University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Adam Mickiewicz University, the Allerhand Institute - these institutions are associated with the three teams that will prepare the foundations of the new law on higher education – it was announced last Monday at a conference in the Ministry of Science.
"Everyone in academia agrees that we do not need further amendments to the law on higher education, but a new law altogether. We want it to be formed through dialogue. Dialogue within the academic community, but also between the community and the government" - said Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin.
Therefore, at the end of February the Ministry of Science and Higher Education announced the so-called "Law 2.0" competition. 15 projects have been submitted. Three competing teams selected in the competition will receive grants in the amount of 300 thousand zlotys each. They will prepare the assumptions of the new Law on Higher Education. Their work will also include a broad public consultation of the proposed solutions. The work of teams will continue until January 2017.
Minister Gowin, who presented the results of the competition, pointed out that the winners represent three different scientific groups - the first team is affiliated with a public university, the second with a non-public university, and the third is a pro-science entity. Moreover, each of the teams comes from a different province - there are representatives of Wielkopolska, Mazovia and Malopolska. "Each team is from a different partition" - noted Deputy Prime Minister.
The first team is from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, led by Prof. Marek Kwiek. The second team is associated with the University of Social Sciences and Humanities. It will be supervised by Prof. Hubert Izdebski. The third team is associated with the Allerhand Institute. The team leader will be Dr Arkadiusz Radwan.
Gowin explained that the three teams will present competitive assumptions of the bill. "Each team is required to carry out the widest possible community consultation as part of this competition. This way, a debate will be initiated" - he emphasised.
Chairman of the committee that evaluated the proposals, Prof. Tomasz Dietl said: "When evaluating the projects in the first place we turned our attention to whether the diagnosis presented in the individual projects was correct". The committee also took into account whether the proposal was interesting - Dietl added.
According to Dietl, the three selected teams correctly assessed the situation of Polish science in the broad context of global achievements. Secondly their proposals give a good chance of success of Polish universities in international competition - emphasised the chairman.
The work of teams will be completed in January 2017. The result will be three competing projects of assumptions of the new Law on Higher Education. They will be the starting point for a series of conferences planned for 2017, that will constitute the National Congress of Science. In the course of debates, the law will be given its final shape, and then will be subject to legislative work so that it may come into effect from the academic year 2018/2019.
Prof. Tomasz Dietl explained in an interview with PAP that the bill will be prepared by the ministry on the basis of assumptions prepared by the three teams. "Political responsibility will remain with the Prime Minister (Gowin - PAP)" - he said. He added that the bill can still be changed during the work in the parliament. "There is a long way from an idea to a law" - commented Dietl. - "The final shape of this law as it will be adopted remains unknown. That we cannot know".
Dietl drew attention to what will happen during the public consultation. "You can imagine that public and private universities will not speak with one voice. Similarly, large and small universities. Strong and weak schools will say different things. There are many vectors. Each will try to pull in its direction" - he admitted. He added that the academic community is quite specific, capable of persuasively presenting their arguments. "Due to this, consultation will be appropriately difficult" - he commented.
PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland