On May 28, 2021, a dynamic new conservative university, the Collegium Intermarium, was inaugurated in Warsaw, Poland. Polish Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Glinski and Polish Minister of Education and Science Przemyslaw Czarnek opened the conference inaugurating the university. In attendance were academics and other notables from around the world, including former Czech President Vaclav Klaus, President of the Hungarian Constitutional Court Tamas Sulyok, American family scholar Stephen Baskerville, and cultural commentator and editor of the American Conservative magazine Rod Dreher. Founded by leaders at the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture–a leading Polish organization dedicated to promoting a legal culture based on respect for human dignity and rights–Collegium Intermarium will be dedicated to promoting the free exchange of ideas and will offer graduate level courses in law (including international human rights law), family policy, non-governmental organization management, modern forensics methods, and classical European culture. The faculty of the university will be composed of top scholars from Poland and around the world and courses will be offered in both English and Polish.
Why was this university established? To promote the traditional goal of the university, a goal that is all too often ignored on the politically correct campuses of most American and West European universities: the search for truth, goodness, and beauty. As the university states:
“Collegium Intermarium was established as an answer to the crisis of academic life. At a time when the sense of order, purpose, and meaning is fading away, our university has a fixed point of reference—unchanging ideas of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. When there is less and less room for free academic debate, the Collegium is a space for scholars and students who are not afraid to pose serious questions. Taking up courageous challenges is not only a privilege, but the duty of everyone who co-creates the community of the university.”
Studies at the university will be based on the three pillars of Western Civilization: Roman law, Greek philosophy, and Christian ethics (or “Rome, Greece, and Jerusalem”). In regard to Roman law, the university states: “The Romans were the first to develop the concept of ‘the law of nations,’ discovering that there are legal norms that exist regardless of cultural differences. At the same time, they created the harmonization of legal orders, which recognized the importance of diverse traditions and appreciated their value.” In regard to Greek philosophy: “The point of reference for the representatives of the classical European thought are the objective ideas of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. The cradle of the European philosophy was ancient Greece, and without the thought of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle there would be neither medieval scholastic philosophy nor modern European thought.” Finally, in regard to Christian ethics: “The European civilization was built on Christian foundations. It was Christianity that brought the world awareness of human dignity and the fact that ethical norms are universal and apply to everyone. Christian tradition is not only the past, but the present and the future of Europe as well.”
Significantly, the tutoring system will be integral to studies at Collegium Intermarium. Under this system, each student will be assigned a tutor, or mentor, who will guide the student through his or her studies at the university. Tutors will be carefully selected to best match the interests of their students; importantly, tutors will be drawn not only from university personnel but also from relevant outside practitioners, such as lawyers, judges, social scientists, and business leaders. A personalized mode of education is a hallmark of the university.
Partnering with the best scholars and organizations from around the world is another important component of Collegium Intermarium. In particular, the university is dedicated to partnering with academics, government officials, business leaders, and think tank leaders from Eastern Europe and the United States and with those who have experience working with international bodies, such as the European Union and the United Nations.
And as noted above, Collegium Intermarium is firmly dedicated to academic freedom and discussion. There will be no canceling of viewpoints or enforced left-wing political correctness that shuts down debate and leads to self-censorship. As the university states:
“The foundation for the functioning of the university is to ensure free academic debate, without which it is impossible to fulfill the fundamental mission of science—the search for truth through unhindered exploration of the surrounding world…The university is committed to actively defending its students and lecturers against harassing attacks that limit academic debate and any attempt to ideologically censor or intimidate members of the academic community. Collegium Intermarium will not compromise on the quality of teaching, professed values and [the] search for truth. It rejects paradigms or ideologies that are contrary to reliable research and honest teaching.”
This will not be a place of “safe spaces for snowflakes” who cannot handle the truth or for people whose views cannot stand the test of reality and hence want to shout down those opposing them with the truth. If only American and Western European universities operated according to such standards.
Importantly, the cost of studying at Collegium Intermarium is extremely reasonable by American standards. For example, for the International Human Rights Law Master of Laws (L.L.M.) program, the cost of studies is just $2,600 (2,200 Euros) for this two-year, part-time program.
Collegium Intermarium is a much-needed breath of fresh air in the academic world of Eastern Europe and, indeed, all of Europe. Founded on the pillars of Roman law, Greek philosophy, and Christian ethics, committed to open debate and the search for truth, dedicated to personalized mentorship and partnering with the best international intellectuals and practitioners, and sponsored by a top Polish conservative organization, this university will no doubt make an immediate impact in the academic world and train future leaders to tackle the left-wing challenges of the 21st century.
For more information about Collegium Intermarium or to enroll in one of its programs, you can visit http://collegiumintermarium.org/en.