The beginnings of higher education in Maribor date back to the 19th century, when in 1859 bishop Anton Martin Slomšek moved the seat of the Lavantine diocese from St. Andraž in Lavantal (Austrian Carinthia) to Maribor and soon afterwards established a Slovenian seminary. That gave Maribor its first institution of higher education, which became an important focal point of Slovenian religious, national, cultural and scientific thought in the Slovenian Štajerska region. Important years were also 1863, when the two-year teacher-training school was established, and 1888, when it became a four-year school.
The immediate forerunner of the present-day University of Maribor is the Association of Higher Education Institutions in Maribor, which was established in the period between 1959 and 1961. The oldest among them was the School of Economics and Commerce, followed by the Technical College with departments of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, textile technology, civil engineering and chemistry. In 1960, the College of Agriculture, College of Law and School of Dentistry were established; the latter was closed in 1970. In 1961, the Academy of Education was established as the first college in Maribor and in 1986, its name was changed to the Faculty of Education. During that period the College of Organizational Studies was also established in Kranj, and in 1972 it became a member of the Association of Higher Education Institutions in Maribor. With six higher education institutions, Maribor became an important academic centre, and in 1975 the University of Maribor was created.
Rectors of the University of Maribor
dr. Vladimir Bračič, Professor Emeritus
1975 – 1979
dr. Mehmedalija Đonlagić, Professor Emeritus
1979 – 1983
dr. Dane Melavc, Professor Emeritus
1983 – 1987
dr. Alojz Križman, Professor Emeritus
1987 – 1993
dr. Ludvik Toplak, Professor Emeritus
1993 – 2002
dr. Ivan Rozman, Full Professor
2003 – 2011
dr. Danijel Rebolj, Professor Emeritus
2011 – 2015
dr. Igor Tičar, Full Professor
2015 – 2017
History of the rectorate building
The main building of the University of Maribor located at Slomškov trg 15 was built in the years between 1884 and 1886 as a building of the general savings bank (today’s south wing of the building, where all halls and the Computer Centre are located) and the Girls’ School (today’s north wing of the building, location of the University professional services and the Rectorate) in Neo-Renaissance style. Today, the building is under the protection of the Institute for Landmarks Preservation, since, according to experts, it is among the most beautiful historical buildings in Maribor.
After World War II, the building was entirely dedicated to education. It provided space for a primary school, the textile high school and hairdressing school. In the 1990s, the City Municipality of Maribor devoted the building to the University of Maribor. During the renovation of the building, which lasted as long as four years (1996-2000), it was established that different materials were used during the construction at the end of the 19th century. Therefore, the stairway in the southern part had to be completely demolished and built anew. During his visit in Maribor, Pope John Paul II blessed the start of renovation works (the memorial plaque blessed by the Pope is located at the main entrance of the building).
Boris Podrecca, the architect responsible for the renovation of the central university building, also gave new meaning to the central courtyard space, which was deepened in order to locate in it the Great Hall (Aula Magna). Through the sloping roof, he enabled the entry of daylight.
The renovation of the building included the protection of the building against earthquakes, the replacement of wooden ceiling structures, the complete replacement of doors and windows as well as of the entire installations, the construction of the new stairway and the Great Hall, the assembly of panoramic elevators, the remediation of foundations and frescoes as well as the supply and installation of new furnishings.