Selected Moments of the 20th Century

A work in progress edited by Daniel Schugurensky
Department of Adult Education, Community Development and Counselling Psychology,
The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT)


After over twenty years of existence, the 'Flying University' of Poland is legalized

The original 'Flying University' in Poland began in 1883 and existed until 1905, when it was made semilegal and became known as the TKN (Buczynska-Garewicz 1985). There were no campuses, land or buildings, and each class was held in a different private apartment, hence the name 'flying university'. The Flying University offered some of the first opportunities for women in Warsaw and Eastern Poland to attend higher education, and women made up about 70% of the student body. Between 1883 and 1905, about three thousand women received diplomas there. Classes were available to anyone regardless of gender or social status, but differed from those in regular universities in that they promoted self-directed learning because of the difficult conditions for instruction. One of the Flying University's more famous students was Marie Sklodowska Curie, the first woman to receive a Nobel prize, who studied sciences there after graduating from high school in 1883.


Bucznska-Garewicz, Hanna (1985). The Flying University in Poland, 1978-1980. Harvard Educational Review 55 (1), 20-33.

Muszynska, Agnes (1998). Famous names in science: Marie Sklodowska Curie [online]. Available: (February 4, 2001).

Woycicka, Joanna & Andrzej Dominiczak. Education of women [online]. Available: (February 4, 2001).

Prepared by Laurie Mook

Citation: Author (2001). Title. In Daniel Schugurensky (Ed.), History of Education: Selected Moments of the 20th Century [online]. Available:  (date accessed).

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