The study of physics in Osijek started as a part – time study in 1958/59. The Educational center of the Teachers Training College Zagreb was founded and the first generation of teachers, who taught mathematics and physics at primary schools, was enrolled. In 1961/62 the Pedagogical Academy was established and it included the studies of Mathematics and Physics and from the year 1964/65 the studies of Physics and Basic Techniques and Production. The Pedagogical Academy became the Faculty of Education in 1977/78 and Osijek got a Teachers Training College, which enrolled students in the same academic year to study Production and Technical Education (PTO). The first students were enrolled to courses of Mathematics and Physics in 1978/79 and physics was studied as a subject equal to mathematics. After graduating, students were awarded the title of professors and could teach physics at elementary schools or high schools. In the beginning, physics teachers at both studies were professors from the Faculty of Science in Zagreb, the Ruđer Bošković Institute and the Institute of Physics in Zagreb. In the academic year 1989/90 another study was established – the study of Physics and Polytechnics. In the academic year 2000/01 that study changed its name to Physics and Technical Education with Computer Science and opened the possibility for students to teach the subject Technical Education at primary schools. In the same academic year, the students of Mathematics and Physics moved from the Teachers Training College to the newly established University Department of Mathematics.
The Senate of the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University established on the 13th of December 2004 the Department of Physics as a scientific-educational component of the University. The Department opened it’s doors on April 1st, 2005, and today it takes part in the performance of university undergraduate and graduate studies as well as the development of scientific and technical work in the scientific field of physics. The establishment of the Department of Physics has ensured the continuity of university teaching in natural sciences, in the field of physics, as well as the training of teachers of physics and computer science, for teaching at primary and secondary schools in the Republic of Croatia.
Today at the Department of Physics there are 33 employees of which 21 are teachers and associates, and 12 technical and administrative staff. Teachers and associates in full-time employment at the Department of Physics fully cover the teaching of physics at these studies as well as at some other faculties of the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University in Osijek
The Department of Physics is a relatively “young” scientific-educational component of the University. According specific socio-economic conditions, it is gradually (someone of us would say too slowly) evolving towards the stated goal to profile into a scientific and educational institution. This institution should be able and willing to respond to teaching and research needs, not only of the Osijek University, but also of its local government.
Heads of the Department of Physics through history
- Assistant Professor Josip Brana, PhD – 2004. – 2005., Acting Head of Department
- Associate Professor Branko Vuković, PhD – 2005. – 2017.