Representatives of 43 Polish universities received "School of Leaders" certificates, awarded to universities for combining education quality with practical education of students and conducting studies in a manner that best prepares graduates for their future careers. Certificate ceremony was held at the Jagiellonian University. One of the media sponsors of the first edition of the certification program "School of Leaders" is PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland. The competition was organised under the auspices of the European Parliament. "The competition +School of Leaders+ awards universities that educate creative graduates, equipped with extensive knowledge and practical skills, and thus attractive on the labour market" - says the chairman of the board of the Foundation for the Development of Teaching and Higher Education, Grażyna Kaczmarczyk. "School of Leaders" certificates were awarded in three categories: public university, private university, and public higher vocational school. Seven of certificates awarded in the "public university" category, 28 - in the "private university" category, and eight went to "public higher vocational schools".
"After many years of contacts with young people I know how much the students appreciate the education at the universities cooperating with their environment, providing practical education, how much they care about having skills that can be successfully +sold+ in the labour market when they graduate. It seems clear that universities should remember and provide this. However, vary often they do not. Universities often educate in isolation from market realities, current trends in the economy. They are often not sufficiently flexible, they do not react to the reality that surrounds them as quickly, as students and candidates would expect them to. In this respect, you are leaders, and for that you receive these awards" - said Grażyna Kaczmarczyk during the final gala.
"School of Leaders" certificates were awardedby the jury composed of scholars from Polish public and private universities. The jury was chaired by Prof. Dariusz Rott, a member of the Higher Education Council, professor at the University of Silesia and an expert of the Ministry of Education. Certificates were given to schools, which scored at least 50 ranking points in the competition procedure, in 90 points possible to obtain. Points were given by reviewers evaluating applications of universities. Each application was verified independently by three competition reviewers. The competition also granted additional awards: "Primus" to universities, which obtained the highest number of ranking points, and "Aurea Praxis" to rectors, who exhibited special, personal commitment to the development and promotion of the idea of education for the labour market and business practice in their schools. 10 universities received "Primus" awards: Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, the University of Białystok, Łazarski School in Warsaw, Gdańsk University of Technology, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wrocław School of Banking, Jan Amos Comenius State Higher Vocational School in Leszno, the Witelon University of Applied Sciences in Legnica, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Kraków University and Stanisław Staszic College of Public Administration in Białystok. "Aurea Praxis" awards went to: Rector of Collegium Civitas in Warsaw Prof. Edmund Wnuk-Lipiński, in recognition of "activities aimed at improving the quality of teaching and heading the university implementing a modern and flexible curriculum based on practical education, preparing for life and career in a globalised world". The second winner was the rector of Jan and Jędrzej Śniadecki University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz Prof. Antoni Bukaluk. He received the award for "the creation in Bydgoszcz of the Regional Innovation Centre, with a purpose of initiating the distribution of innovative information for the entire Kujawsko-Pomorskie region and establishing and strengthening relations between science and economy". The third winner of the "Aurea Praxis" award was Rector of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń Prof. Andrzej Radzimiński for "the creation at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń of the most modern online public university career office for students and graduates"