Comparative Reflections on Poland and Norway
Chapter 3: External Influences and Local Responses.Changes in Polish Higher Education 1990-2005. Dominik Antonowicz
Chapter 3 External Influences and Local Responses. Changes in Polish Higher Education 1990-2005 Dominik Antonowicz During the last two decades, higher education in Poland has undergone substantial changes. This chapter focuses specifically on the timeframe 1990-2005, as this was a period in which the higher education system in Poland was heavily impacted by external influences. This timeframe is marked by two major events – approval of the Laws on Higher Education by the Polish Parliament, first in 1990 and again in 2005. The years between 1990 and 2005 saw the Polish higher education system experiencing a struggle between an expectation to adopt Western European model(s) of governance (analogous to the economy and political system) and the aspirations of the academic community to restore the mythical concept of the university as the ivory tower. Transformations in Polish higher education were also part of a much grander agenda of socio-economic and political changes. After the communist regime was brought down in 1989, a number of institutions had to be reinvented or simply restructured. Indeed, after 45 years of political, economic and semi-cultural isolation, Poland opened up to the external, i.e. especially western European, world. Immediately, Poland demonstrated a strong aspiration to become a member of the European community. Leaving the Soviet Block, Polish higher education was exposed to the intensive processes of Europeanization in various fields. At the same time, higher education in particular experienced growing internationalization. However, transnational pressures to restructure higher education are not unique to post-communist Poland, as it...
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