Gowin: We have a historic chance to attract scientists to Poland

Today Poland has a historic opportunity to attract the best scientists - said Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin, referring to the draft law on the National Agency for Academic Exchange.

Last Friday on Polish Radio One Gowin was asked about the draft law on the National Agency for Academic Exchange (Narodowa Agencja Wymiany Akademickiej NAWA), prepared by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

According to the Minister of Science, the project will make it possible to attract scientists to Poland. "For 250 Poland has been drained of the best minds. After we entered the EU, tens of thousands of Polish scientists emigrated within Europe and around the world. Most of whom were young, brilliant people. Today we have a historic chance to reverse this brain drain vector, Poland can start to bring back its brightest minds, but also attract scientists not only from across our eastern border, but also from the West" - said Gowin.

In his opinion, Poland can offer security to scientists. "Poland is a very safe country. It really matters. I often talk to scientists who say that they feel safe here in Poland" - he added. He acknowledged that the salaries of researchers were not very high. But - he continued - working conditions have improved thanks to the EU funds. "Many spectacular campuses have been built, such as the Jagiellonian University campus. The position of Polish universities has been falling for many years, but we will reverse this process" - added Deputy Prime Minister.

"Spending on scientific research increases and it must increase. Both foreign scientists and Polish researchers working abroad are accustomed to not living off their salaries, those are not high in the West either. They depend on research grants. That is the reason why Poland is becoming a really attractive country for good scientists" - he added.

Gowin emphasized that the reform of higher education was being built through continuous dialogue. "We will see whether this method will produce results, but even the European Commission praises the way we reform Polish science" - he said.

On Wednesday at the first reading of the the draft law on the National Agency for Academic Exchange in the Sejm, all parliamentary groups voted in favour of referring the draft for further work in the parliamentary committee.

The National Agency for Academic Exchange will be a specialized government agency whose primary purpose will be to stimulate the process of internationalisation of Polish higher education and science. The most important tasks of the Agency will be to initiate scholarship programs for foreigners and programs supporting the academic exchange of researchers and academic teachers. The Agency will also disseminate information about the Polish higher education and science system and promote the Polish language abroad. In addition, other ministries or territorial self-government units may entrust the Agency with running their scholarship programs. (PAP)


Source: PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland