Michal Iwaszkiewicz University of Social Sciences (WSUS) is a non-State institution acting on the basis of the Act of the Minister of National Education and Sports on the Higher Education of 12.09.1990 with later amendment, and on the basis of its deed of foundation. The University has acquired legal status upon its entry, under no. 134, into the register of non-State higher education institutions kept by the Minister of National Education and Sports. The University was funded on 11th September 1997. Following the Education Minister’s decision, the School’s Founder – the Centre for Research in the Contemporary Arts Market, Ltd (Osrodek Badania Rynku Sztuki Wspolczesnej – OBRSW) – was granted a permission to run and operate a non-State educational institution with its first programme being in ‘Management and Marketing’. The University benefits greatly from the Founder’s R&D and educational activities. The Centre was established in 1985 by the academic research workers of the Adam Mickiewicz University, the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and the Poznan University of Economics. The Centre, in the years 1993-1997, apart from its R&D activities carried out intensive educational activities by setting up and running the Manager Study Centre, [whose graduates established the Association of Culture Managers in Poland in 1985] and the Advertising and Promotion Study Centre, plus many other courses, training sessions and workshops.
On 29th September 1999 following the Education Minister’s decision, the School was permitted to open and run its second 3-year BA degree programme in ‘Journalism and Social Communications’; and on 21st December 2001 its Faculty Branch in Katowice with the same major. On 10th July 2003 after the Sports and Education Minister’s decision, the School started its Master’s degree programme in ‘Journalism and Social Communications’.
However, the time of vital changes started when two new 3-year BA degree programmes were opened. The programmes are: the ‘Protection of Culture Heritage’ with its unique in Poland specialisation being in ‘Legal Protection of Culture Heritage’; and the ‘Science Information and Librarianship’, which apart from its modern approach to teaching librarianship refers to the tradition of librarianship that used to be taught at the A. Mickiewicz University in Poznan.
Beyond any doubt, the stage of particularly dynamic development turned out to be the academic year of 2005/2006. In June, following the Minister’s decision, the Michal Iwaszkiewicz University of Social Sciences was permitted to open and run its new Faculty of Art with its three new 3-year BA degree programmes being in: Painting, Design and Interior Decorating. Moreover, this academic year the School is very likely to receive a permission to educate students in a full 5-year cycle at its newly-opened faculty, which will end-up in Master’s degrees.
Opening such a big faculty, changing the profile of the School, has turned out to a big challenge for the University particularly that it has to provide academic personnel for the new structure. This personnel comprises mostly of the academic lecturers previously associated with Wyższa Szkoła Sztuki Stosowanej ‘Schola Posnaniensis’.
The University’s educational offer has also been extended by opening additional Faculty Branches not only in Katowice but also in Kutno and Konin. Thus in Katowice there is, apart form the main Faculty of the Journalism and Social Communications, a new 3-year BA degree programme in ‘International Relations’ with its consular-diplomatic specialization. The same programme and specialization has been opened in a new Branch Faculty in Konin. However, the most important achievement this year has been the set-up of a new Branch Faculty in Kutno with its 5-year MA programme in Law.
All these dynamic structural changes have resulted in the fact that the jubilee (10th anniversary) academic year of 2006/007, the University of Social Sciences has inaugurated with six faculties: The first three in Poznan: the Faculty of Humanities with two programmes being in ‘ Journalism and Social Sciences’ (1-cycle BA and 2-cycle MA studies) and in ‘Science Information and Librarianship’ (1-cycle BA studies); the Faculty of Social Sciences with the two programmes being in ‘Management and Marketing’ (1-cycle BA studies) and in ‘Legal Protection of Culture Heritage’; the Faculty of Art with three programmes being in “Painting’, ‘Design’ and ‘Interior Decorating’. The remaining three faculties are in Kutno: the Faculty of Law (1-cycle BA and 1-cycle MA studies) then in Konin: the 3-year BA degree programme being in ‘International Relations’; and finally in Katowice with its 3-year BA programmes in ‘Journalism and Social Communications’ and the already-mentioned ‘International Relations’.
Since June 2004 the University of Social Sciences has been located in its new premises, which is a modern building at Glogowska Street. The main offices of the School are situated in the very centre of Poznan on the grounds of the Poznan International Pairs (PIF); 300-meter distance to the railway station and 1000-meter distance to the coach station. This allows for comfortable and easy access from almost all parts of the city due to its excellent location close to all major public services (trams and buses). In the vicinity there are three major banks with 24h cash machines, fast food bars, McDonalds and restaurants. The University’s building is well equipped with all necessary modern study facilities such as a big computer laboratory and audio-visual rooms. Access to the Internet is also possible due to a number of computer stations located all over the building, which function in the WLAN network. Students who possess their own computers can easily browse the Internet via the network. The classrooms are air conditioned and equipped with all necessary study facilities, allowing students to work and study in a comfortable environment. There is also a school bar that offers snacks and refreshments and a special area where students can sit, relax and eat their meals. Starting a new faculty has also challenged the University was to providing an adequate space where students and lecturers can find proper conditions for work and study. In consequence of this, the Faculty of Art has inaugurated its academic year in a new part of the School’s buildings. The system of studios, lecture halls and rooms necessary for the proper functioning of the whole structure of the School’s new faculty occupies the area of nearly 1000 m2 and is situated at Kolejowa Street in Poznan, which is just 150-meter distance form the main premises of the University.
‘Knowledge and skills’ is the fundamental and guiding principle that accompanies all the activities carried out by the University of Social Sciences (WSUS). The School’s intention is to handover thorough knowledge supported by the WSUS academic personnel’s practical skills, competence and experience, as well as to meet current social needs. The University educates students according to its programmes and general standards of education, however, beyond this; our objective is to train students in an exclusive and unique way. Tit is thus so important for the University to expand and find new educational perspectives for the students, which in future will enable them to find proper employment on the market, the employment according to their preferences and their personal career paths. It is also worth mentioning that on graduation our students try to stay in touch with their School, appreciating not only the knowledge and skills obtained but also the level of education, the methods of passing this knowledge and above all the University’s unique atmosphere.