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University student, Poland
Conference: Professionally-oriented Higher Education – European Examples and Options for Poland
June 12, 2013Warsaw, Poland

Conference organized jointly by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the World Bank.

The role of higher education has changed decisively in recent decades. Today, there is a strong and diverse demand for higher education as a key driver of economic growth, social development and individual prosperity.

In recent years, the relationship between higher education and the labor market has attracted special attention: governments take a great interest in the labor market outcomes of higher education; employers demand readily employable graduates; and students ask for an education that prepares them for their professional careers in an increasingly flexible labor market.

However, most discussions on excellence in higher education still focus on academic, research-oriented institutions and programs. Based on recent successful higher education reforms in Poland and following years of close cooperation, the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, in cooperation with the World Bank, aimed to address this shortcoming through a conference on professionally-oriented higher education.

The Conference

Bringing together higher education experts, actors from higher education institutions, employers, policy makers, administrators and representatives from non-governmental organizations, the conference went beyond narrow perspectives on excellence in the field of higher education.

For the purpose of clarifying what excellence in professionally-oriented higher education means and how it can be achieved, practical questions were the major focus of the event:

  • In which direction does professionally-oriented higher education develop?
  • What does ‘responding to labor market needs’ mean?
  • How can higher education institutions find out about the needs of the labor market?
  • Are there best practice examples of cooperation between higher education institutions and employers?
  • What are excellent curricula and teaching methods for professionally-oriented higher education?
  • What role does lifelong learning play within this type of higher education?

By showcasing and discussing good European practices, the conference stimulated the Polish as well as the European debate on excellence in professionally-oriented higher education.

Programme (PDF) | Biographies (PDF) | Background Material (PDF)

Dr. Guy Haug PDF
Prof. Jarosław Górniak PDF (Polish)
Dr. Julie Bernard PDF
Prof. Richard Korff PDF
Marc Vandewalle PDF 1, PDF 2
Dr. Reijo Tolppi PDF
Prof. Marek Gruszczyński PDF
Prof. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers PDF
Prof. Czesław Królikowski PDF (Polish)


About 200 participants attended this conference, including: representatives of public and private Polish higher education institutions; Polish employers and representatives of the business community; policy makers and senior administrators, including from other European countries; and representatives of non-governmental organizations engaged in higher education.

Event Details