It is an open question whether habilitation should remain in the Polish education system; if so, there should also be implementation habilitations - Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin said Thursday at the Congress 590.
Gowin took part in the panel discussion "Modern universities - cooperation with business, about challenges facing universities". He said that implementation doctorates were one of the successes of his ministry but, he added, implementation habilitation had not been introduced.
"It is obviously an open question whether habilitation should remain in the Polish system, but if it is to remain, why should we only have implementation doctorates?" Implementation habilitation should also be introduced, but this idea met with a massive political and academic opposition" - he said. "But it is a measure of certain mental barriers that must be overcome" - he added.
According to Gowin, after the entry of the Constitution for Science into force, there will be little to achieve with legislative changes, and mentality or organizational changes will be the way to go.
The Minister of Science also commented on the criticism of the draft of the Law 2.0 by representatives of the humanities. "These humanists are concerned that there will be something that will depreciate the humanities. Only humanists view the fast that there is so much talk about the implementation aspect of science as depreciating. The fact that so much attention - less in the law, and more in public debate related to these laws on innovation is devoted to the fact that science should serve the economy and not be an ivory tower" - he stated.
Gowin assessed that the Polish universities are changing for the better, but in Asia this process is happening much faster, so it is necessary to speed up the pace of change.
Among the challenges of his ministry for the second half of the term of office he mentioned the integration of changes in education and the use of large research centres (such as the EIT+ in Wrocław).
Deputy Prime Minister stated that the measure of the success of reforms in higher education may be that the Polish universities will at such a high level that they will supply not only Polish but also foreign "hands and minds" to Polish employers.
Panelists praised the introduction of implementation doctorates, the Law on Innovation and draft Law 2.0, which in their opinion contribute to better cooperation between academic and business circles.
President of the Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers Cezary Kaźmierczak said, however, that these solutions would only come to fruition in the future. As he added, co-operation between entrepreneurs and researchers is important and can bring positive results especially at the local level.
Azoty Group Vice President Grzegorz Kądzielawski noted that the company currently has the largest number of PhD students who pursue implementation doctoral projects. He concluded that science and business cooperation developed better, but there were still some problematic areas, such as the issue of professional mobility and flexibility of businesses to incorporate changing and emerging new professions.
According to the Rector of Silesian University of Technology Prof. Arkadiusz Mężyk there still is a certain distrust of the scientific community towards entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs towards the scientists, which - in his opinion - results from ignorance. He emphasised that there were no single model for the functioning of science and business, but called implementation doctorates a breakthrough in the mutual relations of these two communities.
Wojciech Przybylski, President of the Kraków Technology Park, stated that Polish enterprises were only now opening - both "mentally" and "technologically" - to the world of science. He added that in his opinion, nowhere in the global innovation market the model of the combination of science and business was responsible for most of the innovation market. "This is always a smaller part of the market, so it is and will be in Poland, not just in the near future, but always" - said Przybylski.
Vice President of the Top 500 Innovators Association, Dr. Eng. Krystyna Malińska said that in the scientific career model scientists lack the "courage" to collaborate with companies, for example through industrial and research placements. She emphasized this element should be a requirement for further career path.
Kaźmierczak said that education in Poland takes too long, so it is necessary to restore the so-called fifth level of education - post-secondary schools and vocational schools.
"We do not have four years to teach anyone. What Minister Krystyna Łybacka and SLD government did, that insanity of scholarisation, destruction of vocational education, destruction of the fifth level, post-secondary education, is completely absurd" - he said.
"The actions that need to be taken include the question of emigrants from Ukraine, Belarus, Vietnam settling in significant numbers in Poland, because what is happening now is a bit like re-privatisation in Warsaw - there are no shortages in the labour market, Ukrainians can enter without visas, so no matter how many of them come here - no problem, but then they will leave and we\'ll see what happens then" - said Kaźmierczak.
Kądzielawski also said that the Azoty Group lacked qualified staff, hence the company\'s efforts to support vocational schools.
In turn, Prof. Mężyk pointed out that the Silesian University of Technology introduced the so-called dual education, a requirement for students to complete six months of practical training per year. In his opinion, one should consider whether Poland should use the American model, for example by introducing pre-university schools, colleges.
Gowin presented the assumptions of the so-called Law 2.0 in September during the National Congress of Science in Kraków. He said that he wanted to give Polish science "a strong development impulse". He noted that the bill prepared in cooperation with the academic community, and work on it with the participation of about 7 thousand scientists, doctoral students, graduate students, representatives of university administration, took almost two years. (PAP)
author: Mateusz Roszak (PAP)