Gdańsk universities join their forces

This is one of the most significant events in the academic history of Gdańsk opening the way to the future federalisation of the strongest universities in the region. The Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk University of Technology and the University of Gdańsk created the Fahrenheit Union of Universities in Gdańsk (FarU) and intend to build the city’s position as a strong academic centre in Poland and abroad.

The Fahrenheit Union of Universities in Gdańsk was established upon the joint request of the Rectors of the Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk University of Technology and the University of Gdańsk. The senates of the universities adopted relevant resolutions and endorsed the Union’s statutes, while the creation of the Union was approved by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

The Union's most important task will be the optimal use of the resources and potential of all the three universities, which, through their joint actions, could create one academic centre in the future. The centre would come in the league of the top three biggest centres in Poland (alongside Warsaw and Kraków), which would in turn translate into better recognition of the academic Gdańsk at home and abroad, and to the greater development opportunities and the procurement of funds.

The strongest Gdańsk universities intend to commission the Union to prepare the assumptions and possible scenarios of the so-called federalisation of the universities and their further integration. The Union will also be involved, for example, in implementing joint research projects on an international scale, in coordinating joint research and development, and in launching new, intercollegiate initiatives (including those concerning the education process). It is also supposed to enhance the publishing activities of the Gdańsk Tech, UG and MUG.

One of the Union’s strategic tasks will also be to pursue a common promotion and ranking policy, especially on the international arena, as well as express opinions and represent the common interests before state and local government administration and in relation to legislative initiatives.

Enhanced cooperation between the universities.

The MUG, Gdańsk Tech and UG have been cooperating in the academic, teaching and organisational areas for many years. Since 2005, the universities have jointly implemented more than 30 academic as well as research and development projects for the total of nearly PLN 270 m.

The universities also conduct several intercollegiate courses of study permitting the students to draw knowledge from experts in various fields (including Mechanical and Medical Engineering at the Gdańsk Tech and MUG, Space and Satellite Technologies at the Gdańsk Tech and UG, as well as Biotechnology, Medical Physics or Speech Therapy at the MUG and UG). Moreover, the MUG and UG run the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology. Owing to the creation of the Fahrenheit Union of Universities in Gdańsk, it will be possible to enhance this cooperation and create in Gdańsk one of the strongest academic centres in Poland.

The Union’s supervising body will be the Assembly comprising the Rectors and the Chairpersons of the Universities’ Councils. The Union’s first chairman and representative until 2022 will be Prof. Krzysztof Wilde, the Rector of the GUT, and further terms of office will be held by the Rectors of the MUG and UG. The Fahrenheit Union of Universities in Gdańsk will be managed by the Union’s Director. During the Union’s Assembly on 10 December 2020, this function was given to Prof. Adriana Zaleska-Medynska of the University of Gdańsk. In turn, Katarzyna Zygmunt of the Gdańsk University of Technology became the Deputy Director.

The Fahrenheit Union of Universities in Gdańsk will have its registered office in the building of the Centre for Knowledge and Technology Transfer of the Gdańsk University of Technology, at Aleja Zwycięstwa 27.

The Rectors of the MUG, GUT and UG speaking about the creation of the Fahrenheit Union of Universities in Gdańsk

Prof. Marcin Gruchała, Rector of the Medical University of Gdańsk

The Medical University of Gdańsk is a university ensuring the highest level of education and an important research centre recognised internationally. It is also one of the leading Polish universities distinguished by the prestigious status of the research university. By creating the Fahrenheit Union of Universities in Gdańsk with the largest academic centres in Pomerania, we are taking yet another extremely important step towards strengthening the successful long-term cooperation between the GUT, UG and MUG. Over the years, we have successfully implemented many valuable initiatives of the scientific, research, teaching and development character. I am positive that by using our mutual potential more intensively and effectively, we will soon be able to compete successfully with the best academic centres in Europe and in the world.

Prof. Krzysztof Wilde, Rector of the Gdańsk University of Technology

Our most significant joint mission is to build a strong academic centre in Gdańsk. Owing to the incorporation of our universities in the Ministry’s “Excellence Initiative – Research University" programme and the award of the research university status to the MUG and GUT, we have greater dynamic development opportunities now. We wish to enhance quality in Polish science, foster relations with industry and business, and make the most gifted high school graduates and young scientists choose Gdańsk as a suitable place to study and develop their professional careers. As the Chairman of the Rectors’ Council of the Pomeranian Region, I am convinced that the Fahrenheit Union of Universities in Gdańsk will enhance our partnership and open new areas for cooperation, which might comprise further universities of Pomerania in the future.

Prof. Piotr Stepnowski, Rector of the University of Gdańsk

This is the best moment to take action integrating our universities. Firstly, the universities in Gdańsk have done excellently well in strategic competitions in Poland and the European Union. All the three universities have been included in the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” programme. The international panel of experts in that programme expects that it is precisely Gdańsk which will serve as an example of how to build an integrated academic centre. Secondly, we are undisputed leaders in the International Research Agendas programme of the Foundation for Polish Science. Lastly, the EU European Universities programme and the University of Gdańsk winning the first competition as one of only four Polish universities qualified for the programme. That's why I think we may compete with traditional Polish academic centres in Warsaw, Kraków or Wrocław.

Prof. Adriana Zaleska-Medynska, Director of the Fahrenheit Union of Universities in Gdańsk

It is a great distinction and obligation in relation to the biggest three universities in the Tri-City. I will use my knowledge and skills while working for the integration of those universities. Increased cooperation between them, including in relation to management systems, and also research and development, should bring the universities so much closer to one another that these processes will be seen as beneficial by the academic community both from the organisation and finance point of view and, in the longer perspective, as processes leading to the enhancement of the universities’ prestige internationally. Certainly, my first challenge will be the efficient work related to the assessment of the universities’ consolidation potential, and then the coordination of work leading to the development of solutions permitting the universities’ consolidation.