Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Tuesday 12th May: Day 2, Warsaw

Again, we will add links and more photos later…

We started early today. At 9am we were met at the Ministry of Higher Education and spent an hour getting the context of Polish higher education policy and how it has evolved during the post-communist era.

Then we had a quick metro ride to Vistula University, another private provider where we had an afternoon with members of their senior management, including rectors and the chancellor. The university is among the top 10 top private universities in Poland  in 5th place according to the 2014 ranking developed by Perspektywy and Rzeczpospolita.

Apart from a thorough discussion of the themes we are focusing on, we discussed their approach to student employability and their strategic view of where they see themselves.

Anyway, we have arrived by train in Poznan. Again, without prejudicing what may come in the report, here are three points (of many) that we found really interesting.
  • There is a clear and pressing issue of demographics in the sector. Since 2006 the student population has declined from about 2 million to just under 1.5 million. The situation will bottom out in 2025.
  • Students are required to be represented in key governance committees including some that make financial decisions, by law. This applies in both private and public universities.
  • The Polish QA body, the PKA, runs about 1000 reviews a year (QAA please note and do not feel the need to emulate).
Already the team have been impressed by the hospitality shown by our hosts. They have been open, welcoming and answered our questions with candour and humour.

Tea and biscuits are the minimum even if we are just there for an hour. If we are there for longer, we enjoy some good hearty Polish food.

We will have no fear of going hungry in Poland.

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