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The "Excellence Initiative - Research University" programme is implemented in order to increase scientific excellence and the international importance of the activities of Polish universities. The Minister of Science and Higher Education periodically announces a competition under which no more than 10 academic universities may receive additional funds for their activities.

Achieving a research university status by the Silesian University of Technology

On 30 October 2019 the results of the first competition in the "Excellence Initiative - Research University" programme were announced (IDUB). The aim of the project was to select and support universities that will strive to achieve the status of a research university and will be able to effectively compete with the best academic centres in Europe and worldwide. Out of 20 best universities in Poland, eligible to participate in the competition, an international team of experts selected 10 universities, which will receive a subsidy increased by 10% over the period 2020 and 2026. The Silesian University of Technology is among the universities, which under the competition will receive a total of nearly 245,000,000.00 PLN within 7 years.

In the competition application the University presented the evaluation of its own potential in the form of a detailed SWOT analysis, indicators of the publication, design and patent achievements, as well as development plans including objectives and activities concerning mainly the following:
  • increasing the impact of scientific activity of the Silesian University of Technology on the development of world science,
  • strengthening research cooperation with internationally renowned research centres,
  • improving the education quality of students and doctoral students through development of modern methods and double diploma programmes,
  • improving human resources policy,
  • improving the quality of the University's management.

In its application form, the University presented a detailed action plan for the years 2020-2025 and the plan for 2026, the aim of which is to consolidate the results. The implementation of the assumed tasks is to significantly increase the indicators of scientific excellence, both in terms of research activities and education, internationalisation and the management of the University. The plans will form the basis for creating the next Development Strategy of the Silesian University of Technology for the years 2020-2026.

International evaluation committee

The competition application was assessed by an International team consisting of 15 outstanding experts who served as rectors, presidents or vice-chancellors of leading European universities: prof. Lauritz Holm-Nielsen (Chairman of the evaluation team), prof. Enric Banda, prof. Ulrike Beisiegel, Dr. Jo Bury, prof. Therese Fuhrer, prof. Simon Gaskell, prof. Éva Kondorosi, prof. Yvan Larondelle, prof. Mireia Las Heras, prof. Peter Maassen, Dr. Sijbolt Noorda, prof. József Pálinkás, prof. Sir Christopher Snowden, prof. Carl Johan Sundberg, Dr. Cathie Vix-Guterl.
The applications submitted by universities were evaluated in terms of: the substantive level, the relevance of the assumed objectives to increase the international importance of the university's activities, the relevance of the described activities to the assumed objectives and the university's potential.
The evaluation was of an expert nature. In the evaluation of the criteria concerning the objectives and the potential, the indicators measuring mainly the quality of scientific activity conducted by the universities were additionally taken into account.
Apart from the evaluation based on the content of the application, the international team of experts conducted interviews with representatives of all universities. The result of the teams' work will be the final reports and a ranking list of positively evaluated applications. The final reports contain an evaluation of the application, together with a justification.

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