Bachelor Studies in International Economics – Warsaw School of Economics

Warsaw, Poland

Reviewed by Polish Accreditation Committee (PKA)

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Warsaw School of Economics

Executive summary

The International Economics programme was assessed by the Polish Accreditation Committee (PKA) and this assessment procedure took place within the framework of the Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation project. PKA convened an assessment panel which studied the self-evaluation report and undertook a site visit in Warsaw on 15 May 2014. The IE programme is one of the main outcomes of the ESF financed Global SGH project. The project itself has already finished and the IE programme has been included in the regular SGH education offer. According to the self-evaluation report, the main rationale for development of the IE programme were labour market expectations towards English- proficient graduates possessing knowledge on efficient functioning on transnational markets. The International Economics programme is one of the five SGH degree programmes offered entirely in English. Thus it is vital component of the SGH international strategy.

Standard 1. Intended internationalisation 

The internationalisation goals for the International Economics programme result from the general internationalisation goals of SGH and were specified in the agreement on the co- financing of the “Innovative SGH – the Development and Internationalisation Programme” by the European Union from the European Social Fund. The goals are shared and supported by stakeholders within and outside the programme. Objectives, which have a quantitative character, have been formulated and are verifiable. They do not refer just to the IE programme, but include the whole SGH. There are evaluations of the goals and objectives. Measures for improvement have been demonstrated to a certain extent, but could have been made clearer. The panel recommends the programme management to explicitly express those qualitative internationalisation goals with focus on an international mind-set and international understanding, which have been implicitly expressed during the interviews. The panel also recommends some additional objectives of a qualitative character. The panel recommends that external stakeholders have a more outspoken role in the planning and evaluation of the programme. The programme would also benefit from introducing a benchmarking tool against similar foreign programmes and / or higher education institutions. The panel considers most of the underlying criteria of this standard to be met. Therefore the panel assesses Standard 1. Intended internationalisation as satisfactory.

Standard 2. International and intercultural learning 

The panel found that the intended international and intercultural learning outcomes are defined and that the methods used for the assessment of students are in principle suitable for measuring their achievements. There is much indirect evidence of the graduates’ competence and their good employability Nevertheless, the panel found that its assessment is strongly knowledge-based. Thus, more emphasis needs be placed on the explicit definition and assessment of the intended international and intercultural skills. The panel therefore assesses Standard 2. International and intercultural learning as satisfactory.

Standard 3: Teaching and Learning

The panel found that the content and the structure of the curriculum and teaching methods provide the necessary means for achieving the intended international and intercultural learning outcomes. Moreover, the learning environment, including support services are one of the strongest points of the IE programme. However, more emphasis should be put on the development of teaching methods along with the enhancement of international and intercultural learning outcomes recommended in the Standard 2. What is more, additional attention should be paid to the direct involvement of the employers’ representatives in the development of the IE programme. The panel considers all of the underlying criteria of this standard to be met and therefore assesses Standard 3: Teaching and Learning as good.

Standard 4: Staff

The panel has concluded that the IE programme is adequately staffed, both from the qualitative and quantitative perspective. The teachers are highly competent in terms of international knowledge and experience. Owing to experience acquired at foreign universities and international organisations, the lecturers are fully equipped to work in culturally and socially diversified environments. Apparent commitment to the IE programme results in enriched teaching methods conducive to achieving international and intercultural learning outcomes. High level of professionalism of non-teaching staff supporting the IE students can be also easily recognized. The university offers support in developing staff competences vital for the IE programme goals and intended learning outcomes. Beyond doubt, the weakest link of programme staffing is the negligible involvement of foreign lecturers. The panel deems all of the underlying criteria of this standard to be met. The panel assesses Standard 4: Staff as good.

Standard 5: Students

The panel found that students are in general satisfied with the programme composition in terms of knowledge. The student groups’ composition support a multicultural learning experience, which helps them to find good jobs in the future. However, SGH should help students more in order to find foreign and domestic internship opportunities supporting the achievement of international and intercultural learning outcomes. The panel also recommends that SGH should pay more attention on the alumni community and their feedback to the IE programme. The panel deems the underlying criteria of this standard to be met and therefore assesses Standard 5: Students as good.

Overall conclusion

Based on the documented internationalisation goals, the IE programme has implemented quite effective internationalisation activities which demonstrably contributes to the quality of teaching and learning.