Whether to establish the University of the Polish Academy of Sciences? Some scientists have doubts

Insufficient housing capacity, unclear source of funds for teaching activities and the risk of deterioration of the relationship of PAN institutes with universities – such problems were pointed out by m.in. PAN members during the discussion of the. the idea of establishing a university of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The proponent of the creation of the University of PAN (UPAN) is the president of PAN prof. Jerzy Duszyński. According to him, the new university will make it possible to use the huge scientific capital of the academy in teaching, and at the same time create a university thatora has a chance to occupy high positions in world rankings of universities.

The draft assumptions for the establishment, structure and rules of operation of UPAN, the president of the academy handed over to the directors of the instituteoin PAN for consultation on June 1. Until June 16, they can submit their comments.

In the draft assumptions for UPAN (to which theoPAP) reads that the squareowka ta "can become a unique institution in Poland and one of the few in Central and Eastern Europe with the characteristics of a research university. The university will conduct scientific research and education at the highest level, using the research and teaching potential of the instituteoat the Polish Academy of Sciences and the competence and experience of its membersoin the Polish corporation of scholars". The structure of the university is to be decentralized, it is to operate on the basis of scientific institutes of PAN.

In the justification of the project tworcy indicate that the research and educational potential of PAS is not being properly utilized at the moment "due to existing institutional, legal and financial constraints". "The academy should educate – and to deny it would be a waste of public good – but at the same time, under the current legal structure, cannot receive funding for this purpose" – we read in the document.

According to the assumptions, the University of the Polish Academy of Sciences is to be a university "new type in poroIn comparison with traditional universities operating in Poland". It is to educate headoIt is to operate at the doctoral, postdoctoral and academic postgraduate levels. Its staff, students, research programs and educational standards are to be international. UPAN is to be a research university by definition, and its important feature is to be interdisciplinary.

The basic organizational units of UPAN are to be institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) or colleges or schools created from the bottom up (on a voluntary basis) consisting of institutesoIn PAN, operating headownie as separate academic programs.

The draft assumptions state that UPAN’s goal will be to educate highly qualified personnel for future academic work and for work in the public and private sectors.

Institutes, whichore they become part of UPAN, they will retain legal personality. "At the same time remain part of PAN, as the entire university is part of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Thus, UPAN does not exist alongside the instituteow, he consists of them. UPAN also, as a whole, acquires legal personality" – reads the document. As a result, the university is to be characterized by "Strong decentralization and network structure".

It is envisaged that in addition to research centers, UPAN should also have a library and publishing house.

UPAN will be headed by a rector, who will be the rector of the universityory will be at the same time vice president of the PAN. Oprohe collegial and decisive body is to be the University Senate, composed of the PAS president, the 25 elected directors of theow instituteow or collegeow/shoł of UPAN and 6 representatives of the student governmentow.

Category A and A institutes are to join UPAN at first+. The others will have 4 years to change categories or significantly increase their research position so that they can join UPAN.

“If an institute remaining outside the UPAN structure does not make sufficient progress within 4 years, it is reorganized or liquidated” – we read in the document.

In the draft assumptions of the dot. UPAN reads roAlso that participation in the educational process is not to be "duty of all employeesoin, but the right for those whooThose who meet the relevant academic criteria and express a willingness to train, for participation in which they will be paid a feeoThe institute’s activities will be additionally remunerated from fundsoin the teaching grant".

During Thursday’s assembly ogolnego PAN some of its membersow expressed skepticism and concern about the idea of establishing such a university. Amongod głow of the problemsoin professors exchanged m.in. sourceofor funding.

They asked President Duszynski where the funds for establishing and running the new institution would come from. – We have not found out how much – and from where – to get the money for this project,” he stressed during the discussion, while Prof. Piotr Węgleński, referring to the draft assumptions of the nt. UPAN.

According to prof. Karol Modzelewski’s problem may be the lack of suitable spaces, as the "for ogoł we do not have the premises base for teaching activities beyond what is there at the moment". In his opinion, one should roalso expect "reluctant – to put it mildly mowishing – the attitude of the university authoritiesoin relation to the university of the Polish Academy of Sciences".

Discussants also pointed out that the previous wspohe cooperation between the institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences and universities was generally very good, and many members of theoIn the PAN are also university professors. The opening of PAN universities may lead to antagonizing these relations, scientists pointed out.

Some scientistsow fears that the creation of the university may in practice mean a reduction in the time allocated to scientific research, which will negatively affect the activities of the instituteoin the PAN. – The proposed structure will not improve scientific, basic activity at our institutes; it can only make it worse, because it will entangle us in reorganization and additional responsibilities,” warned Prof. Duszynski. Jacek Kuznicki.

He assessed that the draft assumptions on the university of the Polish Academy of Sciences contains a great deal of elementaloin whichore worth considering, "but not as an element of creating a new PAS university structure, but rather as an element of a radical modification of the PAS".

In March, Chairman Duszynski told PAP that the suggestion to establish a new institution came from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. – The ministry informed about the image problem of Polish science. We are all aware that when it comes to international rankings – Polish universities are in a distant position,” he said in theoat the time the president of the academy.

Prof. Andrzej Jajszczyk assesses that there is nothing to count on a quick rise in the rankings of the. – First, even if we are visible as a PAN university, we will be visible after 10-15 years of. Secondly, in all these important rankings, it is required to conduct all kinds ofoin studiow, three degrees,” he noted. Meanwhile, in the draft assumptions on the. UPAN has stipulated that the institutes will have "powers to open and run studiesoin postgraduate, including doctoral, postdoctoral, and perhaps in the future, to a small extent, also master’s degrees".

For further discussion on UPAN, he encouraged m.in. Prof. Jerzy M. Brzezinski – stating that the idea of establishing a new university "likes". He described the voices of criticism as an element "culture of complaining".

In the opinion of prof. Tomasz Dietl’s UPAN initiative may contribute to improving the quality of studiesoin doctoral studies. – This initiative goes in this direction – to fill this gap, whichora is at the moment in many countries and Poland, among others, that there is no good training (. ) doctoral studentow – mosaw.

According to prof. According to Prof. Tadeusz Burczynski, there is a risk that, as a result of the higher education reform, it will not be possible to confer degrees in the institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The solution to this problem would be the establishment of UPAN. – This project, whichory has been presented here, provides great opportunities, first – to conduct studiesoin doctoral studies, the awarding of degrees, and does not limit, but – in my opinion – confirms, even expands the research capabilities of the instituteoat the Polish Academy of Sciences – assessed.

Photo shows Staszic Palace in Warsaw, home of the Polish Academy of Sciences.