Masaryk University is the second largest university in the Czech Republic, a member of the Compostela Group and the Utrecht Network. Founded in 1919 in Brno as the second Czech university (after Charles University established in 1348 and Palacký University existent in 1573–1860), it now consists of nine faculties and 35,115 students.
It is named after Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of an independent Czechoslovakia as well as the leader of the movement for a second Czech university. In 1960 the university was renamed Jan Evangelista Purkyně University after Jan Evangelista Purkyně, a Czech biologist.
In 1990, following the Velvet Revolution it regained its original name. Since 1922, over 171,000 students have graduated from the university.
As of 2014, Masaryk University has over 35,000 students and over 2,200 pedagogical staff and offers over 200 bachelor, 290 masters and 130 doctoral full-time study programs, some of them being offered in English or German as well as in combined form.
The Office of International Studies helps facilitate incoming and outgoing student mobility. In the 2012/13 academic year the university hosted over 1,000 international students. Students with special needs are assisted by the Teiresiás centre.
The university opened the Mendel Museum in 2007, creating an exhibition ground dedicated to the popularization of the scientific work and life of Gregor Johann Mendel who conducted his experiments in the Augustinian abbey where the museum is now located.
The Mendel Lectures given by the world's top scientists in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology and medicine have been held in the Mendel Museum.
The University Cinema Scala has been operated by the Masaryk University since October 2013 as the first university cinema in the Czech Republic.
The Freedom Lecture, a public debate on a current social topic with outstanding personalities has been held annually at the cinema on the occasion of International Students´ Day (Student Seventeen) since 2014.
Masaryk University together with other institutions of higher education participate in CEITEC – a research centre for both basic and applied research in the field of life sciences.
The university owns and operates Mendel Polar Station in Antarctica. The station facilitates basic biological, geological and climatological research. The station was built in 2005 and 2006 and is staffed during Antarctic summers.
The Technology Transfer Office of Masaryk University was established in 2005 and aims to put research results into practice and support and facilitate cooperation between the scientific community and industry.
The university is a highly research-intensive institution. It puts "a great deal of emphasis on international cooperation with prestigious foreign universities and [other] research institutions".
The university has maintained its position within the world best 600 universities for years 2016-2018. Amongst all universities in the EU-countries joined the EU since 2004, Masaryk University was ranked at seven.
According to a recent ranking by QS Students City, the Masaryk university shares fifth place worldwide with Berlin, Vienna, Stockholm and Amsterdam before New York, London and Sydney but behind Prague in the category "student's view".