The eighth edition of the LUMEN Conference is behind us! Over the course of two days – November 22-23, 2022 – nearly 20 panel discussions and presentations were held. LUMEN featured more than 50 speakers from Poland and abroad, both representatives of universities and key institutions of higher education, as well as companies, international associations and non-profit organizations.
This year’s edition of the largest conference for university management leaders was followed by more than 1,200 participants – thank you for your participation and all your questions and comments.
The inaugural part of the conference was opened by Prof. Lukasz Sulkowski, President of PCG Poland. Short keynote speeches were also delivered by Justyna Orłowska, Plenipotentiary of the Prime Minister for GovTech, Prof. Jerzy Woźnicki, President of the Board of the Polish Rectors Foundation, and Prof. Michał Zasada, Vice-Chairman of CRASP and Rector of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences.
SESSIONS ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE CONFERENCE AND THE AWARDS GALA OF THE
The conference began with a presentation by the Information Processing Center – PIB. OPI showed how, with the help of analytics, it is possible to transform huge sets of data collected for the purpose of evaluation into knowledge that can be valuable to all stakeholders – not only the ministry of science, but also the universities themselves, scientists and society. We also learned about the picture of the state of Polish higher education that emerges from the analysis of POL-on data.
Staying on the topic of evaluation, we smoothly moved on to the first panel discussion, in which the leaders of CRASP, RGNiSW, KEN, PRF and FNP evaluated the course of the whole process from the perspective of the institutions they represented. They shared opinions and conclusions from the completed evaluation, as well as suggestions for desirable changes in the ongoing period of the next evaluation.
This was followed by a debate on the management of the digital university, aimed at analyzing the strategies of Polish universities in the processes of digital transformation and identifying good practices. We looked at the issue from different perspectives, represented by the guests of the panel: the state (MEiN), the rectors of exemplary digitized universities (Białystok University of Technology and Kozminski University) and an IT company (Microsoft). The debate was moderated by Prof. Łukasz Sułkowski, President of PCG Poland – for those interested in this topic, we recommend the Professor’s book Managing a Digital University. Between the utopia of freedom and the dystopia of power (PWN 2022).
The next panel took us to the world of international rankings. Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer at Times Higher Education, spoke with the rectors of the three highest ranked Polish universities in THE World University Rankings – the Piastow Śląski Medical University in Wroclaw, Warsaw University and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. The panelists undertook an analysis of the opportunities and challenges facing universities on their way to the highest levels of the world rankings, and shared their experiences and tips related to participation in THE World University Rankings.
The highlight of LUMEN 2022 was the Awards Gala for the leaders of universities ranked in THE World University Rankings 2023 – the latest edition of the world’s most prestigious and recognizable ranking of universities. The awards were presented by Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer at Times Higher Education, and Prof. Lukasz Sulkowski, President of PCG Poland.
The list of awarded universities is given in the Gala summary available here. All the awarded universities deserve huge congratulations! They are Poland’s top performers, and we are glad that their successes are becoming more and more visible on the international arena. We are also proud that we can cooperate with many of these universities on a daily basis, carrying out joint projects and helping them realize their missions. We sincerely congratulate you and wish you continued international success!
SUMMARY OF THE WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS 2023 AWARDS GALA AT THE VIII CONFERENCE LUMEN 2022
The ceremony was preceded by a discussion of the methodology and results of the rankings (with particular emphasis on Polish universities) by Times Higher Education experts.
SESSIONS ON THE SECOND DAY OF THE CONFERENCE
We began the second day of LUMEN with a panel on European Universities. We learned the perspective of both experienced institutions and those just starting out within these international networks of universities.
The topic of internationalization was also touched upon by another panel devoted to the diagnosis of the visibility of Polish science and research on the international arena. Problems in this area were identified at the levels of the researcher, the university, as well as at the national and global levels. The panelists also presented good practices for promoting scientific achievements and potential strategic solutions.
The next discussion focused on the possibilities of university development using EU funds in the 2021-2027 financial perspective – most likely the last one in which universities will be able to obtain funds for informatization. The guests on the panel talked about what kind of support universities can count on in the new projects, what the total pool of funds for higher education is, and when these funds will reach beneficiaries.
The remaining three sessions focused on new technologies and specific IT solutions for universities. One of the debates was devoted to low-code technology, which allows applications to be built and processes to be digitized visually, without knowledge of programming languages. As Gartner predicts, by 2025 as much as 70% of new applications will be built using low-code. Not surprisingly, the panelists responded positively to the question posed in the title of the panel – yes, low-code technology can be a recipe for rising costs of IT products and services for universities as well.
The next two panels dealt with the sphere of education. We talked about modern forms of education and their effectiveness with representatives of universities betting on innovative didactics and companies supporting e-learning. Among other things, we learned about the WSB Academy’s experience in conducting courses in cooperation with business, as well as about opportunities and challenges related to microcredentials and MOOCs.
The last panel, meanwhile, allowed us to learn about the experiences of leading universities – Jagiellonian University, the Medical University of Bialystok and the University of Illinois Chicago – in using the Learning Management System. EDUCAUSE reports that in the U.S. as many as 99% of universities use LMS systems, and they are also becoming more common in Poland. A common choice is the Blackboard Learn Ultra solution. Using examples from their own universities, the panelists told how the implementation of such a platform changes the implementation of the teaching process.
The LUMEN 2022 program included not only debates, but also short presentations.
MEiN presented the concept of the Edukacja.gov.pl portal, which is to present the entire cross-section of information about the Polish education system, both education and at the higher education level.
NASK talked about the EZD RP project in the context of the digital transformation of Polish higher education institutions and how it will affect the functioning of university administration. Wolters Kluwer, in turn, presented the results of a survey conducted jointly with PRF among chancellors on tools supporting university management.
For our part, we presented the Sciencecloud system – a solution for collecting, analyzing and reporting on scientific and research output in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Science and Technology. We also summarized our cooperation with WEBCON and presented the tool we are implementing in universities as a WEBCON Premium Partner, the low-code WEBCON BPS platform. In the presentation, we used an example of specific processes related to a student’s e-textbook.
Our experts also discussed two case studies: the launch of a scientific repository based on DSpace 7 in a service model, and the use of Inspera Assessment, a secure online exam solution, by Kozminski University.
Recordings from this year’s LUMEN are available on our website and YouTube channel.
The organizers of the LUMEN 2022 Conference were PCG Academia, Times Higher Education and the Polish Rectors Foundation.
The Minister of Education and Science assumed honorary patronage of the conference. The conference was also under the patronage of the President of CRASP, the Polish Accreditation Commission, the Information Processing Center – PIB, NASK and the LEWIATAN Confederation. Media patronage for the conference was provided by EUPRIO, Academic Forum and PROM Association.
LUMEN’s partners were Anthology, Microsoft, Elsevier, euroCRIS, LYRASIS, WEBCON, Wolters Kluwer and Inspera.