Rectors of Polish universities on the future of higher education

Rectors, Vice-Rectors, Presidents of academic institutions and experts spoke about what lies ahead for Polish and foreign universities during the conference 'The Future of Higher Education'. One of the guests at the panel on state universities was prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski. The rector of the University of Gdańsk raised the issue of underfunding of higher education and spoke about the implementation of the idea of a confederation of Fahrenheit universities. 

Nine panels were held on the fifteenth and sixteenth of September. Each presented a different perspective on the current and future situation of higher education. Among others, the rectors of general, technical, artistic and non-public higher education institutions spoke about the situations at their centres. A report on the proceedings can be found here.

The panel entitled 'The Future of State Universities' included the Rector of the University of Warsaw, prof. dr hab. Alojzy Nowak, the Vice-Rector of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, prof. dr hab. Tadeusz Wallas, the Rector of the University of Silesia, prof. dr hab. Ryszard Koziołekprof. Piotr Stepnowski and the Rector of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, prof. dr hab. Radosław Dobrowolski. The participants discussed, among other things, the increasing competition from non-public higher education institutions, state funding and aid to Ukraine.

prof. Piotr Stepnowski podczas konferencji

prof. Piotr Stepnowski

'I am deeply convinced that the successful future of higher education in Poland is absolutely dependent on a rational and well-considered state policy to build the country's intellectual base. After all, both funding and the social position of university staff depend on it, and finally the fundamental role of universities in Poland's social and economic development,' - said prof. Piotr Stepnowski. - 'Today we still feel very deficient in this respect. Scientists are only called upon in crises to name just the COVID-19 pandemic or the Odra poisoning. The permanent underfunding of our activities has become a daily reality. Regardless of this, I invariably believe that universities today must have a more effective social impact, not just symbolically fulfilling the third mission or the third evaluation criterion, but actually interacting strongly with the environment and proving the necessity of the presence of science and higher education in everyday life. By convincing voters of any political option in this way, it will be much easier for us to put pressure on the government administration, which will lead to even stronger support for our activities and further development.'

The conference is organised under the patronage of the CRASP President, prof. dr hab. Arkadiusz Mężyk, by the Centre for Didactic and Scientific Excellence of the Polish Educational Union and the Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Kraków Academy.

Marcel Jakubowski / Press Office UG