International Relations Office

Academic Development Plan

The University of Lodz Academic Development Plan

(Development Plan)

Below you will find a part of the Univesity of Lodz Acedemic Development Plan concerning the internatiolization of the university.

I. Introduction to the Development Plan

II.The University’s Priority Goals

III. Indicators of task implementation progress, and the Development Plan implementation schedule

I.  Introduction to the Development Plan

In recent years, there is a steady decrease in conditions for the functioning of Polish universities. An especially important aspect of this is the still-accelerating demographic decline, whose effect is a decrease in the number of candidates for higher studies, especially extramural. It can be also observed that the degree of financing from state budget is insufficient, while there is steadily growing competition on the market of educational and research services. Another factor is that both the value, and the way of distribution of budget funds, are subject to change. By 2020, the funds will to a lesser degree be distributed through subsidies, while to a higher degree through competitive calls for proposals. The guidelines of the calls for proposals will take account of financing of the undertakings compliant with the priorities of the Europa 2020 strategy, as well as of the country-wide and regional strategies, as well as they will take account of particular financing rules for innovation projects.

So far as is known, the quality of education at the University of Lodz has a high reputation among candidates for studies. This is confirmed by a lower decrease in the number of students than the national mean for the recent years. The University of Lodz still holds the top position for the number of extramural students. It should be noted, however, that in the light of the demographic forecast, the total number of students of our school may drop by 30% compared to the 2009 statistics. Therefore, every effort should be made to prevent the decrease in the quality of instruction at traditional and/or well-reputed fields of study, as well as to extend the range of academic offer, which includes lifelong learning. Sustaining the academic character of instruction will require a higher degree of empowering students to participate in the research process, especially as far as exact and experimental sciences are concerned.

The inevitable decrease in the number of students also means the necessity of a fresh perspective on the University’s priorities, especially as regards Faculties with the highest sensitivity to this factor. It seems that the reduction of teaching workload should lead the academic staff to a deeper involvement in research activities.

We perceive the current position of the University of Lodz in the Polish higher education context, as well as in the European Research Area and the European Higher Education Area, as not entirely satisfactory for us. This is indirectly indicated by some of the countrywide and international rankings of higher education institutions (take the scores, as low as 24 in the Perspektywy ranking, or 9 in the Forum Akademickie ranking; the latter made according to the Hirsch index), as well as by objective scientometric indicators applied to all relevant institutions and used as a basis to parametrize Polish higher education institutions. Only 5 out of 12 Faculties fall into the A category, and some of them occupy the lowest position in its common assessment group (overall, the UL was ranked 9th among Polish universities). Regardless of our subjective assessment of our own achievements, and aside from the methodology used behind the parametrized assessment or the rankings, we are inclined to admit that the research potential of our University is indeed much higher than it could be derived from these classifications. We need to go beyond criticizing the assessment criteria, for they are the same for all the other institutions, including the ranking’s top. It would be difficult to maintain that the classification leaders are active in research or science to a lesser degree than the UL, or that they follow a fashion of measuring research outcomes rather than actually undertake research. The background conditions we develop our academic activity in, are equal for all the Polish universities. Therefore, we should strive to fulfil these requirements and to produce a significant change to the position of the University of Lodz, both in the parametrized assessment, and the rankings.

We have failed to act in accord with the principle of entrepreneurship, which, among others, means that a positive financial result is outside the University’s goals. A stable financial situation of the entire institution is a prerequisite for its development, however, it is only possible if a financial stability of each of the units is maintained. Reaching this state should include true manifestations of academic solidarity (such as a cohesion fund).

Because of the adopted system of financing for science, the scores of parametrized assessment have a direct (through statutory funding) as well as indirect (through grant acquisition opportunities) impact on the amount of financial means we acquire for research activities. These amounts of funds are not, and cannot be an indication of our academic position, and their increase is outside the goals of the University. However, it is by means of financing for scientific activity that we create ourselves proper conditions for development in this area, and a possibility for further research. Therefore, any time we put emphasis on the necessity to improve our academic position, which includes parametrized assessment, or on the necessity of acquisition of grants for our research, or on closer cooperation with our social and economic milieu, above all we mean the improvement of the quality of conditions for research activity. This is because profits from academic activity have – due to its overall cost balance – a very little impact on the University’s financial result. In future, their impact will even decrease (because of lowering the level of indirect costs in grants).

The current share of revenues from the teaching and research activity in the overall revenues from core operations of the University of Lodz (10,6%) gives us 8th position among Polish universities (average: 15,7%), while the amount of revenues per one UL academic teacher in the year 2012 was just 58% of the national mean.

The scientific development of the university is, among others, possible due to cooperation with entrepreneurs, cultural institutions and local government. The University of Lodz is to make use of the output, status, and potential of its graduates to a higher degree. The care for stable and close relationships with graduates and their inclusion in core operations of the University should guarantee greater teaching and research achievement, and, moreover, it may ensure the University’s direct connection with practical applications of the ongoing research outcomes. A good reputation among our graduates is the most important factor behind the University’s good name and prestige.

The present plan focuses almost entirely on the development of the teaching and research activity of the University. This conscious effort includes a high assessment of the quality of teaching while increasing research activities. The aim is to set goals and specific actions that should be undertaken to ensure that the future status of the University of Lodz is the one that mirrors both its tradition and its research potential, and can be recognized both in the Polish and the European context. For all the other areas of activity, the University of Lodz will still adhere to its current Strategy.

II.3. Leading objective 3: A high level of internationalization of research and teaching

Leading objective 3 A high level of internationalization of research and teaching
Operational objective 1 Double the number of overseas students
Operational objective 2 Increase the number of English-taught study fields
Operational objective 3 Increase the number of international employees
Operational objective 4 Increase the number of staff employed at overseas institutions
Operational objective 5 Double the number of international projects
Operational objective 6 Create overseas academic units

 II.3.1. Description of actions aimed at raising the level of internalization of research and teaching

Leading objective 3 A high level of internationalization of research and teaching
Action 3.1 Improvement to the range of academic programs taught in foreign languages
Action 3.2 International placements for PhD holders and doctoral students
Action 3.3 Change in policy of financing international mobility
Action 3.4 Defining priority actions to be financed from cohesion funds
Action 3.5 Defining priority countries as source of students for paid studies
Action 3.6 Establishment of a joint academic unit, in cooperation with an international partner

 Action 3.1. Improvement to the range of academic programs taught in foreign languages

To allow an increase to the number of international students, a better academic offer is to be prepared. Each Faculty should be capable to hold at least one English-taught study field per each study cycle. Faculties with similar scope of academic activity should establish a range of interdisciplinary study fields instructed in a foreign language.

Action 3.2. International placements for PhD holders and doctoral students

Research projects should include funds for financing international placements for PhD holder teachers and PhD candidates, as well as for scholarships for international PhD holders and candidates.

 Action 3.3. Change in policy of financing international mobility

Funds for international mobility should be directed mainly to young researchers and the goal of financing is to allow longer stays at foreign institutions. The mobility is to result in international publications, maintaining two-way academic communications, and creating research consortia. Mobilities that fail to produce any kinds of awarded papers, awarded publications, or other measurable scientific or teaching outcomes, should no longer obtain financing. Especially, there should be limits on group participation of several or more staff in the same scientific conference if not all of them intend to present accepted papers, and if their participation is not aimed at an international or national grant application made together with international partners.

Action 3.4. Defining priority actions to be financed from cohesion funds

The cohesion fund shall be a source of financing for actions that lead to setting up an international consortium aimed at the acquisition of an international research project. The existing consortia should be given priority at the distribution of funds for the support and promotion of science.

Action 3.5. Defining priority countries as source of students for paid studies

A number of priority countries should be defined as a source of candidates for full-time paid studies. These countries will be the focus of promotional actions whose implementation is to have a high professional level. For that purpose, budgetary means should be provided in an amount no lower than 5% of yearly revenue from the fees paid by international students.

Action 3.6. Establishment of a joint academic unit, in cooperation with an international partner

Measures aimed at establishing at least one external academic unit should be taken. To this end, there should be initiated international cooperation actions with potential partner(s) for the establishment.

(end)

More information about the internationalization.

The strategic directions of the UL’s international cooperation for 2017 include countries of:

Europe – especially Spain, Germany, Turkey, France, Portugal, Ukraine, Russia, UK

East Asia – especially China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand

Central Asia – especially Indie, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan, Afganistan, Nepal

Latin America – especially Honduras, Uruguay, Columbia, Bolivia, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil

Middle East – especially Iran, Israel, Iraq

Africa – especially Angola, Kenia, Kongo, Egipt, Algeria, Marocco, Zimbabwe


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