Excerpt from a press clipping about the first WSP hall of residence.
The article 'A modern university town will be built in Wrzeszcz' is a comprehensive account of the 6-year plan to build a university district bringing together academics from the WSP, Gdańsk University of Technology, the Medical Academy and, as planned, from the Higher School of Maritime Commerce and the Higher School of Visual Arts transferred from Sopot. You are welcome to read it!
Historical background: from WSP and WSE to the University of Gdańsk
Let us recall that for centuries Gdańsk was mostly seen as a large port and the largest city in the Republic of Poland. It was not until the end of the 19th century that the question of establishing a university in Gdansk gained importance. Unfortunately, until after the Second World War, there was no favourable climate for the establishment of a university in Gdańsk. The city and voivodship authorities of the time did not appreciate the possibility of a university in Gdańsk, even though its establishment would be an opportunity for scientific, cultural, and civilisational advancement for the Tricity and the Gdańsk region.
The lack of a university could not be compensated for by the Higher School of Pedagogy, founded in 1946. It could not benefit from the good traditions of other universities and was largely dependent on people previously associated with secondary education. The lack of experienced staff had to affect the results of the didactic process and the low activity of scientific research for a long time. The post-war shortage of academic staff was still clearly visible in the case of the Gdańsk-based WSP in the mid-1960s. The beginnings of the university were very difficult. Not only did the scientific level of staff leave a lot to be desired, but also poor material resources, a lack of teaching aids and difficulties with premises were the reason for its rather slow development, which only became more dynamic after 1956.
In September 1945, a non-state Higher School of Economics was established in Gdynia, which from August 17, 1946, was transformed into the State Higher School of Maritime Trade. A year later it moved its seat from Gdynia to Sopot. From 1952 the school was called the Higher School of Economics. Two years later it was granted academic privileges and consequently, the studies were extended initially to eight, and in the 1960s to nine semesters.
The changes taking place at the WSP and WSE, and the increasing scientific potential of these schools, created favourable conditions for the establishment of a university in Gdańsk. On March 20, 1970, the Parliament of the People's Republic of Poland decided to set up the University of Gdańsk, but a few months earlier, on October 3, 1969, Stanisław Kociołek had informed the Tricity academic community that the party authorities had agreed to establish a university in Gdańsk. Initially, it was proposed that the university be called Uniwersytet Bałtycki (The Baltic University), but as the abbreviation UB had very bad connotations (TN: Department of Security - secret police, intelligence and counter-espionage agency), the decision was made to call it Uniwersytet Gdański (University of Gdańsk).