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Monday, November 04, 2019
The Silesian University of Technology has received the Research University status!

We have the results of the first competition under the "Initiative of Excellence - Research University" programme. The aim of the competition was to select and support the universities which will strive to achieve the status of a research university and will be able to successfully compete with the best academic centres in Europe and beyond. Out of top 20 Polish universities, entitled to take part in the competition, an international team of experts selected 10 universities which, in the years 2020–2026, will receive a subsidy increased by 10%.


We proudly announce that the Silesian University of Technology is one of them!


Other universities who participated in the competition but were not placed among the top 10 will also receive a financial support of a 2% increase in subsidy.

- The outcome of the first competition under the "Initiative of Excellence - Research University" programme is a key factor of the 4-year reform period in Polish higher education system. This is one of the most important initiatives introduced by the Constitution for Science. It is also the culmination of several years of efforts to select research universities - said Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin while announcing the results of the competition.

Twenty best universities in the country were qualified to participate in the first competition "Initiative of Excellence - Research University”(IERU). All of them met the statutory conditions regarding scientific categories obtained during the last comprehensive assessment of scientific units in relation to the number of fields and disciplines in which the university conducts scientific activity. Moreover, none of the fields of study conducted by the university could have a negative assessment of the Polish Accreditation Committee. An international team of experts related to science and higher education sector has selected 10 universities which will become research universities in the future. Among them there were:

University of Warsaw

Gdansk University of Technology

University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań

AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow

Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Warsaw University of Technology

Medical University of Gdańsk

Silesian University of Technology

Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń

University of Wrocław.


20 universities - 20 winners

- The formula of the IERU programme allows to state that all universities participating in the competition are the winners. All participating institutions met the restrictive conditions of participation in the competition, related to the quality of scientific research and diversification of the activity profile- pointed out the Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin. As a result of the assessment, 10 universities were selected. In years 2020–2026 they will receive an annual increase in subsidy (in the amount of 10% of the subsidy obtained in 2019). Other universities which participated in the competition but were not selected will also receive additional financial support - an increase in subsidy for the years 2020-2025 period in the amount of 2% of the subsidy obtained in 2019. These are the following universities:

Lodz University of Technology

Wroclaw University of Science and Technology

University of Gdansk

University of Lodz

Medical University of Bialystok

Poznan University of Medical Sciences

Medical University of Lodz

Pedagogical University of Krakow

Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences

University of Silesia.

- Discussions in the academic community display that all 20 universities have gained prestigious status due to the distinction for being able to participate in this programme. Moreover, for many universities the perspective to participate in the competition was a stimulus to analyse their own strengths and weaknesses - stressed Prime Minister Gowin.


International Team of Experts

Each of 20 universities was evaluated by 15 outstanding experts. In this group, there were individuals who served as rectors, presidents or vice-rectors of leading European universities, including the University of Göttingen, University of Amsterdam, Aarhus University, University of Manchester or University of Southampton. The team also included scientists of the authority in an international scientific community. One of the criteria for selecting  experts was to ensure representatives from each field of science.

Team members have significant experience in cooperation with institutions from various countries, including Germany, England, France, Spain, Benelux, Scandinavian countries, Switzerland and Hungary. The Chair, Professor Lauritz Holm-Nielsen, co-authored the Poland’s Higher Education and Science System report prepared in 2017 as part of the European Commission Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility programme.


Support in preparing applications

In applications evaluated by experts, universities presented, among others analysis of own potential and development plans including objectives and activities mainly concerning the following:

-the increase of the impact of the university's scientific activity on the development of world science,

- strengthening research cooperation with internationally renowned research centres,

- improvement of students and doctoral students’ quality of education,

- improvement of staff policy at the university,

- improvement in the quality of university management.

Universities were also required to identify priority research areas in which they would conduct intensified scientific activities.

All higher institutions entitled to participate in the first IERU  programme competition received in 2018, as part of the "Strategy of Excellence - Research University" undertaking, additional financial resources (in the amount from PLN 700,000 - PLN 1 million) to support the preparation of applications and in conducting appropriate scientific research and analysis.


Evaluation of applications - detailed criteria

The applications presented by the universities were evaluated in terms of:

-substantive level

-the significance of the objectives set for raising the international  significance of the university's activities

-the adequacy of the described activities for the intended purposes and the potential of the university.

The evaluation was of an expert nature. In evaluation of the criteria regarding objectives and potential, indicators measuring primarily the quality of scientific activity conducted by universities were also taken into consideration.

In addition to the evaluation based on the application contents, an international team of experts interviewed representatives of all universities. Universities had also  an opportunity to submit their objections to the draft reports. The result of the teams' work will be final reports and a ranking list of positively evaluated applications. Final reports include the evaluation of the application, together with the justification.


Evaluation of the implementation of plans for the next financing period

Universities presented their action plan for the coming years. The implementation of this plan will be subject to evaluation. The first mid-term evaluation will be carried out in 2023, and the final one- in 2026. After this period, universities will be able to extend funding for the following years (2027-2032). However, not all of them.

At least two universities which receive a negative result or are ranked lowest in the ranking list after the evaluation, they will not receive further funding. These places can be taken by universities or federations which will win another competition under the "Initiative of Excellence - Research University" programme. It will take place in 2026 and will be addressed to those academic centres which were not financed under the first competition.

Created: Monday, November 04, 2019 7:54 AM, by: Katarzyna Wojewódka
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