Do the deadlines kill the investigative mind? Is introducing fees for submitting a thesis during the next academic year unfair? Would it lower the academic quality of student work?
The Engaged University, or Uniwersytet Zaangażowany, is a student-based initiative at the University of Warsaw devoted to ‘democratization of the university’. With ‘university is not a company’ motto, they constitute a visible, albeit marginal, local movement at the biggest Polish public university. Their stated ambitions include increasing student (and faculty) voice in decisions regarding administration of the university, most notably introduction of additional fees (tuition is generally free in Poland, in the public sector).
It is a common knowledge in Poland that humanities (some folks add: and social sciences) are severely underfunded. Many claim that there is a funding bias against the humanities (again: and social sciences?) in awarding grants.
Only on Monday Narodowe Centrum Nauki (NCN, National Center of Science) has published the results of ETIUDA contest for doctoral scholarships. The aim of the program is to support final stage doctoral candidates in preparing good PhD thesis, and allow them to spend 3-6 months in a research center abroad, to enhance the quality of their work. I this been only third edition of bi-annual contest, but it sprang some discussion in Polish social media.
I have just uploaded the info about me and my projects to this website. You can easily access them in the header. I will do my best to keep all the information there up-to-date, but nevertheless all the updates will be posted through main feed.
Making it work now allows me to focus on my work – and soon start posting my thoughts on this website. I am as much looking forward to it as I am scared about the possible outcomes. Nevertheless, things are going to be different from now on.
After some time of friends telling me ‘you should start writing down all that you think about higher ed’, I’m actually starting my blog today.
Truth be told, I am not yet sure about the path that I will follow with this. You can expect a lot of changes during the initial weeks, to be sure. My big hope is that this site would serve as both a platform of publishing my thoughts on higher ed, and a stimulator to do it regularly.
I would like to run this website entirely in English. The big shift happening right now is going more international with all aspects of my life, my interests in higher ed being at the forefront of this change. I also kind of feel that there is a lot of things happening in Polish academia that may be interesting to know for people in other countries, and I would like to target them and deliver insights and comments from my home country. As I can only do that by writing in English, I hope that those of you who encouraged me to start a blog would not feel uneasy about the language thing.
Finally, I envision this as a personal website that would also work as my professional portfolio as well. For anybody interested in my activities of academic (and other) nature, I will provide an umbrella-like spot to get an easily accessible, updated info rather than ask them to make a google search and visit multiple profiles.
Hopefully, there are going ot be a few of you who may find it interesting and worth following (through RSS, tumblr or new options coming soon!). Running a blog is extremely popular today, but I decided to go for it with intention to delineate my academic and journalistic soul. Here’s where you can find the heartfelt stuff. If you look for more informed analyses, feel free to visit the publications section.