Vilnius University is a public research university, which is the oldest university in the Baltic states, and one of the oldest and most famous in Northern Europe. Today it is Lithuania’s leading academic institution, ranked among the top 400 universities worldwide.
The university was founded in 1579 as the Jesuit Academy of Vilnius by a King of Poland, Stephen Báthory. It was the third oldest university in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Due to the failure of the November Uprising, the university was closed down and suspended its operation until 1919. In the aftermath of World War I, the university saw failed attempts to restart it by the local Polish Society of Friends of Science in Wilno, Lithuania and invading Soviet forces. It finally resumed operations as Stefan Batory University in Poland, a period followed by another Soviet occupation in 1920, and the less than two years of the Republic of Central Lithuania, incorporated into Poland in 1922.