The first school opened its gates in Sibiu in 1380, certainly representing a milestone in the history of education in the city of Cibin. But the beginnings of Sibiu higher education were marked by the initiation in the year 1786 of the Preparandial Course for Teachers in Sibiu – one of the first institutions school with a pedagogical character from Transylvania. In 1850, the Preparandial Course in Sibiu changed its profile, becoming a Theological-Pedagogical Institute of Higher Degree who initially offered two-year courses and, from 1861, three years courses; at the same time, a pedagogical section was set up with a study program four years. In parallel, the training course for future priests in the diocese was organized Romanian Orthodox Church of Transylvania, marking the beginning of theological education in Sibiu.
So, the roots that allowed the definition and development of a modern university, dynamic and anchored in the community of Sibiu can be found since the Middle Ages, but the most representative moments are given by the appearance in the 19th century of the Saxon Academy of Law (1844) and of the Andreian Theological Seminary (1874).
Higher education in Sibiu was closely linked to the history of institutions theological and legal from the XVIII-XIX centuries, but the real brick from which started the construction of the University of Sibiu was put in the refuge period of the University “King Ferdinand I” from Cluj to Sibiu (1940-1945). Following the Vienna Dictate of August 1940, King Ferdinand Ist University was quickly evacuated, the decision to move to Sibiu was taken at the meeting of the University Council, 1 September 1940.
The main building used was the girls’ high school Domnița Ileana located on Str. Victoriei no.5-7 (built between 1937-1940), currently the headquarters of the Faculty of Letters and Arts and the Department of Protestant History, Heritage and Theology.
Throughout the 1940-1945, there was the same faculty structure, departments, institutes, under the coordination of the eminent historian Silviu Dragomir, elected President of the University. Next to it are the names of some illustrious people people of culture such as Lucian Blaga (patron of the University of Sibiu since 1995), Ioan Lupaș, Constantin Daicoviciu, Emil Racoviță, Emil Hațieganu, Onisifor Ghibu, who gave lectures, formed literary circles, and allowed the cultural-social development of the city of Sibiu. Sibiu won, at a crossroads for the history of Romania from the beginning 40s, a university and the desire to maintain a university life and after the return of the “King Ferdinand I” University to Cluj starting with 1945. This desideratum had to wait more than 20 years, being fulfilled in 1969 when the Faculty of Philology and History from Sibiu was established as a section of the University of Cluj-Napoca, then joined by specializations such as Law or Mechanics and becoming an independent Institute of Higher Education (1976-1985).
Between 1940-1945, the Orthodox Theological Institute continued to function and became the “Andrei Șaguna” Faculty of Theology, completing the range of specializations existing universities in Sibiu in the middle of the last century.