Students, doctoral students and education

Students and Doctoral Students are a very important part of the University Community, and education is one of the three, along with research and measures for society and the economy, and an equally important part of our activities. Without students we would be a scientific or research institute, and thanks to them we are a university. 

The education system is undoubtedly changing. Classical education based on existing forms can now be useful for a small group of people in the labour market. The vast majority need a more general education. Soft competences should now be imparted much more than in the past, and hard competences should be treated as a workshop for acquiring them. These are the competences of the future. Engineers and specialists are needed who will travel from one project to another, constantly adapting. The modern graduate is distinguished by the qualities of critical and logical thinking, is not afraid to ask questions, and is aware of the importance of the consequences of his or her decisions.

In recent years, starting from the period of introduction of the Bologna system, then the National Qualifications Framework, the Silesian University of Technology has been constantly changing its offer and updating its curricula, consulting students and employers. Some of the updates are dictated by the new regulations being introduced, while others are the initiatives of the faculties or University authorities. However, operating in a process of constant change of study programmes introduces organisational difficulties. We already know which path gains the approval of staff and students. Undoubtedly, it is guided by modern forms and methods of education and real electivity. Therefore, it is reasonable to work out, through a discussion among academic staff, with the participation of the Student Council, a formula for defining study programmes that significantly increases their flexibility, so that it will be possible to update the subject offer for years to come in accordance with the law, without the need for formal major changes to the study programme. Electivity, education with foreign researchers and the use of remote communication methods are indispensable tools to support the transfer of up-to-date and forward-looking knowledge. The teaching offer should be bold and constantly reviewed. An appropriate balance must be maintained between foundations and specialised education that responds to the current needs of civilisation. The Doctoral School must provide an offer of attractive subjects and outstanding professors, which Doctoral students and their Promoters will see as an important part of complementing the research programme and shaping the development of those about to take responsibility for solving the most important scientific, or civilisation and technological problems.

We will undertake a courageous discussion on increasing faculty participation in the management and operation of the educational process. I am convinced that an organisationally efficient and commonly accepted model can be prudently developed. We will expand the dialogue and inclusion of the Student Council and the Doctoral Student Council in discussions and decision-making that are important for their communities, valuing their involvement. They represent the members of our Community for whom we provide education and who, especially in an age of access to information, including on education at other universities in the country and abroad and direct contact with employers, are aware of needs and opportunities and are driven by a spirit of responsibility. Without their participation, no reform in the field of didactics will succeed. We will therefore create the conditions for a broader involvement of Students and Doctoral Students in the evaluation and implementation of education.

I declare:

  • Student and doctoral student orientation of all educational activities
  • Developing and implementing a policy that allows students to advance classes to subsequent semesters 
  • Involvement of programme advisors to facilitate students' choice of educational pathway
  • Developing the most advantageous system for the University to manage its teaching offer and educational programmes with greater faculty empowerment
  • Striving for a study programme structure facilitating that subjects and their content are updated without the need to change programmes
  • Openness to initiatives for the creation of new attractive learning opportunities
  • Expanding an already nationally leading PBL education programme
  • Boosting PBL learning in international teams
  • Increasing the share of elective parts in the curricula, giving students the opportunity to really shape their own development path, and academics the opportunity to really introduce subjects related to their research passions into education
  • Providing the possibility to carry out some subjects remotely, with part of the project classes and credit in stationary mode, on a basis similar to the blended-intensive programme known from the Erasmus+ programme
  • Enabling selected master's degree courses to be delivered as a blended-intensive programme
  • Allowing students to receive credit for some courses for active participation in research projects, with the approval of the relevant vice dean
  • Making extensive use of the opportunities provided by the Microcredentials system to enrich the arguments of students and graduates in the job market
  • Developing solutions and offering interested students an education based on a "major + minor" structure, common in American universities
  • Seeking to further opportunities to support the student research movement and to engage students in research
  • Offering senior students to undertake mentoring of junior students and international students
  • Creation of a Centre for Modern Education
  • Advocating with local authorities to expand offerings to augment student attractions, including cultural and sport events
  • Increasing support for sports sections, creating a sports event of at least national scope
  • Using the EURECA-PRO European University and other university networks to make education more attractive and international by offering extensive opportunities to study partly at partner universities
  • Introducing widely available courses related to artificial intelligence methods, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship
  • Providing tools to enable students to practically develop business and leadership skills and incubate their own businesses
  • Recognising initiatives of Faculties in the field of education and their authors
  • Upgrading teaching facilities as an indispensable part of teaching
  • Improving the recruitment process and rules 
  • Taking actions to attract more and better university applicants by working closely with schools and becoming involved in secondary education
  • Encouraging lead units to jointly recruit in related fields of study, with a breakdown of target fields after part-time study
  • Returning to validated system of faculty supervisors for each year of study, appointed in consultation with the Student Council, wherever it is justified
  • Supporting the development of the Doctoral School, including a wide range of courses taking place only in the second and third years
  • Creating an attractive programme for those employed straight after their doctorate, offering the perspective for current interested PhD Students to continue their research career
  • Adaptation of education and training systems to the realities of the digital age
  • Creating favourable conditions to facilitate the Student Council and the Doctoral Student Council contact with respective Students and the University authorities
  • Introducing regular meetings of the University authorities with representatives of the Student Council and the Doctoral Student Council
  • Inclusion of Students and Doctoral Students representatives in the work on crucial solutions at the University
  • Increasing the influence of students on decisions about student infrastructure 
  • Structural support for the activities of the Student Council's Project Representative as well as enhancing cooperation with other units in the University
  • Offering the development of communication and managerial competences to Student and Doctoral Student self-government authorities
  • Introducing an incentive system for students and doctoral students who engage in self-government, social, organisational and sporting pursuits
  • Supporting the activities of Faculty Student Councils, including the establishment of an award for the Faculty Student Council for its commitment to improving and evaluating the implementation of the educational process
  • Disseminating Student and Doctoral Student Councils activities in the University
  • Supporting the activities of student agencies and organisations
  • Optimising administrative procedures for students
  • Continuation of the computerisation of student services 
  • Exploiting the opportunities offered by the USOS system
  • Striving for standards in Student residences and the Assistants' House that meet the expectations of their residents, including room variants, provision of wireless internet, functioning of public areas
  • Regulating the use of annual leave by doctoral students
  • Integrating doctoral students into our information systems 
  • Speeding up the procedure to enable payment of the first scholarship after admission to the Joint Doctoral School
  • Introducing clear rules for exempting doctoral students from the foreign language exam
  • Ensuring an attractive range of subjects taught at the Joint Doctoral School
  • Equitable support for doctoral students in terms of housing co-financing and completion of the required teaching load, taking into account the rules arising from the programmes in place; soliciting new support programmes
  • Seeking to reduce the cost of a place in student residences; soliciting support programmes.

I kindly ask for Your confidence