Lublin Info Centre
Lublin Universities Association has been registered
– It is an excellent chance for each of these universities. It is an excellent chance for the academic environment of Lublin, but it is also a great example for the whole Poland how to cooperate with each other looking for the synergy effect and pooling of potentials – said Gowin.
The association consists of three public universities. The agreement on establishing the Association was signed in July by the rectors of these higher education institutions, and their senates adopted relevant resolutions. Associated universities – UMCS, UP, and PL – are independent, but they will work together to make better use of their resources. For the Union to function, the agreement of the Minister of Science and Higher Education was needed.
Gowin stressed that nowadays, in the times of globalisation, Polish universities have to compete not only among themselves, but also with universities of Europe and the world for students, talented young researchers, and scientific grants. – To compete effectively, it is necessary to combine potentials – the minister said.
– For me, an example of this agreement is what I would expect from the academic world – an open, dynamic, creative, courageous action in adopting reforms and not an anxious defence of the status quo – added Gowin.
He announced that the new law on higher education and science (the so-called Constitution for Science) would make such cooperation much easier from the legal point of view. – We anticipate, among other things, such a formula of collaboration between universities in the form of federation, which so far has not been known in Poland – he said. At the same time, he stressed that the Ministry does not intend to impose anything on the academic community. These will be independent decisions of individual universities – he added.
The Rector of the UMCS, Prof. Stanisław Michałowski, said that the universities forming the Association can cooperate in the field of using the research equipment and apparatus they possess, they can work together for students, conduct joint courses of study, and a shared career office. He stressed that universities would not lose their sovereignty. – It is a new quality. We have added value when individuals combine their tasks. We must slowly develop this cooperation. The union creates a perspective for us to agree what we can do next – added Professor Michałowski.
Rector of the University of Life Sciences, Prof. Zygmunt Litwińczuk, emphasised that the Lublin region is an essential region in food production, there are also many areas of high natural value, and all three universities conduct research and studies in the field of biotechnology and environmental protection. – All in all, together, we can work much better in all these areas, to achieve better results – he said.
The Rector of the Lublin University of Technology, Prof. Piotr Kacejko, pointed out the dilemma related to the construction of a hard coal mine in Lublin, which is an ecological and valuable natural region. – The balance between the technologies that exploit the nature of the region and those that protect it, this is the issue that needs to be considered in an interdisciplinary context, by different scientists and different bodies, and that is what we want to do – he said.
– The potential of our universities: equipment, human resources, is enormous. It must be used together – added Professor Kacejko.
The universities that formed the Association employ almost 6,000 people in total and educate more than 40,000 students. Over the last few years, about PLN 1 billion has been invested for their needs.