"I am content that the president signed the new Law on Higher Education and Science passed by the Sejm (the Polish parliament). The academic community was for many years waiting for systemic changes that will reform higher education in our country", says Prof. Jacek Namieśnik, rector of Gdańsk University of Technology.
As Prof. Jacek Namieśnik stresses, the Constitution for Science will not solve all the university problems instantly, but it is a strong impulse for changes necessary to improve the quality of academic education and to develop science in Poland.
"First of all, the reform proposed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education will result in greater university independence and more efficient management. Freedom in defining internal statutes will allow to adjust the organizational structure of the universities to their specific activities and their real needs", emphasizes the GUT rector.
The new law will also provide the universities with greater financial independence. Their activities will be financed from a single source, a subsidy replacing the existing targeted grants. Such model will ensure flexibility and allow for independent decision making, thus giving Gdańsk University of Technology greater opportunities for rational financial management.
The Constitution for Science also puts a lot of emphasis on competitiveness – the amount of financial support will depend on the assessment of researchers' work, measured with indicators other than before. As Prof. Jacek Namieśnik says, GUT must open up to greater competition among academic centers along the lines of Western universities. This is one of the factors that will allow to improve the level of education faster and open the way to success on the international arena.
"In many ways we have the potential to join the world leaders. We also want the Polish science to gain an increasingly stronger position worldwide. We needed a system framework and solutions that would improve the quality of education and increase scientific productivity. I hope that the implementation of the new law will increase the scientific effectiveness and improve the quality of didactic work, increasing internationalization of our studies and research", says the rector of Gdańsk University of Technology.
"Introducing the Constitution for Science is a step we have to take to reduce the distance to the best universities in the world. I am aware that we are facing a big challenge that is adaptation to the changes proposed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. I am convinced, however, that undertaking an effort to make a real change in the higher education system will bring many benefits to Gdańsk University of Technology and to the Polish science as a whole", emphasizes Prof. Jacek Namieśnik.
On the website of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education draft regulations can be found, including these most important for Gdańsk University of Technology, concerning the principles of evaluating the quality of scientific activities, together with the list of scientific disciplines.