PKA 20th Anniversary Celebration

PKA’s 20th anniversary, celebrated under the slogan For 20 years we have been working to ensure and improve the quality of education in higher education, consists of many events that the Polish Accreditation Committee is implementing throughout 2022.

Achievements, reflections, people – a summary of the Committee’s 20 years of activity

Wishing to properly celebrate this year’s anniversary, the Committee decided to organize the PKA 20th Anniversary Gala on October 26, 2022. The event was held in the building of the former University of Warsaw Library. The Gala was opened by the President of the Polish Accreditation Committee – Prof. dr hab. Stanisław Wrzosek,  who in his speech referred to the Committee’s 20-year achievements and the role of PKA in the higher education sector. Among the invited guests present was dr. hab. Przemysław Czarnek – Minister of Education and Science, who emphasized the commitment and consistency of the Polish Accreditation Committee. The Minister thanked the Polish Accreditation Committee for its contribution to the development of higher education, improving the quality of education and taking measures to increase the competitiveness of Polish universities. The gathered guests at the walls of the University of Warsaw – on behalf of His Magnificence the Rector – were welcomed by prof. dr hab. Ewa Krogulec – Vice Rector of the University of Warsaw for Development, who in her speech referred to the special role of PKA in the system of ensuring the quality of education in higher education, while emphasizing the essence of the Committee’s relationship with universities.

An important highlight of the Gala was the presentation of awards to the leadership of the Committee of previous terms, as well as to distinguished and long-standing members of the Committee, its external experts and the staff of the PKA Bureau. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary, the President of the Polish Accreditation Committee awarded distinctions and presented medals as a token of appreciation for long and extremely fruitful work for the Committee, as well as for involvement in numerous activities aimed at ensuring and improving the quality of education, as well as building a culture of quality at Polish universities.

The inaugural lecture entitled Quality and Ethics was delivered by Rev. Prof. Tomasz Barankiewicz – Head of the Department of Theory and Philosophy of Law at the Faculty of Law, Canon Law and Administration of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin.

The PKA 20th Anniversary Gala was honored with a recital by Dr. Marcin Jablonski – a graduate of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice in the accordion class of Prof. dr. hab. Joachim Pichura and dr. hab. Piotr Chołłowicz.

Another highlight of the Gala was the screening of a film prepared for the 20th anniversary of the Polish Accreditation Committee. The film presented key information about PKA’s activities, including the mission and values that guide the Committee in its work. The film also presented the tasks carried out and the effects of the activities undertaken.

The event provided a unique opportunity to bring together PKA members and experts, as well as colleagues who have been associated with the Committee over the 20 years of its operation. Among the invited guests were representatives of the former leadership of the Committee. This provided an unusual opportunity to organize a debate entitled “The Polish Accreditation Committee in the system of higher education in Poland in the perspective of the 20 years of its activity (2002-2022),” to which the President of the PKA of previous terms were invited. The debate created a unique opportunity to discuss and exchange valuable experiences resulting from the leadership of the Committee, taking into account the historical and legal background characteristic of the successive stages in the development of the Commission. The debate was attended by dr hab. Andrzej Jamiołkowski, President of PKA for the first term, Prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Marciniak, President of PKA for the second term, Prof. dr hab. Marek Rocki, President of PKA for the third and fourth terms, and – as moderator of the debate – Prof.dr hab. Stanisław Wrzosek, President of PKA for the sixth term.

The Gala of the 20th anniversary of the Polish Accreditation Committee was accompanied by an exhibition presenting the work of artists from among PKA members and experts. Invited guests were able to view works by Prof. dr. hab. Andrzej Banachowicz, dr hab. Tadeusz Boruta, Barbara Jura, Prof. Paulina Komorowska-Birger, Prof. Adam Romaniuk, Prof. Janina Rudnicka, Prof.dr hab. Andrzej Sapia, and Prof. Urszula Ślusarczyk.

The PKA 20th Anniversary Gala was held under the honorary patronage of the Minister of Education and Science.

Opportunities, challenges, dreams, development – PKA concerned about the future of education quality

The Polish Accreditation Committee, as part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of its activities, wishing to effectively fulfill its mission, the essence of which is, among other things, comprehensive cooperation and dialogue with all stakeholders in the education process, organized the 11th seminar of the Quality Forum series, entitled Evolution of the education quality assurance system – challenges for the future, on October 27, 2022, which was held in the auditorium of Kozminski University in Warsaw. The seminar was opened by the PKA President – Prof.dr hab. Stanisław Wrzosek, and the guests gathered within the walls of the Academy were welcomed by the Rector – Prof. dr hab. Grzegorz Mazurek.

The 11th Quality Forum – due to the presence of about 250 representatives of all groups of internal and external stakeholders of the Commitee – was an excellent opportunity to present the Certificates of Educational Excellence, which were awarded by Resolution No. 89/2022 of the Presidium of the Polish Accreditation Committee of February 10, 2022. Representatives of the Universities that run the awarded majors received certificates from the hands of the PKA President, which are a confirmation of the high quality of education, as well as the implementation of effective, innovative and exemplary solutions to enhance the quality of education.

The idea of the Quality Forum as a seminar providing a broad platform for discussion of issues related to the quality of education in higher education institutions was born in 2005 and has become a permanent feature of PKA’s work schedule. The Committee, striving to build a culture of quality, made every effort to ensure that this year’s Forum, characterized – as every event in the series – by a high level of content, became a contribution to a multidimensional reflection on the development of the system for ensuring and improving the quality of education. The debates held as part of the discussion panels made it possible to formulate conclusions in response to the challenges facing the accreditation system, and resulting from the dynamic changes in higher education and its external environment.

It should be emphasized that the Quality Forum organized by the Polish Accreditation Committee is a cyclical seminar that, over the course of several years, has become synonymous with professionalism and substantive debate, and a sign of the Committee’s partnership with the academic community. The program for this year’s seminar includes four main panel discussions and two major debates. The first, entitled Ensuring and Improving the Quality of Education – Declared Goals and Intentions vs. Reality, was devoted, on the one hand, to the quality of higher education in the state’s strategy and policy and stakeholders’ expectations of internal and external educational quality assurance systems, and, on the other hand, to new trends in the assessment of educational quality in higher education, including the assessment of the quality of remote education. As part of this debate, two panel discussions were held: the first one – Strategic goals of the Ministry of Education and Science in the field of quality assurance and improvement of education in higher education – moderated by Prof. dr hab. Adam Budnikowski, and Prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Marciniak, and the second one entitled Where is education quality assurance and improvement going? Opportunities, challenges, barriers, visions, dreams – moderated by Dr. hab. Maria Próchnicka and Dr. hab. Mieczyslaw Socha.

The second debate, titled Challenges for the accreditation system in the context of dynamic changes in higher education, focused on the internationalization of education as a factor that increases the competitiveness of universities in the Polish and international education market, as well as the impact of university qualification criteria and the dynamic increase in the number of new majors on the quality of education (with particular emphasis on medical faculties). It included panel discussions entitled: Quality of education as a determinant of competitiveness of HEIs on the Polish and global education market – moderated by Prof. Dr. Michał Zasada and Mr. Mateusz Grochowski – President of PSRP, and Ensuring and improving the quality of education in a situation of continued dynamic growth of the number of new majors created and conducted by HEIs moderated by Dr. Stanisław Mock and Dr. Dariusz Surowik.

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