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Focus on the Humanities
October 1, 2010   
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With 10 full-time graduate courses, 25 postgraduate courses, and 5,000 students, Humanitas University (WSH) in the city of Sosnowiec is the largest private university in the southern province of Silesia. It is also a major hub of cultural and community life in the region.

The university began operating in the spring of 1997. Today it runs courses in administration, journalism and social communication, English studies, European studies, history, political science, pedagogy, management as well as one engineering course—environmental protection. A new course in sociology will be added in the 2010/2011 academic year. Each course is available in a full-time and extramural option.

Several courses—management and marketing; administration; journalism; and pedagogy—are available at the master’s level, and the rest are offered at the bachelor’s level.

Humanitas University is the only private university in Silesia province to offer master’s courses in administration, journalism and social communication.

The university regularly monitors the regional labor market, adapting its educational services to market needs. Among other specialists, it trains sports reporters, political PR specialists, specialists in European funds, and advertising and corporate image specialists. In the 2010/2011 academic year, the university will begin to train online journalists, and in the near future it plans to launch new courses in psychology, computer science and public health.

IT is it

In May, the university received zl.1.2 million from the municipal authorities as a subsidy for computerization. These funds are being used to modernize the computer labs and build an advanced information technology system. The university will set up a special computer platform for e-learning as well as launching a virtual administration service enabling speedy transfer of information between the university administration, students and staff. Special infokiosks will appear where students and candidates will be able to find information about the school and check their grades, class schedules and curricula. Another component of the IT system will be the SharePoint information management platform, providing the faculty with tools for internet teleconferences, e-management, maintaining e-archives, creating websites and writing blogs.

Postgraduate courses

Humanitas University runs 25 postgraduate courses at its Postgraduate and Training Course Center. It organizes numerous courses and workshops targeted at the residents of Sosnowiec and secondary school students as well as local entrepreneurs in the Zagłębie area.

Secondary school students can take part in two free educational programs, “With Pen in Hand” and “Plan Your Future.”

The first is a series of journalism workshops taught by the WSH faculty and active journalists. Junior and senior high school students can learn about the theory of mass communication and forms of journalism and then apply this information during practical exercises.

The “Plan Your Future” program is an employment support workshop targeted mainly at senior high school graduates, to brief them on labor market developments, attractive and promising university courses, and teach them how to write a resume and cover letter.

Since 2009, the WSH has been a part of the “Postgraduate Studies for Entrepreneurs and Employees” program targeted at the business community. The program, run by the Education for Enterprise Association and four partner universities, offers postgraduate courses for both businesspeople and wage earners, enabling them to upgrade their qualifications in areas such as management, law, taxes and insurance, bookkeeping and finance, EU funds, audits and control, human resources, foreign markets, information technology, communication and media. Some of these courses combine regular classes with e-learning in a form of education known as blended learning. The project benefits from European Union funds under the European Social Fund.

European studies

The WSH was the first private university in southern Poland to get the go-ahead to run courses in European studies. The school works with 10 partner universities in both EU and non-EU countries such as Russia and Ukraine. It has signed long-term agreements on cooperation with universities in Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Germany and Turkey. Talks are under way with a university in Valladolid, Spain, on launching a joint course in English studies. Graduates would receive a dual degree, from both universities. The WSH has been taking part in the Erasmus program for four years, holding student and faculty exchanges with other universities in the EU. Students can also take part in summer internships at the partner schools. Some of them, for example the University of Turin in Italy, insist that visiting students study in the local language, so the WSH makes every effort to teach its students foreign languages, not just English but also other European languages. Students can obtain international language certificates—the WSH is a local exam center for the British Council and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, a nonprofit assessment organization that provides examinations in English language ability for non-native speakers of English and English teaching qualifications.

Cooperation with Ukraine is a major part of the university’s international contacts. A number of Ukrainian students are completing courses in European studies, European administration and journalism at the WSH—all attractive fields for young Ukrainians in the context of their country’s potential EU membership in the future. The WSH works closely with a language school in Lviv that also acts as a recruitment center. Another Lviv secondary school is interested in working together in providing an education in environmental protection; plans are being considered for an agreement under which the Ukrainian school’s graduates could study this field at the WSH. Young Ukrainians coming to Sosnowiec to study first take an intensive Polish language course at the WSH, and the school also provides them with dorm accommodation.
Ewa Dereń
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