KrNU Associate Professor Svitlana Soshenko reported on specificities of activities of University of Economy in Bydgoszcz, Poland
At the Administration meeting of November, 2, Svitlana Soshenko, Associate Professor, Director of the Center of professional development and adaptation reported on the outcome of the visit to University of Economy in Bydgoszcz, Poland and on its good practices in the economic field.
Last October, Svitlana Soshenko, Associate Professor and other five researchers from KrNU took part in International Staff Training Week at the University of Economy in Bydgoszcz (WSG) under the program of academic mobility Erasmus+. Researchers from KrNU got relevant certificates of participation in the program. It should be pointed out that Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University has the academic cooperation agreement with WSG.
Svitlana Soshenko told about the Polish university’s good practices and raised the concern that has existed for a long time, Ukrainian schools graduates move to Poland to study:
- Many of our school leavers move to study to Poland, but our visit showed that Poland is currently a buffer zone for their further departure to European countries. The language of communication and living conditions in Poland are not very different from ours, universities propose a very wide variety of training programs, the possibility to obtain a Polish diploma and to find employment there affords a chance to further moving to European countries, we cannot fail to take it into account,- noted Svitlana Soshenko.
She presented the structure of the Polish higher educational institution:
- It is a commercial private educational establishment; it is called University of Economy in Bydgoszcz, the Polish name is Wyższa Szkoła Gospodarki (WSG). It was founded 30 years ago, it is a relatively short period for an educational institution, but instead, they have learned to make money on all aspects of their activities. 7 000 students attend the university, among them there are 1 000 foreigners, and 467 students are Ukrainians. The academic teaching staff consists of 500 persons, in addition, they actively participate in the program “Visiting Professor”, that is, they invite external professionals to teach. For example, an esteemed professor of our university is also a professor of their educational institution. How do they attract specialists to the university? They ask for the CV, look at the teacher`s publications in Scopus, and invite to work those who have degrees and titles, and who have a Hirsch index of at least two. Of course, knowledge of English or Polish language is required.
The speaker spoke about the wide variety of more than 60 specializations the university proposes to prospective students:
- Apart from the above I would like to inform you about training programs, specializations, proposed by the educational institution. They are numerous but they are slightly different from those of state educational institutions. What makes this private school original to set it apart from others? They entitle educational programs in their own way, adapt them to those teachers who are involved in the educational process, and to the base that they can get from their business partners. And they obviously take into account the demand in the labor market. They have a very wide choice of training programs: pedagogy, engineering, tourism, architecture, design, that is, there is no student who would not find a specialty to his taste.
Associate Professor Soshenko paid special attention to the function of the academic incubator established in WSG:
- They have an academic incubator, the laboratory InLab. This laboratory has managed to raise three million PLN for a year! There is no new equipment, it is a computer lab where they offer services, including studying student startups, providing legal support to small businesses, they have such a model as testing the business before its registration. By the aid of these services provision, without making significant investments in expensive equipment, but only by involving their teachers, they get a lot of money.
The Center of social services has been created on the base of WSG, a nursery and a university of the third age function there. It is also a grant project. University staff has the possibility for their children`s admission to the kindergarten or to the nursery, and their parents can study at the university of the third age. Students studying in pedagogical or medical programs have their practical activity there. This solves a whole range of problems.
Associate Professor Soshenko accentuated economic line of activity of the Polish university. She noted that Polish colleagues actively seek for international grants to finance the functioning of the university. They pay considerable attention to the analysis of current trends that are important to the European Union and which it is ready to finance. Examples include projects for people with special needs. WSG is currently implementing several such projects funded by EU:
- At the university a whole division is actively involved in international grants! The university constantly receives EU funds for topical issues. In addition, the school has 350 business partners, which allows it to earn money efficiently. They enter into agreements with business partners, and students do their internships on a paying basis. In this way, the educational institution and its business partner raise money, and the student has a real internship, learns the Polish language, obtain a Polish diploma and can work in Europe. This combination of science, practice and business gives the university a significant income.
In concluding her report, Svitlana Soshenko pointed out the following:
- In 2020 our university concluded a framework cooperation agreement with this Polish university. There exists even Kremenchuk branch office, as indicated in their papers. But not long ago it turns out that this office is only room No. 1416 in the former building of Kremenchug University of Economics, Information Technology and Management. Now there are Polish language courses. Notice the educational institutions that are partners of the Polish University. Kremenchuk teacher training college, Svitlovodsk Polytechnic College are among them. But Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University is not on the list, regardless of the fact that we have an agreement with them! Whether it will appear there or not depends on each of us, on what results we want to get.