The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University is a public university located in Iași, Romania. Founded one year after the establishment of the Romanian state, by an 1860 decree of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, under whom the former Academia Mihăileană was converted to a university, the University of Iași, as it was named at first, is the oldest university of Romania, and one of its advanced research and education institutions.
Iași has a long tradition in higher education, the first institute that functioned on the territory of Romania was Academia Vasiliană founded in 1640 by the Moldavian Prince Vasile Lupu, followed, in 1707, by Princely Academy of Iași. The Princely Academy (renamed, in 1812, The Academy of Filology and Science) matched up to the standards of the other European Academies of the time and the Romanian language gained importance over the Greek language.
The foundation, in 1835, of the Academia Mihăileană is considered a landmark in the history of Romanian higher education. The Academia Mihăileană was created under the auspices of Prince Mihail Sturdza (hence its name), striving for progress and for “meeting the standards of the enlightened Europe”. Three faculties were set up: the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Philosophy and the Faculty of Theology and the curriculum resembled to a great extent that of Austrian and German academies.
After the Unification of the Romanian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia by the Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the inauguration, at 26 October 1860, of the University of Iași, the first Romanian modern university, was to be a stepping stone to modern higher education in Romania.
By 1879, the University of Iași had four faculties: Law, Letters and Philosophy, Sciences, and Medicine. In 1892, the Faculty of Sciences added the Department of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, followed by the Department of Agricultural Chemistry, in 1906, and the School of the Industrial Electricity, in 1910.
In March 1937, the technical higher education departments were transferred to the newly established Gheorghe Asachi Polytechnic School, and in 1948, the Faculty of Agriculture became the Iași Agronomic Institute, while the Medical School became the Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy of Iași