Washington, District of Columbia
June 23, 1996
June 23, 1996
June 26, 1996
1.354.1 - 1.354.7
1 .— . .. Session 2560
Polish University Confronted with Economic Transformation: Two Strategies of Survival
Jerzy Woznicki, Roman Z. Morawski, Andrzej Krasniewski Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology
Abstract: The process of economic transformation in Poland is briefly characterized, as well as the situation of Polish academic institutions after 1989. Two basic strategies of their adaptation to this situation are outline d.. the strategy of status quo preservation and the strategy of accelerated development. An example is given to demonstrate the efficiency of the latter strategy, viz. the program of reforms carried out at the Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology, Warsaw University of Technology. Finally, conclusions are drawn from the presented analysis of the situation of the Polish academia and recommendations are formulated concerning both individual universities and the whole system of higher education in Poland.
Keywords: higher education, Polish universities, system of study.
In 1989 Poland underwent a radical political change that finished its dependence on the Soviet Union and communist ideology. As a consequence, the process of economic reforms was started and has been continued up to now. The main elements of the program of economic reforms are the following: + abandoning the system of central planning, + step-by-step development of the private sector of economy, + step-by-step development of the banking system, + setting free markets of goods and services, + opening to international economic cooperation. The first two years of reforms brought important improvement to the economic situation of Poland: the inflation rate which reached 100% per month by the end of 1989 was reduced to ca. 30%. per year, Polish currency became almost convertible into foreign money, consumer goods that had been absent for years on the Polish market appeared in shops, many private enterprises started to operate. At the same time, within next years (1992-1995) some negative side-effects emerged and overshadowed the first success. The most important of those side-effects are: + 15% unemployment rate, + disastrous economic condition of State-owned industrial enterprises of large scale (mines, shipyards, steelworks) and of middle scale (electronic and precision industry); + year-by-year growing difficulties in planning the State budget that imply troubles in State financed sectors of economy, esp. in health care and education; + cultural degradation of the society caused by the inflow of pop-culture, by the bankruptcy of many high-level cultural institutions (theaters, orchestras), and by the attractive force of financial opportunities created by the new economic system. The latter phenomenon is mentioned here since it has significantly modified attitudes of the society towards education goals and institutions.
And what about Polish universities and other academic institutions ? How did they react to such dramatic change in the environment in which they function ? This paper is intended to answer this question. First, in Section 2, the situation of Polish academic institutions in 1989-95 is characterized in more details. Next, in Sections 3 and 4, two basic strategies of their adaptation to this situation are outlined, viz. the strategy of status quo preservation and the strategy of accelerated development. In Section 5, an example is given to demonstrate the efficiency of the latter strategy. Finally, conclusions are drawn from the presented
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Morawski, R. Z., & Woznicki, J., & Krasniewski, A. (1996, June), Polish University Confronted With Economic Transformation: Two Strategies Of Survival Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. https://peer.asee.org/6236
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