This year Forum, initiated by The Polish Accreditation Committee, was concentreated on the impressions related with the impact of the pandemic of COVID-19 on the present and the future of higher education and its stakeholders in Poland. The Comittee, as a keymotive of the conference indicated main crises and opportunities about whom we have been find out or which have been casused by pandemic. We were convinced that the discussion would allow as to put into words conclusions and perspectives for the future of ensuring quality in higher education in Poland.
Substantive debate on the future of higher education
The title of the Quality Forum was: What did we learn about higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic? Ensuring the quality of education in higher education – crises and opportunities in the short and long term. The conference pointed out the urgency need for debates and talks about the changes that have occurred in the higher education sector over the last year. PKA, as the creator and organizer of the Quality Forum, had the opportunity to present all the challenges it faced with during in the field of remote evaluation of the quality of education and the methods by which it performs statutory tasks. President of the PKA – prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Diks spoke about the functioning of the Committee while the pandemic have been lasting and about the solutions which was implemented at the beginig of the crisis and which allows us to carry out of planned activities. During the conference, prof. dr hab. Włodzimierz Bernacki – Secretary of State in the Ministry of Education and Science, spoke about the policy of MEiN associated with specifics solutions which were cerate and develop during the COVID-19 pandemic. The seminars – prepared with the participation of our partners – allowed to delve a bit more into the subject of transition to a hybrid or remote teaching and learning model. During the seminars, among others issues, the panelists discused about: implementation programs of study in remote learning, verification and assessment of learning outcomes, difficulties of students in remote teaching and learning, preparation of teaching staff to conduct classes using methods and techniques of distance education, support (technical and psychological) of students and staff in the teaching and learning process or the specificity of training on a practical profile and virtual apprenticeships (taking into account the expectations of employers).
What is particularly important, this year’s edition of the Quality Forum showed how many doubts, fears and challenges were faced by all stakeholoders of higher education sector with during the pandemic crisis. On the other hand, the pandemic created many oportunities and possibilities to developed and learning new methods of comunication, digital skills or others activities which will casues progress in whole sector.
Quality and professionalism
This year’s Quality Forum created by, Polish Accreditation Committee has become both an organizational challenge and an opportunity for the institution. Due to the current epidemic situation, the Forum for the first time was organised online. The remote formula of the event turned out to be a solution that, although demanding in terms of preparations for the Committee and its Bureo, created opportunities for a debate in with much more wider audience, with the participation of numerous participants.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Comittee repeatedly undertook activities aimed at the continuous development of a constructive dialogue with all stakeholders who is taking part in the process of ensuring the quality of education (e.g. by organizing webinars for universities and remote meetings of the PKA Presidium with Rectors’ Conferences), thus gaining valuable experience . The Quality Forum 2021 gathered a group of speakers and listeners who on June 9 this year through the ClickMeeting platform, they became our virtual partners and guests, contributing to the success of this undertaking, for which we would like to express our thanks.
Over 1,300 registered users and over 1,000 participants from all over Poland and abroad gathered in a group of listeners, 35 speakers representing the most important institutions and organizations operating on a daily basis in the higher education system, as well as over 10 hours of broadcasting, which were filled with substantive discussion.
We would not have been able to organize an event so important for the future of higher education without the presence of our partners who not only took part in the debates, but also co-organized seminars conducted as part of the Quality Forum. We wish to express our special thanks to: The Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (CRASP), The Conference of Rectors of HEIs of Pedagogy (KRUPed); The Conference od Rektor of States University of Apply Science (KRePUZ) and the Students’ Parliament of the Republic of Poland (PSRP). We also would like to express our greatfulness to all partners and participants: The Conference of Rectors of Universities of Technology; The Conference of Rectors of Medical HEIs; Conference of Rectors of HEIs of Fine Arts, The Conference of Rectors of Apply Science Higher School in Poland; The Conference of Rectors of Polish Universities; Ministry of Education and Science, Central Council of Science and Higher Education, The Polish Chamber of Commerce and National Representation of Doctoral Students.
All conducted debates, in-depth analyzes and summaries ehhibit a clear need – supported by theses presented during the Forum – for further discussion on more detailed levels. It turned out that in today’s,marked by restrictions, reality, the broadly understood academic community faces a deficit of free exchange of opinions, sharing doubts and experiences between the stakeholders of the higher education system. PKA, has recognized this need and will be continuing to put every effort to improve the quality of education by supporting initiatives to implement constructive conclusions from the discussions that have already been held, and to create room for further debates. We will inform you about our plans in due time.
Thank you for being with us
The Quality Forum 2021 gathered over a thousand participants from Poland and abroad. The adopted format turned out to be a favorable prospect. We receive signals on an ongoing basis from representatives of the entire academic community, who positively assess the implementation of the Forum in terms of content and organization. In our name and our parnters we would like to thank for every person who write to us after the confrences. We are vry greatful for you opinions and it will help us to streamline our activities and improve the process of organizing further events in the future.