The University of Warsaw introduces a number of support initiatives within internationalisation and mobility to help visiting employees, doctoral candidates and students. Welcome Point is an important part of these efforts. Here we are presenting our actions under the “HR Excellence in Research at the UW in June” campaign.
The Welcome Point was officially opened in September 2017. The unit is a central information service point for international students. It is located in three sites within the University of Warsaw: the main campus at Krakowskie Przedmieście, the Ochota campus – the CeNT building, and the Faculty of Economic Sciences.
At the beginning of each academic year, the Welcome Point opens its temporary branch on the small courtyard of the main campus. The WP team together with students provide various kinds of information on university-related issues, e.g. formalities, course registrations, the university library, an electronic student card as well as student organisations, language classes, cultural and sports activities, and living in Warsaw.
The Welcome Point team cooperates with the UW faculties and university-wide administration units, as well as Warsaw districts’ offices and NGOs to assist international incomers to register their residence in Poland. We help foreigners, both students and academics – Katarzyna Basisty, the head of the Welcome Point, explained.
The Welcome Point undertakings:
- a separate section https://wolontariat.uw.edu.pl/about-us/, which is a source of useful information for international employees and guest lecturers ”Working at UW”. The section is updated regularly;
- in October 2020, the WP opened its office on the Ochota campus for the UW employees from other distant units;
- courses and training for international incoming employees: Poland and Poles – Cultural Orientation training, Onboarding at UW, Polish Personal Income Taxes for International Employees – online course; USOS system training; Polish language courses (intensive courses, multi-level regular classes) with 115 participants. The classes are financed under the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” IDUB programme. More details can be found on the Welcome Point website >>. Additionally, incomers can take part in guided tours on the UW campus at Krakowskie Przedmieście;
- The Internet Registration for Guests System, which is an administrative database to record the stay of visitors, i.e. employees, students and doctoral candidates, and provide them with the access to the systems and services available at the University of Warsaw;
- 44 visiting lecturers employed under the University’s Integrated Development Programme (ZIP), co-funded from the European Social Fund Operational Programme: Knowledge, Education, Development. More information is available on the Welcome Point website >> and ZIP programme website >>
- student volunteers’ support to international employees in administration issues and other associated cases – in the cooperation with the Volunteer Centre of the University of Warsaw;
- the ongoing survey about the needs of the UW international employees.
- developing the educational offer of training and courses for international employees;
- network meetings for the employees from abroad;
- enhancing the support as well as adjusting it to the employees’ needs;
- international newcomers’ guide;
- the Internet Registration for Guests System for every unit of the UW.
A fair and easy access to the information for each member of the academic community, who cannot communicate in Polish, the language skills development, and strengthening the cultural and intercultural sensitivity are the meaningful challenges of the University of Warsaw in the policy related with the international employees, doctoral candidates and students – Katarzyna Basisty said.
International incoming mobility
As by the European Charter for Researchers, the virtual, geographic, intersectoral, inter- and transdisciplinary mobility are crucial elements of the university policy in order to enhance the research and career of the academics.
The UW launched a database of the research supervisors and their contact details. The supervisors offer their substantive assistance in the process of applying for the funds for research visits at the University of Warsaw as well as for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellowships for experienced researchers (MSCA Individual Fellowships).