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  • 15 February 2019

    On 15 and 16 February, Piotr Dardziński, Poland’s Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education, visited the UK and took part in the XII Congress of Polish Students Societies at the University of Oxford.

    The Congress is an annual 2-day conference of Polish students in the UK, uniting more than 400 members of Polish student societies from more than 30 British universities. The 2019 edition of the Congress took place in Oxford and was organised for the third time by the Oxford University Polish Society. Deputy Minister Dardziński was a keynote speaker at the event, with other notable individuals including Janina Ochojska, Head of the Polish Humanitarian Action, Ewa Bartnik, Professor of Genetics at the University of Warsaw as well as Katarzyna Gandor, a science blogger and biotechnology student.

    On the first day of the visit to the UK, Deputy Minister Piotr Dardziński met Chris Skidmore, UK Minister of Science, Research, and Innovation. The meeting took place at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Deputy Minister Dardzieński and Minister Skidmore followed up on issues discussed at December’s Polish-British intergovernmental consultations. They discussed YESI (Year of Entrepreneurship, Science and Innovation), last year’s UK-Poland Science Forum, focused on artificial intelligence and smart cities, as well as this year’s Forum, focused on women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The discussions also covered cooperation between Polish and British research and innovation funding agencies, aimed at strengthening links between Polish and British universities and research centres by facilitating study visits both in Poland and the United Kingdom, with particular emphasis on innovation in science.


    Following the meeting with Minister Skidmore, Deputy Minister Dardziński met with representatives of British scientific and academic sectors, including Prof Carole Mundell, Chief Scientific Advisor of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Tim Bradshaw, President of the Russell Group, Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International, and Julie Maxton, Executive Director of the Royal Society.


    Deputy Minister Dardziński also visited the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum and met representatives of the Polish diaspora.


    Speaking at the Congress, which took place on the second day of the visit, Deputy Minister Piotr Dardziński said: “We would like to internationalise the Polish higher education sector. Be our ambassadors so we can be successful in the global race among the universities world-wide.”


    On the second day of the visit to the UK, Deputy Minister Piotr Dardziński together with Polish Ambassador to the UK Arkady Rzegocki, Deputy Lord Mayor of Oxfrod Sajjad Malik and students of a Polish Saturday School also laid a wreath to commemorate Gen Alfons Maćkowiak and his contribution to the local community. The visit of the Deputy Minister Dardziński ended with a meeting at the Oxford City Town Hall hosted by the Deputy Lord Mayor for the delegation and for Polish researchers and academics.


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