The tradition of higher education in Košice begins with the foundation of Academia Cassoviensis by Bishop Benedict Kisdy as early as in 1657. A Golden Bull issued by the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I has granted this university similar privileges to those enjoyed by universities in Vienna, Prague and other European cities. The university in various forms, first as a Royal Academy and later as a Law Academy, lasted until 1921.
The University in Košice in its modern form was established in 1959 as the second university in Slovakia. Its foundation was an important contribution to the development of the educational and research activities in the second largest Slovak city. The University is named after an outstanding personality of Slovak history, Pavol Jozef Šafárik (1795 – 1861), who was a scientist, poet, linguist, ethnographer, archaeologist and educator. At the time of its foundation the University consisted of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Philosophy. Gradually, other faculties were created in Košice and nearby Prešov, namely the Faculty of Science (founded in 1963), the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Education, the Greek-Catholic Faculty and the Faculty of Orthodox Theology.
On January 1, 1997, the P.J.Šafárik University was split into two independent universities – the University of Prešov and the P.J.Šafárik University in Košice. At present the P.J.Šafárik University in Košice consists of the four faculties : the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Public Administration and the Faculty of Arts.
The Faculty of Science is a remarkable institution of higher education and research, offering education in different branches of science (biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, geography and ecology), which may be studied either as single (one-subject) or joint (two-subject) degree programmes. Due to its fruitful results in research, mirrored in publications in renowned scientific journals and presented at important international conferences, and also due to the intensive international collaboration and participation in international projects, the faculty has become a recognized academic institution not only in Slovakia but also in Europe and other parts of the world. Among priority tasks of the faculty in science and research are the support of grant projects, the strengthening of the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and further deepening of international collaboration, particularly by joining diverse existing networks of projects and programmes both in fundamental and applied research and by cooperating with industry.
Institute of Geography
Our research has three main directions: Physical Geography, Human and Regional Geography, and Geographic Information Science (GIS).
Physical Geography research has the longest tradition at the Institute. It has been focused on geomorphological and hydrogeographic research specializing on karst and aeolian landscape. The research was undertaken by Assoc. Prof. Zdenko Hochmuth, Prof. Ján Košťálik, and Dr. Dušan Barabas. Results of the related research projects were published in various linds of publications. In order to support this research, Physical Geography Research Group has been established within the structure of the Institute.
The long term orientation of the Human Geography and Regional Geography Research Group is on urban and rural landscape structures and population dynamics. This research is guided by Prof. Peter Spišiak.
The GIS Research Group focuses on acquisition and processing of geospatial data by laser scanning, optimizing generation of digital terrain models, geomorphometric analysis, and development of tools for 3D GIS