The Future of the University? Social Activism among Young Polish Scholars - Publication - Bridge of Knowledge


The Future of the University? Social Activism among Young Polish Scholars


The question “Quo vadis, Academia?” is posed by scholars, research administrators, journalists and is also ofound in public opinion in Poland in different contexts. Authors of the article do not call into question the necessity of changes of contemporary universities, but they think that the source of changes should be characterized by a bottom-up approach, especially by those who have already achieved extraordinary scientific success and understand the requirement for “creative destruction” of traditional forms of the university (seen as an organization). Changes in university should not be a result of administrators’ and university managers’ decisions (as a top-down approach), but rather should be initiatives caused by the academic community. These engaged initiatives might take different forms – associations, foundations and membership in academic committees as well as different kinds of new social movements. An example of such a social movement is Obywatele Nauki (the Citizens of Academia). Its members are young (usually postdoctorates), as well as more experienced scholars, who – despite the fact of achieving scientific and academic success – are working for the common good and the good of the university, which is seen as an important social institution. One of the goals of the movement is to defy the process of the “de-universitification” of universities. They are against the idea and practice of the neo-liberal university, led by the idea of profit, what is measured by the effectiveness of commercialization of achievements. Authors of the article present ethnographically inspired research among the representatives of the movement. The researches were conducted using ethnographic and anthropological methodologies in the field of higher education studies (also as an action research). Therefore, methods used in this study were the following: interviews (IDI) with leaders and members of the movement and participant observation. An important aspect of the research in the context of conclusions and possible applications, but also for the conceptualization and operationalization of the research, is engagement of both authors in the activities of the movement. Hence, it is necessary to use an auto-ethnography as a specific research perspective.


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Monographic publication
rozdział, artykuł w książce - dziele zbiorowym /podręczniku w języku o zasięgu międzynarodowym
Title of issue:
The Future of University Education strony 123 - 144
Publication year:
Bibliographic description:
Leja K., Kola A.: The Future of the University? Social Activism among Young Polish Scholars// The Future of University Education/ ed. M.Izak, M. Kostera, M. Zawadzki : Springer, 2017, s.123-144
Digital Object Identifier (open in new tab) 10.1007/978-3-319-46894-5_7
Verified by:
Gdańsk University of Technology

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