide conditions for their further advancement, but also raise the total capacity of the University.
International cooperation as a priority activity of the University of Kragujevac and an integral part of the strategy of internationalization of the University, is focused on the establishment and development of cooperation with foreign universities and international organizations dealing with higher education and expanding the network of inter-signing cooperation agreements with new partners abroad, as well as renewing contracts with existing partners.
These contracts are the basis for the mobility of students and teachers, their professional and scientific training, as well as broadening and deepening international cooperation in the field of mobility and the development of integrated programs of study and research.