FORTHEM Students Spent Week at UO without Leaving Homes

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Between 22 and 26 March 2021, the virtual mobility of students from the FORTHEM alliance of European Universities took place at the University of Opole. The meeting entitled “Prospering in Academia” was attended by 26 students and PhD students from 7 countries representing all FORTHEM universities from Dijon, Jyväskylä, Mainz, Palermo, Riga, Valencia and Opole.

The event at the UO was opened by the Vice-Rector for Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. Izabella Pisarek, chairwoman of the FORTHEM Steering Committee at the University of Opole.

Short-term collective mobility is an innovative activity of the FORTHEM alliance. Its idea is to enable selected in the recruitment procedure students from each partner university to spend a week together as part of a thematic scientific, cultural or popularizing event. The proposal “Prospering in Academia” submitted by Prof. Katarzyna Molek-Kozakowska and Dr Michał Wanke from the Institute of Linguistics was approved in a competition by the authorities of FORTHEM and is the first event of this type organized by our university.

The programme included not only presentations introducing the participants to Opole and the University of Opole, but also a student conference, opened by the Vice-Rector for Science, Prof. Jacek Lipok, during which the participants presented the results of their research projects. During the workshops conducted by lecturers from the Faculty of Philology and the Faculty of Social Sciences, participants deepened their knowledge in the field of self-presentation, academic writing, English pronunciation, quantitative and qualitative research methods, the use of visual methods in scientific activity, as well as research on humour at the university. During the mentoring sessions, practitioners shared their experience on equal treatment, scientific publishing, internationalization, and running international projects. Original classes for students were conducted by: Dr Małgorzata Adams-Tukiendorf, Dr Magdalena Szyszka, Dr Przemysław Wilk, Prof. Ewa Piechurska-Kuciel, Marcin Deutschmann,MA, Prof. Dorota Brzozowska, Clara Kleininger, MA, Dr Marzanna Pogorzelska, Dr Michał Wanke, and Prof. Katarzyna Molek-Kozakowska.

The week was summed up during a group work, reflecting on social ways of defining science, different approaches to conducting research, the role of science in society and the opportunities offered by international cooperation and student exchange, also in the perspective of further activities of the FORTHEM alliance of European Universities.

“Prospering in Academia” was an opportunity for young researchers to meet, and their commitment and openness allowed for an interesting exchange of ideas and views on the functioning of scientists in the academic community in different countries and the nature of scientific work. The exchange of experience was all the more valuable and interesting as the participants study various academic disciplines.

The event was enriched with presentations of the activities of three FORTHEM research labs operating at the UO: Multilingualism in School and Higher Education, Diversity and Migration, and Experiencing Europe. It was also made more special by guests from the Gallery of Contemporary Art - Dr Natalia Krawczyk and Magda Wolnicka presenting an artistic programme, and Prof. Stankomir Nicieja taking everybody on a virtual tour of the University Hill and the University Museum.

 The event was carried out thanks to the support of Paulina Panic from the Office of Research and Project Management, as well as thanks to the volunteer work of doctoral students and students of the Faculty of Philology, who presented to the guests interesting facts about the functioning of the University of Opole, including Marcin Deutschmann, Patrycja Biniek, Michalina Mencel, Sofiia Struchkova, Sonia Kolar and Jessica Stempel. Details of the event are available at

Prepared by: Michał Wanke, Marcin Deutschmann, Katarzyna Molek-Kozakowska