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This year, we celebrated the Inauguration of the academic year for the 22nd time. We had the honor and the pleasure to share this special day with distinguished guests, representing the science and academic community as well as the local government. We also welcomed 3,300 freshmen, including close to 300 international students. The opening lecture on “Universities and Liberal Freedom in Central Europe” was delivered by Professor Michael Ignatieff, Rector and President of Central European University in Budapest.

Inauguration

October
6 2017

Warsaw

We, the University

Professor Roman Cieślak, Rector of SWPS University opened the ceremony. In his speech he talked about the need to be a part of a community and the need to participate in building a community. Universities create a community that knows no institutional boundaries. What they have in common is pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty, despite ideological differences. “In the world dominated by post-truth and post-dialog, a university should be a stronghold of critical thinking and a dialog that respects all points of view. Our mission statement talks about courage, openness and responsibility. These values should guide us in the development of our university”, said Rector Cieślak.

He also noted that the success of SWPS University would not be possible without the contribution and hard work of our academics. “I am very lucky to be working with excellent teachers, who pursue quality and excellence. We must remember that the development of our university depends on the individual development of all employees, not only academics, but also all professionals working with us. Thank you for your commitment and everything you do for our university community”, concluded Rector.

Matriculation Ceremony

October 6, 2017 will be a day long remembered by first year students, who are beginning their university education. “There is no better place for taking up new challenges than SWPS University. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! At the same time, keep in mind that the university gives you tools, but it is up to you how you will use them”, said Błażej Zawistowski, representative of the Student Council.
As every year, several students came to the podium to be symbolically welcomed to SWPS University by the Rector. The group included representatives of our international students from Australia, China, Columbia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Thailand and Ukraine.

Opening Lecture – University As A Beacon Of Freedom

The opening lecture on “Universities and Liberal Freedom in Central Europe”, delivered by Professor Michael Ignatieff, Rector and President of Central European University in Budapest, was an important moment of the whole Inauguration ceremony.

In his lecture, Professor Ignatieff emphasized that democracy is a guarantee of freedom. Threats to democracy are also threats to personal freedom, because personal freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand. “It is very important that a university be an open house, a free house, for conservative opinions, for religious opinions, for secular opinions, for opinions that are unpopular, for opinions that are too popular”, said Professor Ignatieff.

Professor Michael Ignatieff is a university professor, writer and former politician. He has held senior academic posts at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Toronto and Harvard University. He collaborated with the BBC and published in The Observer and The New York Times Magazine. From 2008 to 2011, he was the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and the Leader of the Official Opposition. He is a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. Some of his publications include: Isaiah Berlin: A Life (1998), Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (2001), True Patriot Love (2009), Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (2013), The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World (2017).

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