O nieoczekiwanych konsekwencjach procesu ekspansji szkolnictwa wyższego w Polsce


  • Dominik Antonowicz Instytut Socjologii, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika, Toruń

Słowa kluczowe:

higher education, expansion of higher education, university, academic profession, Poland


The paper addresses the development of different trajectories of academic career in changing higher education environment in Poland. Since 1989 the Polish higher education undergone deep structural changes that had some, though limited impact of path of academic career development. The model of academic career remained  defined as bureaucratic-corporatist because it is organized and regulated by the law on national level.  For decades, this model has been part of the Polish higher education and was deeply embedded in its institutional landscape. It symbolizes the autonomy of academia and remains one of its last corporatist powers. Only neoliberal reforms (2007) challenged seriously the exiting bureaucratic-corporatist model of the academic career. It attempted to modernize employment relations limiting its stability and measuring research performance and also re-organize career path development by making it more open, more flexible and transparent to external stakeholders. The reforms caused intensive and emotional debate about the future of Polish academic profession. But – what is more important – it also reveals striking differences across the Polish academia in adapting to the recent changes. Thus, the paper aims to illustrate different responses, individual strategies and viewpoints on the academic career development. This paper is largely based on empirical evidence conducted during EUROAC project, (namely 60 in-depth individual interviews) but also it draws some secondary sources (official documents, statements in public debates) collected during the analysis of changes of the higher education in Poland (1989-2014). The research demonstrates striking differences in viewpoints on the academic profession and trajectories of  professional development in higher education between “hard” sciences and social sciences & humanities.  It shows that representatives of “hard” sciences seem to be part of the world of science, being embedded in the transnational community of scholars through transitional body of knowledge. It allows them to conduct international projects, produce joint publications but also use transnational benchmarks to measure research performance. This divide was additionally petrified by the expansion of Polish higher education (1989-2014) which concerned mostly social sciences and humanities that had massive impact on declining research activity mostly in social sciences and humanities.