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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

15 Sep 2017

EC presents Peer Review of Poland's higher education and science system

The European Commission has presented the outcome of the Peer Review of Poland's Higher Education and Science System. The report provides key policy recommendations that will help enhance the performance of the Polish research and innovation system. The Peer Review had been requested by the Polish government and was carried out between January and September 2017 by an independent panel of experts (including two experts from Austria) under the Policy Support Facility (PSF) of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme.

According to the Peer Review, Poland is continuing its transition towards an open and globally competitive economy. It is aiming to reinforce its position on a European scale as a large and growing knowledge-based economy. An efficient higher education (HE) and science system is at the nexus of knowledge creation, education, innovation and economic growth. Despite past efforts to transform Poland’s HE and science system, its performance and innovation outcomes remain sub-optimal. The government has therefore embarked on a new process of reform, the successful implementation of which is a prerequisite to achieving the country’s goals. Designing and implementing these reforms successfully will require one or two decades of continuous and consistent efforts.

The seven key messages of the Peer Review are as follows:

  1. Develop a strong performing higher education and science system through a carefully designed consolidation process with the aim of creating a binary higher education system with robust universities of applied sciences and university sectors. The fragmentation of research capacity across universities, public research institutes and the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) should be reduced by the incorporation of well-performing public research and academy units into research-intensive universities.

  2. Ensure effective governance and regulation. Facilitate the development of sufficient, professional and executive leadership in public higher education institutions in line with their profiles.

  3. Introduce a public investment target for the higher education and science and innovation system and a multi-annual budgeting system for higher education institutions.

  4. Enhance the quality of the higher education and science and innovation system by radically reforming the doctoral training and academic career system.

  5. Enhance the adoption of sound evaluation practices and a quality culture to support the diversified higher education and science system. This should be based on a lean, effective and transparent system of quality assurance and evaluation for higher education and science built on the following principles: (i) simplify the quality assurance system architecture; (ii) align the system with international standards to enhance excellence and reduce state control; and (iii) improve transparency and openness.

  6. Ensure a broad approach to innovation through universities’ third mission and system linkages, by stimulating academic and student entrepreneurship and third-mission activities based on cooperation between universities and industry, as well as with the public sector and civil society.

  7. Develop a broad-based internationalisation strategy for Poland that sets out clear orientations and actions to promote the internationalisation of Polish science and innovation, mainstreaming internationalisation in existing policies, programmes and institutions.

For more information:

EC Horizon 2020 - News

Peer Review of Poland's Higher Education and Science System (pdf download)

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