Strategic studies. How to anticipate threats

The Institute of History and International Relations at the University of Warmia and Mazury (UWM) has launched interdisciplinary cthis academic year. It is the first course of its kind in Poland focusing on educating leaders and specialists needed, for example, in the uniformed services and international organizations.

It is the first course of its kind at Polish universities - either civilian or military - offered as a 4-semester master's degree course. The organizers have placed particular emphasis on practical exercises and workshops. The program includes 577 hours of lectures and 830 hours of classes.

Only 30 places

- We offer them to all who want to participate in political, social and economic life, but mainly to students of internal security, national security, international relations and military studies - says Prof. Dr. Wiesław Łach of the University of Warmia and Mazury (UWM), the Institute of History and International Relations, one of the coordinators of the faculty and co-author of the curriculum.

30 places have been prepared for candidates.

- We want to educate specialists supporting local and central government institutions in adapting to highly dynamic socio-political processes to strategically assess the future and secure institutions against threats. Our graduates will be able to predict and react appropriately - adds prof. Anna Pytasz-Kołodziejczyk, deputy head of the Institute of History and International Relations at the University of Warmia and Mazury (UWM).

Strategist - leader - manager needed

Where will the graduates of the new field of study find employment?

- For example, in military-based institutions: all uniformed, customs, defense-related services, national security, educational organizations, as well as EU bodies - emphasizes prof. Pytasz-Kołodziejczyk.

- The lack of such specialists is very noticeable on the Polish labour market. Strategic studies are usually associated with the army - but it need not be so. After all, there are strategic departments in many institutions, even at the municipal level there are strategic plans, unfortunately they often do not fulfil their role. We need a group of specialists who can think outside the box, who can create development plans and secure them in case of emergency situations, for example, related to terrorism - say the coordinators.

They will learn the techniques of negotiation, communication and diplomatic protocol

As they emphasize, interdisciplinary strategic studies are a novelty on the Polish educational market. To date, neither civilian nor military universities have offered  such a field of study. The education program emphasizes not only the theory, but above all the practice and includes, for example, strategic games, i.e. computer-simulated crisis situations that will have to be solved; visualization of information, negotiation techniques and communication.

- We have a subject of forward-thinking, i.e., the ability to predict trends in social development. There will be classes in thinking and project activities that teach how to prepare projects and implement them. We will show what security in cyberspace looks like and how to avoid and mitigate threats. Students will acquire knowledge about the activities and management of humanitarian missions. There will also be classes in knowledge of diplomatic protocols. The curriculum is very rich and the authors have tried to make it attractive - emphasizes prof. Pytasz-Kołodziejczyk.

Detailed information can be found at: http://www.uwm.edu.pl/historia/index.php/ogloszenia/1968

Małgorzata Hołubowska