After 2 years, the members of presidia of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools, Polish Academy of Sciences and Central Council of Higher Education met each other again during a joint meeting at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn.
The most important scientific organizations of Poland arrived at Kortowo on the 6th of July, at an invitation of Professor Ryszard Górecki, the President of UWM. 22 presidents took part in deliberations of KRASP presidium. All the members came to Olsztyn. The chairman of KRASP, Professor Jan Szmidt, President of the Warsaw University of Technology reported on all the national as well as international activities of KRASP. Afterwards, the KRASP presidium empanelled an electoral committee to the elections of Central Council of Higher Education members and decided to admit The University of Dąbrowa Górnicza to KRASP. A position for the joint debate of KRASP, PAN and RGNiSW was also established.
When the members of KRASP were finishing their deliberations, the members of PAN presidium started arriving at the University Library in Olsztyn. Similarly to KRASP members, they arrived at Kortowo in order to discuss issues that are crucial for members of the academia and to establish the position for debate with KRASP and RGNiSW.
KRASP presidium takes place 4 or 5 times a year, depending on the needs. Every time the place is different – says Professor Jan Szmidt, the chairman of KRASP. This year, we have more reasons than usual to meet because radical changes in higher education and learning are planned. A completely new law will be introduced, it is called Act 2.0. As a result, acts on The Polish Accreditation Committee, the Committee for the Evaluation of Scientific Units, or the rules of financing universities will be changed. In autumn the National Scientific Congress will be held. We have to be prepared for those changes – explains Professor Szmidt.
Polish academic community is not passively waiting for the changes. Such bodies as KRASP or conferences of different university types, are taking positions or delivering opinions concerning various issues connected with restructuring higher education. Are the authors of the Act 2.0 and the Minister of Science and Higher Education respecting the suggestions made by the authorities of Polish academia?
Not all of them are always fully respected but our opinion is taken into account. We hope that it will be also the case when it comes to the Act 2.0 – ensures Professor Szmidt.
On the second day of the meeting (on the 7th of July, Friday) during a joint KRASP, PAN and RGNiSW presidia meeting, the Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education, Łukasz Szumowski was present. Before he started presenting the main assumptions of 2.0 reform, he had congratulated the UWM staff on all their achievements.
UWM is an example showing how to reach perfection over a short period of time – said the deputy minister while presidents of Polish universities, PAN’s executive committee and heads of PAN’s institutes were present.
The deputy minister did not address all the changes that will be introduced by the Act 2.0. He referred only to those which he found the most important. Professor Szumowski announced that the Act 2.0 will be fully valid in 2021. The highest scientific quality will be promoted as most crucial. It will become the main criterion for establishing the value of grants.
We do not need people with titles, we need those who are hard-working and successful in getting grants – directly stated deputy minister Szumowski.
Representatives of Polish academic community understood and accepted the declaration. They also made good use of the deputy minister’s presence in order to present their arguments. Speaking on behalf of those gathered, Professor Cezary Madryas, the President of Wrocław University of Science and Technology, the chairman of the KRASP IT Infrastructure Commission, pointed out that the ministry did not prepare the Polon system to work.
Since it has been introduced, already 16 versions, with various corrections has come out – he noticed, and afterwards he enumerated a long list of errors and shortcomings.
Information given by Doctor Zygmunt Krasiński, the Director of National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the EU, received a lot of interest among the audience. He was speaking about taking advantage of opportunities provided by the Horizon 2020 programme. There are still €30 bn left to be spent. Unfortunately, Poland does not benefit much from the money provided by the Horizon 2020 programme.
The Previous joint meeting of the presidia of KRASP, PAN and RGNiSW took place at UWM exactly 2 years ago. In fact, UWM was the co-organizer of 4 joint meetings: in 2015, 2013, 2011 and 2004, always in the summertime.