The University of Rijeka was founded in 1973 as a logical expansion of higher education institutions in western Croatia whose roots date back to the 17th century when the Rijeka Jesuit gymnasium was established. From its founding it has undergone a series of transformations which were for the most part the result of changes brought on by the national higher education policies.
Today the University integrates its constituents' functions and ensures their unified and harmonized activities. Its mission is dedicated to making strategic and development-oriented decisions on numerous issues regarding the functioning of the academic community and continued facilitation of international competitiveness in all areas of scientific, artistic and professional activities. Through active collaboration with the economic and business sector along with partnerships for community development the University endeavors to contribute toward the socio-cultural transition into a knowledge-based society. Its vision targets the inclusion of the University of Rijeka within the top 500 European Universities, thus it has committed itself to dynamic development which systematically facilitates mobility and the development of research careers while providing each individual with an opportunity to express their talents and entrepreneurial energy.