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Author: Jolanta Skwaradowska     Published At: 12.02.2024

PLN 2 million for the development of SUT teaching staff

The National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) will provide universities with over PLN 53 million from European Funds for projects aimed at developing the teaching potential of academic staff in the context of future challenges. The Silesian University of Technology will receive nearly PLN 2 million for this purpose.

NCBR has resolved the competition "Development of qualifications and competences of teaching staff", announced as part of the European Funds for Social Development (FERS) program. As a result, 21 universities from all over Poland will conduct projects thanks to which academic teachers and doctoral students will improve or strengthen their skills, especially in teaching, in the field of green and digital transformation. One of the winners of the competition is the Silesian University of Technology, which will receive almost PLN 2 million for this purpose. 

The project "Silesian University of Technology - a university supporting staff on the way to excellence" met the competition requirements to the greatest extent, taking first place among the projects selected for funding in terms of the number of points obtained. An experienced team of employees of our university, appointed by prof. Marek Pawełczyk, Vice-Rector for Science and Development, is responsible for the implementation of this project.

The project is addressed to staff employed at the Silesian University of Technology in teaching and research-didactic positions, as well as doctoral students studying at the Joint Doctoral School of the Silesian University of Technology, conducting classes with students. This is a total of 230 people interested in improving their competences and qualifications.

– To ensure a high level of education in the higher education system, it is necessary to provide adequate substantive and didactic preparation of the staff involved in teaching and conducting classes with students, including doctoral students. The need to expand the qualifications and competences of staff results from constantly occurring changes, the evolution of knowledge and the need to adequately respond to issues like climate change, shrinking resources of the planet, social and economic development, which translates into the expansive progress of the so-called high opportunities sectors (IT, energy). Staff adequately equipped with competences should have the latest knowledge and practical skills, as well as appropriate qualifications that will translate into the quality of student education, and thus the development of the economy, green and digital transformation - said the project manager dr Anna Waligóra, assistant professor at the Department of Production Engineering at the Faculty of Organization and Management of the Silesian University of Technology,.

The aim of the project "Development of qualifications and competences of teaching staff" is to improve the quality of education within two years.

– In recent years, the Silesian University of Technology has introduced changes within the university, focusing on improving infrastructure, system integrity and organizational efficiency. The changes introduced, as well as the development of new technologies, the increasing importance of green and digital transformation and the ongoing economic and social transformations, including those related to new generations of students, result in the need to constantly enrich the fields of study and the educational process by systematically improving the competences and qualifications of the University's teaching staff.  Both employees and doctoral students of the Silesian University of Technology expressed great interest in these activities, notes dr Anna Waligóra.

The Silesian University of Technology, as a Research University, is intensively involved in innovations focused on the processes of education and competence development. In recent years, as part of many successfully implemented projects of the “Knowledge Education Development Operational Program,” numerous tools and forms have been introduced at the university to improve the competences and qualifications of staff, thanks to the support of NCBR. These projects were recognized by the university authorities as strategic projects, which are some of the key bases for the university's development.

–  A public university is defined by its employees, who constitute invaluable human capital influencing many aspects, such as the value of future generations, improvement of the quality of life and economic growth of the country. The integral and lasting development of the university, which translates into the development of the country, is possible through continuous and constant improvement of the competences of the teaching staff as a response to changes taking place in the turbulent external environment and inside the organization. The needs analysis that took place recently showed that teaching staff are willing to improve their competences and have a need to constantly develop knowledge and enrich their work towards professionalization - adds dr Waligóra.

Changes resulting from the introduction of new and modified fields of study at the Silesian University of Technology adapted to the development of the economy and the needs of green and digital transformation have caused employees and doctoral students of the Silesian University of Technology to encounter new challenges related to the education of students and the need to fill the emerging competence gap. 

– Recently conducted diagnosis of the needs of university employees and doctoral students confirm this. As a result of the research, a need to improve competences or obtain qualifications through postgraduate studies, including specialized and prestigious MBA studies, combining elements of management, economics and finance, entrepreneurship, communication and marketing with a focus on specific industries was identified - said dr Anna Waligóra.

The development challenges of the Polish economy also include the domestic and foreign internships and study visits planned in the project, which aim to improve the teaching and substantive competences of employees and doctoral students by familiarizing them with real problems and solutions in industry and business. In this way, they will be able to adapt their teaching classes to current industrial and business problems focused on modern production and technological processes related to production management, the circular economy and the transformation of the digital and green economy.

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