studenci siedzący na sali konferencyjnej podczas konferencji
Author: Jolanta Skwaradowska     Published At: 17.04.2024
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Dual education – elite studies for ambitious students

Industry 4.0: The way to the professions of the future – under this slogan, the eighth conference of Dual Education – EDUAL took place at the Silesian University of Technology. The event was an opportunity to discuss and exchange experiences with other universities and entrepreneurs who take part in dual education.

The transformation of Upper Silesia from the area of heavy industry to the area of advanced technology industry creates a demand for highly qualified personnel and research and development facilities. Silesian University of Technology has been developing education in cooperation with the Katowice Special Economic Zone and the socio-economic environment for years.

However, there are questions about how to train specialists for Industry 4.0? How to prepare staff for the development of innovative technologies? What technical and soft skills should the employee of the professions of the future acquire? The participants of the eighth edition of the EDUAL – Dual Education – Dual Studies conference sought answers to the needs of Industry 4.0. The event took place at the Education and Congress Centre of the Silesian University of Technology.

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– The EDUAL conference is a good time to summarize the experience, share the good practices that our university and other universities that provide dual education have gained in this area. We want to share our experience because the Silesian University of Technology has its own specificity. We operate in the middle of the Katowice Special Economic Zone, so we cooperate with many companies. We will also be happy to hear what experience other partners have – said the Rector of the Silesian University of Technology, Prof. Arkadiusz Mężyk.

The event was attended by the Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education, Prof. Maria Mrówczyńska 

Dual studies are elitist. At the moment they are offered in Silesia, Poznań, Leszno and in state vocational schools. However, this is not yet a trend that dominates at universities, where we usually have studies of general academic or practical profile. The dual form is in the minority, which does not mean that it should not develop. On the contrary, in my opinion, such a path of development for universities is very good, especially now when we are in the age of demographic decline and students need to be attracted by an interesting offer - emphasized prof Mrówczyńska.

na zdjęciu przemawia minister Mrówczyńska

Silesian University of Technology was the first university in Poland to launch dual studies. A student who chooses this form of education already during his or her studies acquires valuable professional experience, and the program of these studies is established jointly with representatives of industry.

- The industry with which the Silesian University of Technology cooperates expects from us a graduate who is experienced. Employers are looking for specific competencies and the answer is dual studies. It is also important that every year we modernize the program and add new elements – said the Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Dr Hab. Eng. Anna Timofiejczuk, Prof. of Silesian University of Technology

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At the Silesian University of Technology, dual studies are offered in the field of Mechanical Engineering and Machine Technology at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.  This field is currently studied by over one hundred people, among them Patryk Gołąbek, who combines learning with working in an automotive company. “This is a difficult field of study because I have to combine work with learning, which is not easy at times. However, I think it is worth it, because it is a more practical profile and after graduation I plan to stay permanently in the company where I currently work - says the student. – Watching professionals at work, learning from them is extremely valuable – adds his colleague Bartosz Adamiec.

Krystian Teister, who recommends this mode of learning, has already completed dual studies “What I did at work was carried out in parallel with what I learned at the university. This allowed some subjects to be understood much better than if I had only a theory or a few workshops. In addition, I could make new contacts and learn how to function in a team – said Krystian Teister.

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The President of the Katowice Special Economic Zone, which from the very beginning has been cooperating with the Silesian University of Technology in creating dual courses, noted the benefits not only for students, but also for business.

“Today, no one needs to be convinced that apart from infrastructure, land and everything needed for investment, people are the most important. We need prepared, highly educated staff and this is happening thanks to dual studies. This is an elite course of study because this mode is chosen by the best students. On the one hand, they are demanding, but on the other hand, they give a great opportunity to a young person who knows from the very beginning what he wants to do in life and the employer can gain a good employee – said the president of the Katowice Special Economic Zone, Dr Janusz Michałek.

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During the conference, participants discussed not only topics related to dual education and industry needs, but also the role of soft skills or work-life balance. Lecture on “The evolution of soft skills. The new currency of the future and the foundation of success,” was delivered by Dr. Małgorzata Dobrowolska, Prof. of Silesian University of Technology

– The lecture concerned releasing our potential and developing soft skills. I put such a thesis that this will be the main currency and the foundation of success in the future - said the scientist.

Participants of the conference also visited laboratories at the university, there were also demonstrations of scientific clubs and student works.

na zdjęciu widzimy wykład prof. Dobrowolskiej w centrum edukacyjno kongresowym

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