Goes back to the 16th century when in 1519 a Roman-Catholic Bishop Jan Lubrański founded the first of its kind Academy which back then boasted the status of a higher learning institution. Shortly after, another institution of higher learning was established in Poznań, namely – the Jesuit College (1573) and it continued the academic traditions of its predecessor. The first rector of the Jesuit College – rev.Jakub Wujek –  was the first scholar to translate the Bible into Polish. On October 28th, 1611, King Sigismund III Vasa granted the Jesuit College the status of the first University-type school in Poznań. The privilege was confirmed by king John III Sobieski and the university in Poznan lasted until 1773.  In the turbulent years of Polish history to follow, science and higher education have always been in one form or another vibrant in Poznań, until the present. Key role in that process was played by the Poznań Society of Friends of Sciences which carried the academic legacy forward during the time of the Polish Partitions period all the way to the official re-establishment of a proper University in Poznan, following the end of the First World War, in 1919.
Ever since, the University in Poznań has flourished being forced only once more to step back and provide its services in conspiracy during the Second World War under the name of a clandestine University of the Western Lands (1940-1944).  Despite the Nazi German occupation it managed to educate and produce over 2,000 graduates with the help of some 300 academic teachers, risking their lives providing higher education in Polish which was then illegal.
Modern day of the University begins with granting it the name of a new patron-Adam Mickiewicz.