University of Economics and Innovation in Lublin (WSEI) was established on the strength of the permission of the Minister of Education and Sport of 24th October 2000. WSEI is registered in the register of vocational higher education institutions in the Ministry of Science and Higher Education under the number 57. The founder of the University is Polish Foundation of the Opportunities Industrialization Centers “OIC Poland”, which is the private non-governmental organisation, based in Lublin. The Foundation was established in 1991 on initiative of members of the local society, who were interested in stimulating socio-economic development of Lublin Region.

The mission of WSEI is to prepare the highly qualified professionals, who will be able to meet European standards and who then reinforce the human resources potential and enhance the capacity of local government institutions in terms of public finance management, strategic planning or absorption and management of EU funds. In the context of economic development of the region those mentioned areas of activities are the key challenges that the public and private sector is to face in the next few years.

WSEI can be proud of our graduates, who occupy prestigious administrative positions and managerial posts in public service institutions e.g. hospitals, courts, police, tax offices and in a wide range of private sector companies too. WSEI academic staff educate people whose skills and level of education meet the requirements of the labour market. The principle of compatibility between educational process and economic practice allows our graduates not only to find an attractive job, but also to establish their own thriving companies or modernise the existing ones.

The students leaving our University are open-minded and well – prepared to take up new initiatives aimed at supporting poor and underdeveloped regions to minimise the differences and create equal opportunities for all regions of EU.

WSEI owe its success mainly to a high level of education, which combines academic knowledge with a close relationship and practice of socio-economic life, which is very rare among higher schools. The high level of educational process is maintained by a diligently selected didactic staff with proper academic degrees and necessary academic experience. A great part of the staff has also significant practical experience derived from their non-academic activity. Such an excellent team is a guarantee of a high level of education relating to economic realities of the region, meeting the EU requirements.

WSEI maintains academic relations with a few higher education institutions, e.g. Lublin University of Technology, Medical University of Lublin, University of Life Sciences in Lublin. Moreover, our University actively cooperates with local educational and business environment sector, of which with most important companies and local government institutions for South-East Poland.

At present time, WSEI together with “OIC Poland” Foundation are running 59 projects with the overall amount of PLN 157 752. Those projects are orientated towards diverse social groups and provide solutions to specific social problems.

Implementation of EU founded projects enable to strengthen relations with schools at all levels, from primary schools to higher education institutions. Those programmes, aimed at supporting of education sector, are of significant importance for us because they provide direct solutions for specific problems, such as: unequal access to educational opportunities, overcoming barriers of higher education, widening opportunities to develop occupational skills suited to labour market needs. Under the framework of projects for schools support we established and developed cooperation with 161 educational units.

One of the most important ventures among the project activities is “School of Key Competences. Development Programme – upgrading of skills by pupils from Eastern, Central and South – West Poland”.

The mentioned support programme covered in total 9000 pupils from 90 specialized lower secondary schools in 4 voivodships. The youth has been offered an array of activities with the view to help them recognize their occupational predispositions. The individual diagnosis carried out among pupils enabled to map their abilities and create appropriate training plan. The youth could develop their knowledge with regards to entrepreneurship, mathematics, information technology, foreign languages through attending optional classes or during vocational summer camps. The young people have been acquainted with the running of the local businesses, they could also acquire practical knowledge how to shape their own career path in future. In the long-term well educated society in the long-term will have a positive impact on further socio-economic development of the region.

After 10 year life, the university has 11 degree programmes on its offer in academic year 2010/2011, of which 4 faculties with undergraduate and graduate programmes, uniformed studies at master’s level in Psychology and 3 faculties of engineering profile. At present WSEI is awaiting the authorization of Ministry of Science and Higher Education to run the doctoral studies at the Faculty of Psychology.

In 2010 year, thanks to invaluable support of Minister Krzysztof Hetman, WSEI has obtained the 17 mln worth grant for laboratories of transport and computer sciences. From now on, our didactic infrastructure in terms of modernity will be the best one in the Lublin Region. The Board of Lublin Voivodship with the Marshal Krzysztof Grabczuk put a significant contribution to our success trough financial support, for which I would like to give him my thanks. New building facilities are necessary for further development of education activity as well as carrying out cutting-edge research activity. Transfer of knowledge and innovation between business units, public institutions and academic bodies plays a crucial role, particularly in regional context. As one of the leading institutions in educational market, WSEI understands the value it brings to the city and the region; positioning itself as an “enterprise university” and embedding innovation and creativity in the heart of all its activities. By embracing fully its social and economic responsibilities WSEI demonstrates the key role universities play in leading the development of the region. At the core of an enterprise-led approach there is the development of the enterprise culture, which is focused on providing opportunities for students to fully engage with business, the community and the public sector.

What is most striking about WSEI, creating an opportunity for real growth, are “innovations”, which give an opportunity to build upon an already excellent reputation for teaching and working closely with business and community groups. The key word “innovation” is not only in the name of the University, but modern technologies are visible in the methods of teaching, new specialties constantly adapted to labour market needs and resistant to economic changes. The “innovative’ methods apply to the entire education process through implementation of pilot projects and know-how transfer in areas of overcoming economical and social barriers and creating new opportunities for young people. WSEI has taken on the leadership role in promoting and enhancing entrepreneurial skills of students, harnessing talents, creating incubators for new enterprising businesses. Innovations are the main asset, or which is a real value of WSEI.

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