The present paper discusses the new Polish law on higher education in the context of the contrasted global and academic paradigms of university funding, governance, and organization. Its point of departure is the advent of international comparative data in higher education, the measurability of individuals, academic units and institutions in terms of research output, and the emergence of a new social contract between the state and universities. The key concepts used to evaluate the new law are competition in science, academic income structure and academic knowledge production structure, internationalists and locals in science, and vertical differentiation in national higher education systems. The new law is assessed in the context of the original reform proposal suggested by the national team of experts led by the present author and its long-term strategic choices are discussed in more detail, including a changing system of institutional evaluation, a revised system of academic degrees, and new excellence-focused national funding schemes.
The paper analyzes the changing public-private dynamics in higher education in Poland in 1990-2016 and beyond, focusing on the processes of internal and external de-privatization of the system. De-privatization of higher education – viewed also as its republicization – is caused by declining demographics and may lead to the demise of the largely demand-absorbing private higher education. Poland is shown as moving against the two powerful global trends related to privatization: private sector growth and increasing reliance on cost-sharing. Data related to funding and provision in 1990-2005 (expansion) and 2006 and beyond (contraction) are analyzed in detail, and policy implications of ongoing and expected changes are discussed.
This paper examines highly paid academics – or “top earners” – employed across universities in ten European countries based on a large-scale international survey data of the academic profession. It examines the relationships between salaries and academic behaviors and productivity, as well as the predictors of being an academic top earner. While in the Anglo-Saxon countries the university research mission traditionally pays off at an individual level, in Continental Europe it pays off only in combination with administrative and related duties. Seeking future financial rewards through research does not seem to be a viable strategy in Europe – but seeking satisfaction in research through solving research puzzles is also getting difficult, with the growing emphasis on “relevance” and “applicability” of research. Thus both the traditional “investment motivation” and “consumption motivation” for research are ever-harder to be followed, with policy implications. The primary data come from 8,466 usable cases. This paper examines change processes in Western Europe and in Poland (in a European context) and its main reference point is American higher education scholarship; it is, on the theoretical plane, the founder of the conceptual frameworks to study academic salaries, and, in practical terms, the US science systems heavily draws on European scientific talents.