Students and representatives of academic circles and local authorities from the Pomeranian Voivodeship participated in a unique celebration of science, marking the start of the new academic year. The parade, which passed along the Royal Route in Gdańsk on September 30, symbolised integration and celebrated shared values and goals for science and higher education in our region.
‘Long live the science!’ was a unique event, organised for the second time by the City of Gdańsk and the Fahrenheit Universities. Several hundred students and representatives of 19 higher education institutions marched this year to show unity and celebrate the academic year just beginning. Representatives of local authorities also attended the march: it was headed, among others, by the Mayor of Gdańsk, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz. Gdańsk, as one of the most important academic centres in Poland, hosted the celebrations.
The parade set off from under the Zlota Brama (Golden Gate) to the sound of carillons playing ‘Gaudeamus igitur’. It was accompanied by stilt walkers, jugglers, monocyclists and circus performers. The march had a joyful atmosphere, full of sounds, colours and positive energy. This was also taken care of by the Gdańsk Academic Orchestra, which accompanied the parade all the way to Artus Court. Here, the participants listened to the first speeches by representatives of the local authorities.
‘The new academic year is a time of new challenges, opportunities and hopes. Gdańsk is a city open to knowledge, creativity and innovation,’ said the Mayor of Gdańsk, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz. ‘May these three pillars accompany us throughout the year, inspiring us to achieve ever greater successes and contribute to our development. I wish you a new year with new challenges, hopes, and successes. The community of Fahrenheit colleges and those of friendly colleges should feel obliged to produce a higher temperature every day. May the thermometer break whenever you need to release energy for a good cause. Together, we can achieve a lot!’
On behalf of the academic community, the chairman of the Assembly of the Association of Fahrenheit Universities, prof. Marcin Gruchała, spoke.
‘I would like to warmly welcome students, especially those starting their first year at Pomeranian universities. We are delighted that you have chosen universities in this beautiful place. In the place with its values: freedom, liberty, and cooperation,’ said the Rector of the Medical University of Gdańsk, prof. Marcin Gruchała. ‘I am convinced you will realise your professional dreams at our universities, develop, and think creatively and freely. I wish you all an excellent, trouble-free academic year!’
Student representatives from the three universities – the University of Gdańsk, the Medical University of Gdańsk, and the Gdańsk University of Technology– also gave speeches. Their main themes were the three most important values: freedom – as not the goal in itself but an opportunity in terms of education; solidarity – an attitude of mutual support between students of different universities; and cooperation – in the form of proactive action as a result of freedom and solidarity.
‘As we stand here, seeing the new freedom, we must not squander it. It is up to us, the witnesses of the recent history, to decide how the fate of this world will turn out,’ said Karol Hamanowicz of the University of Gdańsk in his speech on freedom.
‘There is no freedom without solidarity. Collegial, social, interpersonal and inter-university solidarity. One with the other, not one against the other. Solidarity is an extraordinary value, skill and quality in one,’ stressed Alicja Szmidka of the Medical University of Gdańsk, speaking of solidarity.
‘Cooperation is a word that conceals infinite possibilities. It is a force that unites our efforts, outlooks and dreams into one harmonious goal,’ announced Marta Muchewicz of the Gdańsk University of Technology during her speech on cooperation.
The event aims to integrate the academic community, strengthen ties and friendships between the universities, and nurture common values. The importance of these values was also emphasised in their comments by the rectors of the Gdansk University of Technology and the University of Gdansk.
‘Admittedly, we are still learning about each other, but we already know enough to look to the future with great optimism. Our main goal, that is, to create a federation and thus be able to appear in the national and international arena as a single scientific and research entity, will give us even better ranking positions in the future, greater opportunities to obtain subsidies for investment in the competencies of our staff and university infrastructure, as well as the unprecedented recognition of Gdańsk as a solid international academic centre. This process is already underway, and we are doing our utmost to ensure that it gains more and more momentum,’ emphasises the Rector of the Gdansk University of Technology, prof. Krzysztof Wilde.
‘We are beginning another year of our universities’ work on joint projects in the Alliance of Fahrenheit Universities. The past years have shown that although it is not easy, as we have to consider many different aspects, including the specificity of our universities and their environment – it is possible. Let us, therefore, enjoy another year of cooperation in the Association of Fahrenheit Universities!’ adds the Rector of the University of Gdańsk, prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski.
In addition to the community of Fahrenheit HEIs, the event was attended by representatives of 16 public and non-public HEIs from across the Pomeranian Voivodeship: Ateneum Academy in Gdańsk, the Bohaterów Westerplatte Naval Academy, the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk, the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, the Jędrzej Śniadecki Academy of Physical Education and Sport, the Gdansk Theological Seminary, the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology (branch in Gdańsk), the Powiśle Higher Education Academy, the Sopot Academy of Applied Sciences, the WSB Merito University of Gdańsk, the Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski University of Gdańsk. Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski in Gdynia, the Faculty of Social Studies at the Higher School of Security in Gdańsk, the Higher School of Engineering Economy in Słupsk, the Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences in Gdańsk, the Higher School of Tourism and Hotel Management in Gdańsk and the Higher School of Health in Gdańsk.
The event was organised by Fahrenheit Universities and the City of Gdańsk. Honourary patronage was assumed by the Marshall of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and the Mayor of the City of Gdańsk.
The Association of Daniel Fahrenheit Universities (FarU) comprises the three largest Tri-City research institutions: the University of Gdańsk, the Gdańsk University of Technology and the Medical University of Gdańsk. Its activities focus on developing solutions to support joint research and development work and recommendations for consolidation or establishing new inter-university initiatives.