Dominik Antonowicz, Romulo Pinheiro and Marcelina Smurzewska published a paper “The changing role of students’ representation in Poland: an historical appraisal” in Studies Higher Education.
Student representation in Poland has a relatively short but turbulent history. This article offers an historical appraisal of the development of student representation at the national level in the context of rapid and deep structural changes in Polish higher education. Based on a desktop analysis of official documentation, legislation, ideological declarations and background (first-hand) information provided by student leaders, the article reconstructs the establishment of the first independent self-governing student organisation in the country. In so doing, the paper pays particular attention to the emergence, institutionalisation as well as legitimacy challenges facing student bodies either as formalised organisations or more bottom-up (loosely coupled) structures resembling social movements. In addition, the paper sheds light on the Student Parliament’s role in the policymaking process, most notably as regards the recent neoliberal reforms. The article’s final section speculates about the future of student representation in Poland and suggests avenues for future research.