ZAGREB, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Croatia's most prestigious university, the University of Zagreb, marked its 350th anniversary here on Sunday.
At the commemorative ceremony, Rector Damir Boras said it was the longest-standing Croatian institution and one of the oldest universities in Europe.
The University of Zagreb was founded in 1669, when the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I issued a decree granting the establishment of the Jesuit Academy of the Royal Free City of Zagreb.
Speaking to numerous guests from Croatia and the world, including Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Rector Boras said that 70,000 students are currently studying at the university, which is 50 percent of all students attending public universities in Croatia.
"With the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union, the possibilities for international cooperation of the University have significantly increased," the rector emphasized.
"The university must support the development of the state in all its functions," President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said at the gathering.
Addressing guests,Prime Minister Plenkovic said that the goal of the university is to foster excellence, innovation and creativity.
"We want to join the European educational space, which should be completed by 2025," he said.
The University of Zagreb is today a modern education institution with 30 faculties, three academies and one university department. Of all university projects in Croatia, 81 percent are realized at the University of Zagreb. In its long history the most eminent Croatian scholars attended it. To date the university has awarded 92 honorary doctorates.