CGHE seminar 73

'The common' as the condition of living autonomy of universities in Poland

  • Thursday, 01 Mar 2018 12:30 - 14:00
  • Elvin Hall, UCL Institute of Education
  • Krystian Szadkowski, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań


Since 1989, despite the efforts of policymakers, the higher education system in Poland remains one of the most collegial in Europe. This is seen as the most significant obstacle to its further modernisation.

‘The common’, falsely connected with the idea of collegiality, is a democratic regime of self-organisation that lies beyond notions of public/private and constitutes the academic field.

The aim of this seminar is to present the results of an empirical study into aspects of the changing institutional autonomy of higher education institutions in Poland. The results show that the creation of the common within the institution is a condition of, rather than a barrier to, the successful expansion of ‘living autonomy’ within a highly collegial system.

Dr Szadkowski will present and explain the contemporary history of reforms, as well as the essential characteristics of the Polish system.

The material for this seminar draws from a large-scale study of Polish higher education institutions and the academic profession in Poland, based on four case studies of Polish public universities, as well as 15 departmental case studies and more than 170 interviews with management, administration and senior academic faculty.

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Krystian Szadkowski

Krystian Szadkowski

Dr Krystian Szadkowski is a researcher at the UNESCO Chair for Institutional Research and Higher Education Policy of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. His interests cover Marxian political economy and transformations of higher education systems in Central Eastern Europe. He worked as a researcher for Education International (Brussels, Belgium) and as a consultant in policy projects funded by Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. He is the author of Uniwersytet jako dobro wspólne. Podstawy krytycznych badań nad szkolnictwem wyższym (University as the common: Foundations of critical higher education research; 2015).

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