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We have started the academic year 2023/2024

Photo presenting people who take part in the inauguration

Thank you to everyone who joined us during the inauguration

Good luck to everyone!

On 2 October 2023 in the Great Hall of the Main Building we started the new academic year. It was opened with the words of the Warsaw University of Technology Rector, Professor Krzysztof Zaremba: "Let’s do our part. And let’s do it the best we can".

The inauguration ceremony of the academic year is a special day for students, doctoral students, employees, as well as graduates, friends, scientific and business partners, all those people and institutions that surround our university and together create the academic world. This year, traditionally, which makes us very happy and proud, representatives of state government and local authorities, rectors and vice-rectors of other universities, people from the world of science, clergy and business have accepted our invitations to the ceremony of opening another cycle of work and study at the Warsaw University of Technology.

Universities are the future

Professor Krzysztof Zaremba, WUT Rector, started his opening speech by reminding the audience how difficult and often unpredictable the last years have been at universities, also at ours. He pointed to external factors, such as the pandemic, war in Ukraine, climate crisis and environmental pollution. He also talked about the AI revolution – about AI being both an opportunity and a threat, and before most – a great unknown.

– From the point of view of the University we need a change of the paradigm of doing research and – even more so – of teaching – said the WUT Rector about the challenges related to AI development. – We are in urgent need of legal changes, and most importantly – of a discussion on ethical aspects.

Professor Krzysztof Zaremba also talked about local factors which have impacted the functioning of the university.

– First of all, unfortunately, we suffer from constant underfinancing of science and higher education – the Rector emphasised. – There is little understanding that funding this field is the best investment. The report "Science and higher education and GDP", prepared by outstanding specialists from the Conference of Rectors of Economic Universities, shows that every one złoty invested in research and development gives a return between 8 and 13 złoty. Where will you find another business like this? Not to mention the social importance of investing in this field. In case of the Warsaw University of Technology, fortunately, this destructive impact of inadequate funding is balanced by significant income from research and development projects.

The Rector also said that the work of the University is complicated by, for example, demographic changes, implementation of the Act 2.0, the evaluation system and overemphasising rankings. And managing a university is in such conditions like a high mountain trek – on the one hand, it is a fascinating adventure but on the other, the conditions are difficult and unpredictable.

Photo of the WUT Rector Professor Krzysztof Zaremba during the inauguration

Our Rector talked about factors which have impacted the functioning of the university

Professor Krzysztof Zaremba emphasised that despite these difficulties we do our job at the Warsaw University of Technology: we take advantage of international and national development projects – "Excellence Initiative – Research University" and European universities alliance ENHANCE.

– In 2022 we completed circa 570 projects of the total value of over 850 million złoty – the Rector said. – It’s ca. 40% more than the subsidy we get from the state.

His speech included examples of projects done by our researchers, students and doctoral students, as well as teaching – new forms introduced at the Warsaw University of Technology, new fields of study and the effects of that, among them – high evaluation of our graduates among employers.

– Even in the most difficult conditions we treat the problems we face as challenges – the Rector said.

And he added that sometimes we act more slowly, we look for other ways to reach the goal, less direct ones but we are striving towards our goals persistently and effectively. Professor Zaremba stressed that this is possible thanks to the engagement of people who make up the Warsaw University of Technology community and thanked them for their efforts.

The Rector congratulated new students on very good secondary-school-leaving examination results and the choice of our University.

– If you decide to take advantage of the opportunities we offer you, the world will be your oyster – said professor Zaremba.

Photo of the participants of the inauguration

The inauguration ceremony of the academic year is a special day for our University

– I don’t need to convince anyone that universities shape the future – stressed the Rector. – Not only of the country but also the world. It is essential that this is recognized not only by the academic community but also by the whole society and – maybe most importantly – by decision makers. Maybe this will happen very soon, maybe we will have to wait for that patiently but if Poland does not want to become a European outcast, this moment must come. And until that time we will do our best to ensure, despite adverse conditions, that the Warsaw University of Technology and its whole community make the greatest contribution to the development of Poland, Europe and the world.

The Rector concluded his speech with the message: "Let’s do our part. And let’s do it the best we can".

Time for students and doctoral students

A central and, as usual, the most expected moment of the ceremony was matriculation. Representatives of new students from all Faculties and College took a solemn oath and then received congratulations and diplomas from the WUT Rector.

Head of the WUT Student Self-Government Rafał Pyżalski encouraged students to get involved in student research groups, student organisations or the student self-government.

– Do not limit yourselves just to lecture rooms and laboratories (…). Remember about the possibilities the University offers, remember about the possibility to influence its structure – he said.

Speaking from his own experience, he also advised them not to forget about… learning mathematics.

Robert Olczyk, Head of the WUT Doctoral Students Council, stressed that in active participation in community life, everyone should also take care of themselves.

– Take advantage of the opportunity to meet new people, network, but don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice – he said. – At our University, you will find a lot of people ready to support you in learning, putting your ideas into life and in striving towards the highest standards.

Photo of the WUT Rector and a newly admitted student

Our Rector and a newly admitted student

About the climate

The first lecture in the new academic year was given by Professor Szymon P. Malinowski – Director of the Institute of Geophysics of the Warsaw University Faculty of Physics. The topic was connected with the challenge everyone, not just universities, is facing – "Climate crisis: human and nature in close quarters". 

Professor Malinowski showed changes occurring on the Earth and stressed their source.

– In the past our world, economy, technology, society, the whole human system were something tiny, deeply embedded in the planetary system, in the system of our nature – he said. – Today we absolutely dominate our planet, in every aspect we can think of. We are not aware of that. All the time it is popular to think that humans are nothing against nature, while actually our planet is everything we have. We can talk about conquering the universe but it is our home which is changing at an unimaginable rate.

Photo of Professor Szymon P. Malinowski during the first lecture in the new academic year

The first lecture in the new academic year was given by Professor Szymon P. Malinowski

Thank you

For the new academic year we have received many letters of congratulations and wishes. During the ceremony, we heard the words we received from President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, Polish Seym Speaker Elżbieta Witek, Polish Senate Speaker Tomasz Grodzki, President of the Council of Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki and President of the City of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski.

We hope these wishes come true. And that this will be for us, at the Warsaw University of Technology, but also at all universities, a successful academic year, filled with achievements and happiness.