Economics and Innovation University (WSEI)
The University of Economics and Innovation in Lublin (WSEI) was established on the strength of the permission of the Minister of Education and Sport dated October 24th, 2000. WSEI is registered in the register of vocational higher education institutions in the Ministry of Science and Higher Education under the number 57.
The founder of the university is the Polish Foundation of the Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) Poland, which is a private non-governmental organization based in Lublin. The Foundation was established in 1991 on the initiative of members of the local society who were interested in stimulating the socio-economic development of the Lublin Region. The mission of WSEI is to prepare highly qualified professionals who will be able to meet European standards and who will then reinforce the human resources potential and enhance the capacity of local government institutions in terms of public finance management, strategic planning, or absorption and management of EU funds. In the context of the economic development of the region, those mentioned areas of activities are the key challenges that the public and private sector will face in the next few years.
Mrs. Teresa Bogacka : The idea of an independent, creative private education institution was born in August 1999, after undertaking the duties of the President of the Board of OIC Poland Foundation. That idea was strongly supported by Mr. Stanisaw Wglarz, the founder and Chairman of the Board of OIC Poland Foundation, the body running the university. The conception of the modern educational institution was created and developed by my co-workers from Lublin Business School. When bringing that goal into life, I benefited from 9 years’ of professional experience derived from running the Lublin Business School and other business-related skills gained in international institutions. Our creative, competence-based team was well prepared to take up new challenges and face arising difficulties. In the context of new investment opportunities, it was a difficult time due to the deep economic recession, high unemployment rate, and social distrust and dissatisfaction with changes in general. Our effort in setting up a private university was strongly supported by the then Vice Minister of Science and Higher Education, Prof. Jerzy Zdrada. As a result of my actions, I received the permission of the Minister to set up a non-public higher education institution with an economic profile based in Lublin under the name University of Economics and Innovation in Lublin. A great many people didn’t believe my visions to come true about the fully professional university due to the fact that many problems had arisen from the very beginning: lack of financial resources, administrative facilities, equipment, and others. Therefore, many people with academic backgrounds did not want to associate with us on a permanent basis. At that time, there were six higher education institutions in Lublin, five public ones and one non-public one. WSEI was the seventh. The Board of Directors of OIC Poland appointed Prof. Mirosław Żak from Krakow to the position of Rector of WSEI and Michał Jarmuł, PhD, to the position of Vice-Rector of WSEI. The latter one made a significant contribution to creating the structures of our university and currently occupies the post of Chairman of the Board of OIC Poland Foundation. WSEI started its educational activities in the academic year 2001/2002.
Initially, the lectures were conducted in the building taken over from the bankrupt’s estate of Daewoo Motor Poland Ltd., located at the address: 7/9 Megiewska Street, Lublin.The first academic year (2001/2002) started with 400 students and 5 specializations on the educational offer: economics of small and medium enterprises; real estate services; finance & regional development; computer sciences & business; and public administration. At present, the number of 1st and 2nd degree students amounts to 9 000 and 11,000, including postgraduate students. The school building has been expanded with a new wing. Our room facilities have increased approximately 9 times when compared to the first year of the activity, reaching a surface area of 8,000 sq. m. The total area, including a modern academic library, is used for didactic purposes. The first graduates left our university in June 2004, and currently we have 6,767 graduates. We can be proud of our graduates, who occupy prestigious administrative positions and managerial posts in public service institutions, e.g. hospitals, courts, police, and tax offices, and in a wide range of private sector companies too. Our academic staff educate people whose skills and level of education meet the requirements of the labour market. The principle of compatibility between the educational process and economic practice allows our graduates not only to find an attractive job, but also to establish their own thriving companies or modernise existing ones. The students leaving our University are open-minded and well-prepared to take up new initiatives aimed at supporting poor and underdeveloped regions to minimise the differences and create equal opportunities for all regions of the EU. We owe our success mainly to a high level of education, which combines academic knowledge with a close relationship and practice of socio-economic life, which is very rare among higher schools. The high level of the educational process is maintained by a diligently selected didactic staff with the proper academic degrees and necessary academic experience. A great part of the staff also has significant practical experience derived from their non-academic activities. Such an excellent team is a guarantee of a high level of education relating to the economic realities of our region while meeting the EU requirements. It is worth mentioning that our educational offer is constantly modified to match the demands of the labour market, which is expressed by creating new programs and specialties. At present, the didactic staff is a team of 122 people employed on contract agreements, and for 65 of them, it is the main workplace, 68 of them work as administrative staff, and the remaining over 200 didactic personnel are employed based on long-term specific-tasks contracts.
The overall number of WSEI and OIC Poland staff amounts to approximately 450 people. WSEI maintains academic relations with a few higher education institutions, e.g., Lublin University of Technology, Medical University of Lublin, and University of Life Sciences in Lublin. Moreover, our university actively cooperates with the local educational and business environment sectors, which include the most important companies and local government institutions for South-East Poland. At present, WSEI, together with OIC Poland Foundation, is running 59 projects with an overall amount of PLN 157 752. Those projects are oriented towards diverse social groups and provide solutions to specific social problems. Implementation of EU-founded projects enables us to strengthen relations with schools at all levels, from primary schools to higher education institutions. Those programs aimed at supporting the education sector are of significant importance to us because they provide direct solutions to specific problems, such as: unequal access to educational opportunities; overcoming barriers of higher education; and widening opportunities to develop occupational skills suited to labor market needs. Under the framework of projects for school support, we established and developed cooperation with 161 educational units. One of the most important ventures among the project activities is the School of Key Competences. Development Program: upgrading of skills by pupils from Eastern, Central, and South-Western Poland. The mentioned support program covered a total of 9000 pupils from 90 specialized lower secondary schools in 4 voivodships. The youth have been offered an array of activities with the view of helping them recognize their occupational predispositions. The individual diagnosis carried out among pupils enables them to map their abilities and create an appropriate training plan. The youth could develop their knowledge with regards to entrepreneurship, mathematics, information technology, and foreign languages through attending optional classes or during vocational summer camps. The young people have been acquainted with the running of the local businesses. They could also acquire practical knowledge on how to shape their own career path in the future. In the long term, a well educated society will have a positive impact on further socio-economic development of the region. After 10 years of life, the university has 11 degree programs on offer in academic year 2010/2011, of which 4 faculties have undergraduate and graduate programs, 1 uniformed studies at master’s level in psychology and 3 faculties of engineering profile. At present, we are awaiting the authorization of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to run the doctoral studies at the Faculty of Psychology. Thanks to the invaluable support of Minister Krzysztof Hetman, WSEI has obtained a 17 million lb grant for laboratories in transport and computer sciences. From now on, our didactic infrastructure in terms of modernity will be the best one in the Lublin Region. The Board of Lublin Voivodship under Marshal Krzysztof Grabczuk made a significant contribution to our success through financial support, for which I would like to give him my thanks. New building facilities are necessary for the further development of educational activities as well as carrying out cutting-edge research activities. Transfer of knowledge and innovation between business units, public institutions, and academic bodies plays a crucial role, particularly in a regional context. As one of the leading institutions in the educational market, WSEI understands the value it brings to the city and the region, positioning itself as an enterprise university and embedding innovation and creativity at the heart of all its activities. By embracing fully its social and economic responsibilities, WSEI demonstrates the key role universities play in leading the development of the region. At the core of our enterprise-led approach is the development of the enterprise culture, which is focused on providing opportunities for students to fully engage with business, the community, and the public sector. What is most striking about us, creating an opportunity for real growth, are our innovations, which give us an opportunity to build upon an already excellent reputation for teaching and working closely with business and community groups. The key word “innovation” is not only in the name of our university, but modern technologies are visible in the methods of teaching, and new specialties are constantly adapted to labor market needs and resistant to economic changes. The innovative methods apply to the entire education process through the implementation of pilot projects and know-how transfer in the areas of overcoming economic and social barriers and creating new opportunities for young people. WSEI has taken on the leadership role in promoting and enhancing the entrepreneurial skills of students, harnessing talents and creating incubators for new enterprising businesses. Innovations are our main asset, which is a real value for us. A vision of such a university has accompanied us from the very beginning in recent years. The decision to establish an institution of higher education, made by the late Mr. Stanisaw Wglarz, was not an easy one, but the intellectual potential of our team and our enormous willingness to use our knowledge and experience in the benefit of regional development confirmed our belief in success.
In 2010, WSEI celebrated its 10th anniversary together with OIC Poland Foundation – its founding body, which celebrated its 20th anniversary at the same time. Both institutions rank the highest in the educational market of South-East Poland. The University of Economics and Innovation in Lublin enjoys a good reputation and has stabilized a leadership position among the non-public higher institutions in the region. The excellent evidence of that statement is the number and total value of projects financed from EU resources aimed at human potential development not only at regional but also at national level.It is worth mentioning that under the framework of the Human Capital Operational Program for years 2007–2013, our university has already acquired from the European Social Fund the total amount of PLN 160 mln. Our projects cover 9 voivodships and aim at people of all social and occupational backgrounds. The core activities are focused on the education process of children and youth, through vocational guidance, initiation and support of entrepreneurial activities, creating changes that have a significant impact on socio-economic development in the region. Our staff are widely acknowledged experts in the field of acquisition and management of EU funds oriented towards implementing changes in the following thematic areas: economy, education, environment protection, entrepreneurship, and innovations (both in economic and social dimension).We are proud of our achievements to date, but our main assets are the young people who decided to study at our university to widen their job opportunities in the future. Just a few figures to confirm my words: In the 2001–2010 years, 7751 students graduated from our university; in academic year 2010/2011, a total of 3 328 students enrolled in the courses; in academic year 2010/2011, the total number of students reached over 10 500;the total number of postgraduate studies amounts to approx. 10 000 people; at present, we have 1459 participants in postgraduate programs. I strongly believe that the educational activities of our university will have an immense impact on the development of career opportunities for our students for the benefit of the Lublin Region. I am very proud of the position that WSEI has achieved over the years. I cannot think about those achievements without mentioning the people who contributed to creating their structures from the beginning and are still doing it nowadays.
For over 14 years, we have carried out our responsibilities with great pride.
Students and staff of WSEI can benefit from comfortable learning and working conditions. The university has its own modern didactic base, with an area of 12 000 m². This base contains 6 lecture halls, 5 large classrooms, 5 computer labs; and 40 classrooms for classes and seminars. Classrooms are equipped with modern multimedia equipment. WSEI also has 17 modern teaching laboratories equipped with unique scientific and research equipment that can be used by staff and students. Students of WSEI can also actively relax and develop their sporting passions, by using the gym and the sports hall, which have an area of 310.8 m² with adjacent sanitary facilities. Motorists have an access to a secure car park.
Accommodation in the student residence includes singles, doubles, and triples and ranges from 130–240 euros per month.
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In addition to the extremely reasonable tuition, the school offers scholarships & tuition discounts.
WSEI is a university of applied science.