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Kola Anna Maria (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland)
Social Innovations Implemented by Higher Education Institutions as Elements of Process of Teaching Accreditation and Research Assessment in Poland in the European Context
Torun International Studies, 2023, nr 1(17), s. 101-110, tab., bibliogr. 36 poz.
Issue title
A Modern Model of Cooperation between Universities and Social and Business Environment. An International Context
Innowacje społeczne, Szkolnictwo wyższe, Akredytacja, Dydaktyka
Social innovations, Higher education, Accreditation, Didactics
The purpose of this article is to describe and analyze social innovation implemented by Polish higher education institutions (HEIs) as an element of teaching accreditation and research assessment processes in (1) the context of the third mission of the university and (2) concerning other European science and higher education systems. The paper takes as its starting point an analysis of the literature and discourse on innovation in the university in relation to teaching and research. That was followed by reviewing and interpreting documents of the Polish Accreditation Committee (PKA) and the Committee for the Evaluation of Academic Units (KEJN). For the study, the author read 103 program evaluation reports of the Polish Accreditation Commission to look for the bad and best practices in criteria for scientific and professional cooperation between the university and stakeholders. Finally, a comparative approach was adopted, pointing to the international context of the discussed subject, including the agencies in each country undertaking evaluations analogous to PKA and KEJN. Innovations are essential factors of social development, realized not only by different types of companies but also by the private, public, or non-governmental sectors. Organizations and institutions operating in the economy, including universities, whose general activities are situated in different areas, create their own typical and original innovations to increase work efficiency and transparency. The other aim is to raise employees' subjectivity or proficiency level. Nowadays, social innovations have become part of the statutory activities of the university (treated as the Third Mission - TM), located in the sphere of two main tasks, i.e., education and research. As a main result, there are 11 universities (in the group of 103) whose forms and ways of collaboration were evaluated below the required standards. On the other hand, in the case of 4 universities, experts pointed to good practice. The individual case studies in the article describe one and the other group in detail. The article discusses existing definitions of social innovation. It also proposes a new one dedicated to universities that can be beneficial from the point of view of teaching accreditation and research assessment processes. The text additionally analyses good practices in cooperation with the stakeholders, which can be defined as social innovations. The analysis is presented in the European context.(original abstract)
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