‘Suboptimal’ is the key word used as a panel of European experts of the Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility describe the present state of higher education in Poland.
The Peer Review of Poland’s Higher Education and Science Systemreport, prepared by the panel, has been a point of departure in the process of drafting a new law regulating the sector of science and higher education in Poland.
Unfortunately, a large portion of the report’s recommendations has not been included in the proposed new law, announced last Tuesday in Krakow.
The report was prepared at the request of Jaroslaw Gowin, deputy prime minister and minister of science and higher education.
The experts diagnosed several key challenges facing Polish higher education:
- Underfunding (not a surprise);
- Fragmentation of the higher education system (too many small, narrow specialised institutions);
- Lack of diversity of institutional missions;
- System of quality assurance and evaluation of higher education and research insufficiently aligned with international standards; and
- The fact that a large part of Poland’s research, development and innovation capacity is outside of universities.
In order to enhance the diversification and profiling of higher education institutions, the panel of experts proposed to strengthen a group of research-intensive universities and clearly distinguish them from a robust and dynamic vocational higher education sector. (…)