Perspektywy University Ranking 2021 is the most important and prestigious list of Polish universities. The University College of Tourism and Ecology was once again ranked at the top. WSTiE was appreciated for world-class research, top personnel, didactic quality, cooperation with the business sector and excellent employment prospects for graduates.
Full report can be found here.
Since its inception, the University College of Tourism and Ecology has placed great emphasis on internationalisation and has done everything possible to ensure that its students benefit from studying in an international environment. The university’s numerous initiatives, its preparation, standard and staff competences have resulted in it being awarded the extended Erasmus Card for Higher Education for the period 2021-2027. This is the highest and key confirmation of the university’s entry into the quality framework of activities in the Erasmus+ programme area.
New card – new horizons
WSTiE’s European initiatives to date have brought a number of benefits to the university, including building a network of partnerships, acquiring know-how and building a reputation on the European education scene. Thanks to the extended card and the application for full accreditation for all actions of the programme, the University College of Tourism and Ecology will be able not only to continue its current activities, but also significantly expand their scope. The university will be entitled to apply for funding for student and staff mobility, Erasmus Mundus joint master courses, Strategic Partnerships (aimed at implementing and disseminating innovative solutions in higher education institutions), Knowledge Alliances (projects carried out by higher education institutions in cooperation with businesses) and “Capacity Building in Higher Education” projects (which support cooperation with partner countries from other regions of the world).
Above borders – and regardless of barriers
The COVID-19 pandemic is significantly affecting the implementation of many projects, but thanks to the increased budget (€26 billion, twice as much as in 2014-2020), holders of the new Erasmus Card for Higher Education will be able to adapt their own procedures and activities. It is already clear that there will be new types of mobility, as well as the possibility to apply for national grants of all those institutions that benefit from EU funds. Following modern trends and trying to maintain the highest level of educational services in times of pandemics, a dynamic implementation of programme digitisation instruments (e.g. Erasmus without Paper) is also planned. Drawing up new plans, WSTiE is also beginning to settle and analyse the current programme, ending in 2022. On this basis, the university will be able to draw conclusions, modify the action plan and support international education of students as effectively as possible.
The highest standard, excellent infrastructure, top staff and the practical added value of knowledge – these factors have led to the University College of Tourism and Ecology being recognised as a leader in the field of training, courses and postgraduate studies. The MSUES certificate is a great distinction as well as a confirmation of the quality of the services offered.
The MSUES quality mark is awarded by the Voivodeship Labour Office in Kraków and is granted only to training institutions which have successfully passed detailed verification. The certificate is a guarantee of high quality services and confirms the compliance of the offer with the needs and expectations of customers, substantive and methodical preparation of trainers, reliability of provided content and diversity of teaching forms.
We are proud of the distinction we have received – says Lucyna Jurzak, the Head of Postgraduate Studies at WSTiE. Quality has always been our top priority, and now, thanks to the certificate, we can care about it even more, as our services may be co-financed from external funds. This is of particular importance today for both individual and institutional participants – she adds.
For many years, the University College of Tourism and Ecology has been providing numerous courses and trainings, which have enjoyed great popularity. Among them are innovative, managerial postgraduate studies, MBA studies, courses and professional training, including qualification for teachers. The offer is adjusted to the needs of students and market expectations, that is why WSTiE has also introduced the possibility of using numerous online trainings. A full list of certified courses can be found on the university’s website.
Difficult times for the industry during the pandemy period require concerted efforts and the involvement of the most experienced professionals. The Dean of the Faculty of Tourism at WSTiE, Dr Bartłomiej Walas, has been recognized as such a professional and this week received a nomination to the Expert Council for Tourism.
The newly established advisory council was created in the Ministry of Development, Labour and Technology. The Council consists of top class practitioners whose task will be to give opinions and formulate positions on proposals for systemic solutions in tourism. Dean Walas, thanks to his many years of experience, will also contribute to giving opinions and presenting proposals for legislative initiatives in the field of tourism. His competences will also include initiating activities for the benefit of: sustainable development of tourism, competitiveness of the offer of Polish tourism in the international market and creation of innovative tourism products (in particular through strengthening social activity and entrepreneurship in the tourism sector).
Both the industry representatives and the academic staff have no doubts – he is the right man in the right place. Bartłomiej Walas is not only a charismatic lecturer and speaker, but above all an outstanding specialist in the field of tourism policy and marketing. He has rich scientific and implementation achievements as well as many years of experience in public administration. He held managerial positions in the Branch Office of the Institute of Tourism and in the Cracow Tourist Company Wawel-Tourist. Since 1996 he has been associated with the Office of Physical Culture and Tourism, and then with the Polish Tourist Organization, holding the position of director of the Polish Tourist Information Centre in Paris in the years 1996-2008, responsible for Polish tourism promotion on the French market. Since 2008 he has held the position of Vice-President of the Polish Tourist Organization, responsible for strategy and promotion on foreign markets.
COVID-19 has clearly left its mark on the tourism industry. New trends have emerged, as well as the need for a team of experts capable of managing tourism during and after the pandemic. The University College of Tourism and Ecology not only recognises these challenges, but has ready-made solutions to turn risks into opportunities.
Domestic university – global standards
WSTiE, which has been leading in rankings of industry schools for years, consistently participates in market research. Analyses allow us to spot trends, forecast their evolution and react to them. – We take into account recommendations of global organisations OECD and UNWTO, as we adjust our study programmes to the market needs – says Bartłomiej Walas, PhD, WSTiE professor, Dean of the Faculty of Tourism and Recreation. – The interest in mass travel is decreasing, the importance of sustainable tourism is growing, which means the necessity to prepare managerial staff differently and to develop new competences. It is possible thanks to modern education programmes, which are already available at WSTiE.
Direction: the future
Security, digitalisation and customer service are just some of the areas that students learn to manage in innovative ways. New specialisations have been created (content marketing in tourism, environmentally friendly tourism management) and certified CRM training. Students can participate in webinars and academic conferences, as well as professional online simulations. – Thanks to the latest remote learning tools, we have turned challenges into successes – says Dr Walas. – Students gain certificates, which are respected by foreign employers, publish their own research results and build an individual career path. Under the supervision of lecturers-practitioners, they take advantage of prestigious post-graduate studies Hotel Manager (with PRK qualifications), as well as the MBA programme. That is why WSTiE graduates not only keep up with global changes, but also create future trends in the industry.