Center for Public Policy Studies

Professor Kwiek in “Science and Public Policy” – on the “Deinstitutionalization of the Research Mission in Polish Universities”

June, 2012

Professor Marek Kwiek published a paper “Changing higher education policies: From the deinstitutionalization to the reinstitutionalization of the research mission in Polish universities”  in Science and Public Policy.


This paper analyzes changing higher education policies in Poland in the last two decades. It argues that top Polish public universities became divided, with different individual academic and institutional trajectories in the academic fields in which educational expansion occurred (social sciences) and in fields in which it was much less pronounced (natural sciences). Using the concepts drawn from new institutionalism in organizational studies, this paper views the 1990s as the period of the deinstitutionalization of traditional academic rules and norms in public universities, with growing uncertainty about the core of the academic identity. In the expansion era (1990–2005), prestigious public research universities became excessively teaching-oriented. In the period of educational contraction, their currently teaching-oriented segments are expected to become research-intensive. New legislation grounded in an instrumental view of higher education is interpreted as a return to a traditional academic normative consensus, with increased emphasis on, and funding for, the research mission.