The history of the Technical University of Gdańsk
1945-1994

THE RECONSTRUCTION AND THE FIRST YEARS

Military actions still continued, when in January 1945, preparation works were carried out to open the Technical University of Gdańsk. Two operative groups were established for securing buildings and for organising the University. The first was appointed in Lublin at the suggestion of Eng. Franciszek Otto, the other in Cracow, where the Minister of Education Stanisław Skrzeszewski signed the necessary nominations. Stanisław Turski D.Sc. was at the head of the latter group.

The army liberating Gdańsk entered the Town on 29th March 1945. On 5th April a delegation from the Ministry of Education for Gdańsk Technical University arrived in the City. It included: Stanisław Turski D.Sc., Kazimierz Kopecki Eng., Kazimierz Kubik D.Sc., Franciszek Otto Eng. and Stanisław Szymański.

The Delegation found the University partially ruined. The preliminary assessment showed that much effort and work will be necessary for its opening. The Main Building was in the worst condition. According to the assessment 60% of its cubature was destroyed. During the fire the central part, with the main staircase, and the back rooms such as: the Assembly Hall, the Rector's Office and the Library were burned out and all the ceilings collapsed. That part of the book collection which had not been removed was destroyed. The other buildings were in a much better condition. Only the part of the Chemical Building at the Main Building side was burnt out. However, a great part of measuring apparatuses, equipment and subsidiary devices were damaged to a high degree. In the survived Electrical Building, the equipment mostly of lecture rooms and laboratories was stored in the Machine Hall and cellars. The building of Hydrology and Aerodynamics, used as a hospital during the War, has also survived . Apart from the loss of glazing, the rather obsolete Machine Laboratory was not damaged either. The Delegation established its office in those buildings. The Laboratory of Strength of Materials was destroyed only in its front part with the corner, but fortunately the installed machines incurred only slight damages.

The war damages were estimated globally at about 16% of the cubature of all the University buildings. The perfect glazing of the buildings showed the most severe damages. Its losses amounted to 80%. Gates and railings needed general repairs. Corpses of dead people were also found in the University area.

In spite of great doubts about the possibility of a quick restoration of the University works were promptly undertaken for ensuring its protection, arranging and rebuilding of the premises. Candidates for the University were also engaged in that job.

In May, the University was converted into a Polish Academic School. The decree issued on 24th May 1945 stated: "The Technical University of Gdańsk becomes a Polish State Academic School". Scientists and professors, mostly from the Universities of Lwów and Warsaw, among others also those outstanding and famous before the War, started to arrive in Gdańsk, as well as officers and engineers returning from war camps. Pre-war students and graduates from the Technical University of Gdańsk were also coming back. All they joint the group working on the University reconstruction. During May and June the University power-station was put in operation, and it mostly served the City and the Harbour. In July works started on rebuilding the walls and the roof of the Laboratory of Strength of Materials. All the survived and protected machines were used for the reconstruction of other industrial sites. Works also started on the rebuilding of the Chemical Laboratory. Due to the inauguration of the approaching academic year, repairs were concentrated on arranging lecture rooms, drafting rooms and laboratories for the coming soon academic courses.

Simultaneously the matters of students' enrolment, appointing the staff, organising deans' offices and the library, were dealt with. Prof. Władysław Łukaszewicz, the first Rector, nominated by the Minister of Education, arrived soon. Four faculties were expected to be opened according to the decree of the Cabinet Council: Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Shipbuilding and Chemistry. However, from the beginning there was the necessity of organising the Faculty of Architecture. Finally 6 faculties were organised. Their organisers and the first deans were: Prof. Marian Osiński (the Faculty of Architecture), Prof. Aleksander Rylke (the Faculty of Shipbuilding), Prof. Włodzimierz Wawryk (the Faculty of Chemistry), Prof. Karol Taylor (the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering), Prof. Kazimierz Kopecki (the Faculty of Electrical Engineering), Prof. Karol Pomianowski (the Faculty of Civil and Hydro-Engineering). Stanisław Turski D.Sc., and later Prof. Edward Geisler became Vice-Rectors.

In 1945 the teaching staff included 112 scientific lecturers including: 8 full professors and 28 in professorial posts. The first staff of professors included: Ignacy Adamczewski, Michał Broszko, Bronisław Bukowski, Władysław Czerny, Mieczysław Dębicki, Łukasz Dorosz, Władysław Florjański, Maksymilian Tytus Huber, Bogumił Hummer, Stanisław Kaniewski, Julian Kamecki, Antoni Kozłowski, Paweł Kułakowski, Władysław Lam, Ignacy Malecki, Feliks Markowski, Stefan Minc, Witold Minkiewicz, Jarosław Naleszkiewicz, Witold Nowacki, Stanisław Obmiński, Franciszek Otto, Zdzisław Pazdro, Adolf Polak, Aleksander Potyrała, Stanisław Puzyna, Tadeusz Sulma, Jan Szwarc, Leon Staniewicz, Paweł Szulkin, Eustachy Tarnowski, Karol Taylor, Stanisław Trzetrzewiński, Wiktor Wiśniowski, Mieczysław Wolfke and Józef Wysocki.

The great effort of the staff and future students proved a success. As soon as 22nd October 1945 studies at all the University faculties were inaugurated by Prof. Ignacy Adamczewski's first lecture. The majority of lectures took place in the best protected buildings, namely, in the buildings of: the Machine Laboratory, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, the Institute of the Strength of Materials, and the Assembly Hall. However, the difficulties of lecturing in unheated premises made the Rector order a longer holiday interval. The official inauguration was also postponed to a later date. It took place on 9th April 1946 in the Assembly Hall. After the opening speech of the Rector Prof. Stanisław Turski, all people assembled for the first time inside the University walls listened to the song "Gaude Mater Poloniae". The inauguration lecture on "Modern Technology in the face of Natural Science" was delivered by one of the most eminent contemporary scientific authorities, Prof. Maksymilian Tytus Huber. He was speaking about technical progress in the period of the Second World War, emphasising the importance of trials on splitting the atom. The lecture expressing great love to our country was closed with the words: "Salus Rei Publicae suprema lex".

The first academic year finished on l3th July 1946, and two weeks later examinations were organised. Entrance examinations for the second academic year took place between the 23th - 28th of September in 1946. In the first academic year 1945/46, 1647 students began their studies. The University was specially attractive thanks to its Faculty of Shipbuilding and also because of the urgent demand for highly qualified engineering staff in the devastated country.

The University Library was opened as soon as August 1945. At first its condition was very modest, two rooms of 66 m2. Only three persons were employed. Its stock consisted of the preserved part of collections from different Chairs, as well as of old prints which had been hidden in a Kaszubian village Swincz. From the total number of 20,000 volumes, mainly dealing with humanistic subjects, only 8,000 were chosen after the selection, and they constituted the basis for the new collection. The future systematic development of the library was the merit of its Director Marian de Loges Ph.D. appointed in 1950.

From the very beginning the students' organisation started its autonomous activity continuing the tradition of the pre-war Union (Bratnia Pomoc) of which Adam Doboszyński was the initiator and the first chairman. Stanisław Szymański from the Shipbuilding Faculty, who arrived with the operating group and was a member of the pre-war Student Union, became its Chairman now. The students' organisation began to organise the student's life at the University. Among others in 1945 they opened the first students' canteen. They also appealed to the students' community to offer 80 hours of work, both in clearing the rubble and in rebuilding the University as well as the City.

FORMER POLISH STUDENTS

Prof. Stanisław Huckel wrote in the "University Memory Book" of 1955: "The tradition which is continued by the Technical University of Gdańsk is that of the people who created it. They were professors from Warsaw and Lwów Technical Universities and to a smaller degree the graduates form the Technical University of Gdańsk". It shell be stated, however, that 40 of the students and graduates from the University of the period of Free City Gdańsk, undertook work in the post-war University. Among others they were: Prof. Stanisław Błaszkowiak, Prof. Bronisław Bukowski, Asst. Prof. Henryk Hadrian, Prof. Alfons Hoffmman, Prof. Jerzy Doerffer, Prof. Józef Kazimierczak, lecturer Alfons Kwiczor, Prof. Walerian Libura, Prof. Jerzy Lipowicz, Prof. Witold Nowacki, Prof. Wojciech Orszulok, Prof. Jerzy Pacześniak, Prof. Jan Piasecki, Prof. Aleksy Potocki, Prof. Aleksander Potyrała, Prof. Janusz Stanisławski, Prof. Janusz Staszewski, Prof. Mieczysław Rodkiewicz, Prof. Witold Urbanowicz, and Asst. Prof. Roman Wieloch. Numerous of them become later well known and appreciated specialists, of outstanding scientific achievements.

Moreover, over 30 former students and graduates of the pre-war Technical University of Gdańsk began to work at other Polish academic schools - as example we can mention: Prof. Jan Anioł and Prof. Jerzy Glaser (at the Mining and Metallurgic Academy), Prof. Krystian H. Eyman, Prof. Zygfryd Jung, Prof. Julian Kryński, Prof. Jan Rzewuski, Prof. Paweł Schleifer and Prof. Witold Szuman (at Warsaw Technical University), Prof. Zbigniew Orzeszkowski and Prof. Jan Trojak (at the Technical University of Wrocław), Prof. Witold Kręglewski, Prof. Teobald Olejnik, Prof. Józef Węglarz, Asst Prof. Kazimierz Szymański and Asst. Prof. Jarosław Ulatowski (at the Technical University of Poznań).

A considerable number of the pre-war students enthusiastically contributed to the restoration and development of the devastated during the War industry. Over 20 of them constituted the managing staff of scientific institutes and government offices, 37 were employed in the key-industry, 10 - in mining industry, 3 - in the building industry, 8 - in architecture, 9 - in metallurgy, 4 - in railway system, 8 - in sugar mills to finish with 21 - in power industry.

Most of them - about 40 - engaged themselves in creating Polish shipbuilding industry. One of them was Prof. Witold Urbanowicz, who together with Wacław Czarnowski and others, was engaged in organising Polish shipyards from the first days after the liberation of the country. Just in 1945 he become the general director and then the technical director of Polish United Shipyards. In 1950 he organised a new departmental scientific-research institute the Maritime Technical Institute (since 1951 the Maritime Institute). He developed a new discipline - architecture of ships, and the Technical University of Gdańsk was the first in the world to train new staff in this speciality. Pre-war University Polish students engaged themselves also in preparing the staff for shipbuilding industry. As far as during the War in 1944 Prof. Potyrała had organised a course on shipbuilding at the clandestine Warsaw Technical University. After the War he actively participated in organising shipbuilding studies. In August 1945 he organised in Gdańsk a state secondary school of shipbuilding "Conradinum", and he administered it till 1949.

Prof. Potyrała together with Prof. Aleksander Rylke participated in organising the Faculty of Shipbuilding at the Technical University of Gdańsk.

CONNECTIONS WITH INDUSTRY

Looking through the historical documents of the University, it ought to be mentioned that since the first post-war years the maritime character of the University was to be observed. As far as the year 1945 all the disciplines necessary for the needs of shipping industry, sailing and deep-sea fishery were concentrated at the Shipbuilding Faculty. Its close connections with industry caused that the Faculty become an indispensable element of the economic development of Polish Coastal Zone. The efforts connected with the restoration and development of the University were accompanied by works carried out for the sake of restoration and development of the Town and industry. The employees and students from all the faculties participated in those works.

During the period of the University 50-year history numerous outstanding scientists and professors have left here their remarkable traces. A part of them passed away, others are still actively increasing the achievements in Polish science. Between the years 1945 and 1949 the already mentioned Prof. Maksymilian Tytus Huber was working at our University. His research on the theory of elasticity places him in the rank of prominent world scientists. The memory of Prof. Adolf Polak, the designer of the steam engine of the first Polish seagoing vessel "Sołdek", will always be cherished. At the faculty of Shipbuilding the technique of side-launching was worked out. Prof. Rylke was its author, while Prof. Jerzy Doerffer was the inventor of building a ship in two-halves and other modern solutions connected with shipbuilding industry. Prof. Józef Więckowski was a world-famous authority in the field of mechanics of ship structures.

A famous town planing specialist Prof. Władysław Czerny was the author of one of the first post-war conceptions of town building and the development of the Coastal Zone. The architects of the Technical University had a considerable influence on the rebuilding and on the historical reconstruction of the Main Town of Gdańsk. The historical documentation which became the basis for the further works on restoring the origin shape of our town was worked out under the supervision of Prof. Marian Osiński. Prof. Wacław Tomaszewski, who before and after the war designed port objects, was the Head of the Department of Harbour and Coastal Zone Development, which was an exceptional one among other Polish technical universities.

In the filed of civil engineering, such meritorious personalities as professors: Wacław Balcerski, Romuald Cebertowicz, Stanisław Huckel and Karol Pomianowski cannot be forgotten about. Their works concerning civil engineering systems were essential for the development and building harbours, roads and water power plants, as in case of Prof. Cebertowicz an authority in the field of ground petrifaction especially under endangered historical monumental objects.

In the field of power engineering important contributions were made by professors: Robert Szewalski, the constructor of the first Polish steam-turbine, and Prof. Kazimierz Kopceki, the initiator of the scientific school for a complex system of power engineering, as well as Prof. Stanisław Szpor, an outstanding expert in the field of atmospheric discharges and protection against their effects.

It is impossible to forget about such professors as: Damazy Tilgner, Henryk Niewiadomski, Andrzej Ledóchowski, and their outstanding achievements in the field of food chemistry and research on drugs.

It shall be mentioned that Prof. Witold Nowacki, the former president of Polish Academy of Sciences, was a member of our staff within the years 1947-1952. He was an outstanding specialist in the branch of structural mechanics and the theory of elasticity and thermoelasticity.

Only a dozen of names of scientists associated with the Technical University, whose contribution to the development of Polish science and industry is unquestionable, have been mentioned here. Among our staff there are researchers and specialists in almost all branches of science and their achievements have been highly estimated in the world of science. In the domain of licensing and implementation activities we have been always placed at the top position of the list of technical universities in Poland. In our region, there is no branch of economy or industrial domains in which our former and present members of the staff would not actively contribute to, either as direct initiators, designers and constructors, or as consultants, experts and advisors.

DIFFICULT PERIODS

In the history of our University there were also difficult days caused by political pressure. The activity of the Students' Union "Bratnia Pomoc" was of a short duration. After the famous incident of "Jednodniówka" (a one day issue) it was brutally terminated. On 24th October in 1949, a disciplinary commission appointed by the contemporary Minister of Education relegated 4 students for having edited and published the one day issue entitled "XX years of Bratnia Pomoc". Prof. Wiktor Wiśniowski, the curator of the Union, was moved to Wrocław Technical University by the way of punishment.

At the turn of the forties and fifties Prof. Hilary Sipowicz was imprisoned for many years on the bases of military prosecutor's sentence.

Political repressive measures were taken also within the following years, mainly related to political crisis events in Poland, as it was the case of Prof. Damazy Tilgner who was relegated from the University at the end of the sixties. Numerous acts of repression against the University staff took place in 1981, particularly after the Martial Law proclamation. They concerned not only the University staff, but also the students. They were persecuted, suspended or relegated, and also sente nced to long imprisonment. The facts of holding up any scientific promotions, and travels abroad were the most distressing.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

The rebuilding of the Main Building was of the longest duration. It was necessary to reinforce the central part of the building which resulted in different, in compaerision with the pre-war period, interior adornment, and the Main Library, the Rector's Office, the Bursary, the Chair of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture received new rooms. The Assembly Hall was also rebuilt.

Along with the University development its extension became indispensable. In 1948 the Laboratory of High Voltage and Distributing Equipment was given a building in the Własna Strzecha Street which obtained a superstructure. Subsequently the following buildings were gradually brought into use: the Radiotechnical Pavilion, a new wing was added to the old Chemistry Building (1951), a new Chemistry Building and an experimental Hall for Hydro-Engineering (1952) as well as a passage between the Strength of Materials Laboratory and the Reinforced Concrete Laboratory of the Faculty of Civil Engineering (1953). Successively, the following buildings were completed and brought into use: a new Heating Centre and Transformation Station (1954), a new wing for the Department of High Voltages (1955), a new building for the Mechanical and Shipbuilding Faculties, a Laboratory for Technology of Machine Materials (1957). This resulted in the development of the University cubature by 151,669 m3, that means by 64,4%, in relation to that of the post-war time.

Within the next years the following buildings were finished and brought into use: the building of the Faculty of Electronics - erected in two stages (1967 and 1968), a new wing B of the Main Building, a new Chemistry Building (1973), a new edifice for the Shipbuilding Institute ( 1974), a pavilion for Small Typography (1975), a building for the Electrical Faculty at 7, Sobieski Str. (1978), a new building for the Institute of Marine and Industrial Electrical Engineering (1990) and finally a warehouse for the Chemical Faculty (1991). In 1992 the Chemistry Building B and C obtained superstructures. This resulted in the further development of cubature by 255,688 m3. The total increase of the cubature amounted to 185% in comparison with the post-war period.

With the raise of the number of students the requirement for new places in the student hostels was constantly growing. Two new hostel precincts were built, one in Hibnera Str. (the present Do Studzienki) and the second in Wyspiański Str. By the year 1960, 7 new hostels had been built, and further three more were erected in the years 1970-1987. In 1965 a hostel was built for assistants. Then a building for canteen no. 6 was completed, and finally assistant hostel no. 2 in 1975.

A Holiday Centre for the University employees was built in the village Czarlino in 1971. In 1962 the Academic Sports Centre, and in 1972 the Medical Centre and a swimming pool were opened.

ORGANISATION CHANGES

The development of the University required some organisation changes. New faculties, specialities and specialisation were created. In 1948 the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering was founded which was converted into the Agrotechnical Faculty in 1950. However, because of its specificity was closed in 1952. In the same year the Faculties of Civil and Hydro Engineering were separated and in the same year the Communication Faculty was separated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. In turn, in 1956 the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering was divided into the Faculty of Machine Engineering and the Faculty of Machine Production Engineering. In 1965 their names were changed into: the Faculty of Machine Construction, and the Faculty of Mechanical-Production Engineering, the latter in turn, in 1989, became the Faculty of Machine Production Engineering and Organisation of Production.

In the year 1954 the Consulting Station of the Technical University of Gdańsk in Elbl±g was opened and in 1969 it was transformed into a Complex of Departments of the Technical University of Gdańsk and was training students in the field of mechanics. Since 1992 it has become a Section of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Technical University of Gdańsk. Essential changes in the organisation took place after the March events of 1968. Departments were converted into institutes. Simultaneously 3 former Faculties: of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Hydro-Engineering were joined into two or three institutes, while the Faculty of Shipbuilding was converted into an independent Institute. Moreover, three new inter-faculties institutes were created: Mathematics, Physics and Social Science.

In 1971 the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture was divided into: the Institute of Architecture and Town Planning, the Institute of Civil Engineering and the Hydrotechnical Institute. In 1975 the Institute of Civil Engineering became again the Faculty of Civil Engineering, and in 1981 the Institute of Architecture and Town Planning became again the Faculty of Architecture. Also the Hydrotechnical Institute returned to its former name the Faculty of Hydro-Engineering in 1982.

In 1984 the Faculty of Technical Physics and Applied Mathematics was created by joining two inter-faculties institutes: those of Mathematics and Physics. The Shipbuilding Institute was converted into the Institute of Ocean Engineering and Ship Technology.

In 1991 the inter-faculties Institute of Social Science was converted into the Institute of Economics and Arts. In the same year two former "Mechanical Faculties" were joined into one: the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, while in the year 1993 basing on the staff employed at departments of the former Faculty of Machine Production Engineering and Organisation of Production and those of the Institute of Economics and Arts, a new Faculty was formed namely that of the Faculty Management and Economy.

STUDENTS

In 1945, 1647 students started their studies at the Technical University of Gdańsk and that number was increasing quickly and systematically in the post-war period up to 6752 in 1956. Within the years of political crisis at the end of the fifties that number dropped down to 5171. The sixties and the beginning of the seventies brought about another growth. In 1975 it raised up to 8865. The new crisis caused the next decrease and the number was systematically diminishing down to 5495 at the end of the eighties. The years of crisis events have always influenced the number of students. The situation of graduates who could not expect any good earnings discouraged effectively the candidates from entering the University.

It shall be mentioned that the past years have proved that students were deeply engaged in the University functioning, especially in social and life domains of that part of the University community. After the dissolution of "Bratnia Pomoc" and after October 1956, the students' interests were represented by the University Parliament of the Polish Students' Society, whose first President was Czesław Druet - the future professor and member of Polish Academy of Science. Within those years that form of autonomy presented the model of students' activity for other universities in Poland. The present Students' Parliament relates to that tradition.

The cultural function of the University was and is realised by different forms of students' cultural activity. Students of the Technical University of Gdańsk were actively engaged in well-known students' theatres. The club "Żak" and "Kwadratowa" as well as other clubs located in different hostels have efficiently contributed to the cultural development. Great merit is due to the students who many years ago created "The Students' Chronicle" and opened the Film Debating Club, the Students' Radio Agency and the Academic Chorus of the Technical University and others.

The students' sports and recreation movement shows also high achievements. Here the Academic Sports Society has always played the organising and inspiring role.

The scientific interests of the students have been proved in the success of the University Scientific Circles. The Circle of the Students of the Shipbuilding Faculty "Korab" is one of the oldest, originating from the pre-war times.

Besides such organisations as Students Self-Government of the University and the Independent Student Society there are about 30 student organisation, clubs and 2 international organisations (IAESTE and AIESEC).

INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION

From the very beginning the international co-operation was of great importance both in education and research.

The position of the Technical University of Gdańsk is high. It is recognised both in the country and abroad. That is proved by abroad co-operation with foreign universities as well as by the number of realised education and research projects, doctorates awarded by other universities to the University staff members, memberships in foreign organisations and societies. Fourteen professors were awarded with doctorates Honoris Causa by other universities, they were: Ignacy Adamczewski, Maksymilian Tytus Huber, Eugeniusz Dembicki, Witold Nowacki, Jerzy Doerffer, Zenon Jagodziński, Lech Kobyliński, Kazimierz Kopecki, Bolesław Mazurkiewicz, Józef Sałaciński, Janusz Staliński, Robert Szewalski, Henryk Wierzba and recently Zdzisław Sikora.

The Technical University of Gdańsk is engaged in a wide international co-operation. At present there are 63 signed and carried out contracts with foreign organisations, which are well-known scientific and research centres. Even in the sixties when foreign contacts were difficult due to political reasons, we co-operated not only with socialistic countries but also with Finland, France, Yugoslavia and the United States.

The possibility to develop knowledge at Western universities is appreciated by our scientists - it permits them to continue original researches and also to improve their own qualifications. It also permits them to prepare numerous important common publication. The participation of our scientists in international conferences and symposia has been permanently increasing and there are even more partners visiting us.

A constantly growing interest of foreign students to enrol at our University has been also noticed. In the changing political conditions the prestige of our University as a well-known University of tradition is increasing. Foreign universities come out to us with proposals of co-operation.

The adopting of the TEMPUS programme in the recent years has led to a considerable enlivening of international co-operation. Since 1990 when the Technical University received 8 three-year JEP programmes, the number of co-operating with us universities has considerably increased. It should be mentioned that at least two partners from European Community take part at each programme. There are also programmes including several partners both from Western and Central Europe. In 1992 we obtained next 6 programmes. In 1995, after a positive assessment of our programmes by the E.C., 9 new TEMPUS programmes were accepted, thus: 6 JEP structural and 3 administrative JEPs+.

In 1995 fifteen TEMPUS programmes were realised, namely: 7 at the Faculty of Electronics, 2 at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and one common at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and at the Faculty of Management and Economy, besides that, one at the Faculty of Ocean Engineering and Ship Technology. These programmes promote the developments of laboratory educational basis, the computerisation of the University and facilitate the international exchange of scientists and students.

THE RECENT YEARS

In 1989 crucial events took place in Poland in which the important role was played by Gdańsk Coast population with a considerable participation of the Technical University employees and students. "Solidarity" was established at the Coast, and the Independent Students' Union developed its activity. A democratic state of market economy was created, namely the III Polish Republic. However, the transformation of the system was extremely difficult. Similarly to the general state economy, hi gher education required radical changes. In Poland it was characteristic that higher education had a small number of young people entering Universities, a considerable number of very narrow specialisation's, uniform five-year studies, stiff university programmes imposed by the central authorities, small flexibility, and first of all insufficient independence of studies. All that did not meet the demands of market economy.

Changes began with new legal acts coming into force. In 1990 the Parliament passed new Acts on Higher Education, on Scientific Title, on University Degrees and on the Committee For Scientific Research. The potent universities obtained considerable autonomy, only one title of professor was left, the position of the assistant professor was abandoned. The system of financing scientific research was altered and principles of competition adopted.

After the new Act on Higher Education had been passed, elections of academic authorities were organised accordingly to the new electoral law. The new authorities began the administration on lst December 1990. The Act demanded the establishment of new legal rules obligatory in a university, principally a new statute. The Senate of the Technical University of Gdańsk passed the new statute in 1991. It gave a considerable autonomy and discretion to faculties, which became basic organisation units. They were free to take decisions in different problems including those of their inner structures. Deans were given authority, however, along with imposing no them important responsibilities and duties.

The Technical University of Gdańsk fulfils all the requirements of the Act, which are demanded for autonomous Universities. It employs over 80 titular professors, and six Faculties out of ten have full academic rights (including awarding doctorates and qualifying for assistant professors). Those are Faculties of: Civil Engineering; Chemistry; Electronics, Telecommunication and Computer Science; Electrical Engineering and Automation; Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Moreover, in the assessment of the Committee for Scientific Research 6 faculties received the highest category A for the results achieved on the international scale. These are Faculties of: Chemistry; Electrical Engineering and Automation; Electronics, Telecommunication and Computer Science; Environmental Engineering; Mechanical Engineering, and Ocean Engineering and Ship Technology.

Within the recent years the number of students at the University has considerably increased. The increase of enrolment at the first year of studies was over 20%. The number of students at the beginning of the 1994/95 academic year amounted to 10,500. This was the result not only of the situation on the market of employment but of the growing number of offers for the candidates, as well as of introducing new forms satisfying the demands of economy (e.g. bachelor studies), and new discip lines, such as Environment Protection, Biotechnology, Management and Robotics. Besides, the studies have become more international.

Unfortunately, the transformation of studies has been carried out in very difficult financial conditions. It should be emphasised that the means received by the University for educating one student within the years 1990-1994 dropped in comparable prices by over 60%. Similarly the means for research have been relatively smaller. It dropped from 50% in the year 1985, down to 32% in 1990 and to 25% in 1993 in the university's budget. All these changes occur with the number of teachers kept on the same level 1010, while the number of other employees dropped from 2100 down to 1500 within in the last four years.

That has improved the proportions between students and their teachers, which used to be 4.8, while it is 10 at present, which is comparable to European standards. In the middle of the eighties, 50% of the University budget for research were the means coming from industry. In 1993 that sum dropped to about 6%, while research financed by the Committee for Scientific Research amounts to 19% of the budget.

In that situation, the fact that, after the fall of the doctorate number in 1990, it began to grow again being over 25 a year at present, may be considered as a success. Also the number of qualifications for assistant professors raised up to 21 in 1993, what denotes the triple growth in comparison with the year 1988.

The prolonged difficult financial situation results in a decapitalization of the University laboratory basis, in the desertion of the capable and young staff, and in permanently increasing difficulties in maintaining the level of researches. In that situation an effective and real co-operation of the Coast environment has become essential. This is being realised by the Council of Rectors of Gdańsk Pomerania, established in 1991 and transformed into the Council for Pomerania of Vistula area in 1994. The Rector of the Technical University of Gdańsk was chosen the President of the Council and is supervising its work. Such co-operation permits to adopt in the more optimal and rational way the limited financial means.

Among others it has led to the establishment of the inter-universities Chemistry Laboratory in 1994, which had been provided with an expensive and of high standard equipment, serving the scientists of the Technical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk University and Gdańsk Academy of Medicine. In the co-operation with Polish Cable Television and with Polish Telecommunication, S.A. (joint stock company) it has also made it possible to organise and operate the Academic Computer Network for Three -Cities - TASK, The Network offers the possibility of a connection with domestic and international networks effectively widening information exchange and enabling new broad co-operation with universities, both in the country and abroad.

Besides scientific co-operation, the co-operation between different universities in the range of education, which helps to abandon traditional education in narrow specialities, became possible. It also permits to introduce more humanities into technical studies and to make a wider use of the achievements in technology by classical scholars.

Since 1993 environmental inaugurations of the academic year have been organised, which promote an integration of academic communities, both with local authorities, economy and business. The Technical University of Gdańsk influences the environment by organising conferences, lectures, exhibitions, meetings and even concerts.

Activities integrating us with European and World environment have been undertaken as well in education and research. Great emphasis is laid on teaching foreign languages and English became compulsory. Changes in the University curricula approach the programmes of Western universities. Ever more lecturers from foreign universities and well-known scientific centres, deliver lectures at our university. It permits to follow alternative studies pursued partly at home and partly in universities abroad. Within the international programmes TEMPUS, COPERNICUS, ERASMUS we have the possibility of mutual conducting researches and awarding international certificates or diplomas. As an example we can mention that in the range of "M.Sc. Applied Computer Science" students have the possibility of obtaining a diploma of the De Montfort University (Great Britain).

Several important conferences have been organised with the participation of outstanding scientific authorities; as an example Prof. Georg Hitchings the laureate of the Noble Prize can be mentioned. In 1991 a conference of European rectors CRE was held at our University. In September 1994 an international conference on the Theory and Practice of Robots and Manipulators Ro.Man.Sy'94 was held in our University, with the representatives of 17 states, among others, from such excelling in the field of robotics countries as Japan, USA, France, Germany and Italy. We lay great emphasis on the process of implementation of research results into practice, namely to the commercialisation of technology. In the 1991 Gdańsk Innovation Centre was opened and an American-Polish conference on that topic was held in 1992.

The Rector of the Technical University of Gdańsk along with the representatives of the largest Polish universities and business representatives founded Polish Business and Educational Forum of which our University is a member.

The result of the ranking from 1993 published by the weekly "Wprost" in the range of research and education is a kind of summing up of the Technical University of Gdańsk achievements. It took the fifth position among domestic universities and the second among technical universities.

Edmund Wittbrodt