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Inauguracja lp



October 2, 2020 r.
roman cieslak


Dear Members of SWPS University Community,

We began our 25th academic year in a unique way, combining academic tradition with modern technology. During the difficult time of the pandemic, we wanted to build and strengthen our community in a real and symbolic way. Therefore, for the very first time in the history of SWPS University, the Inauguration Ceremony in Warsaw and in our other branches (including Katowice, Poznań, Sopot, and Wrocław) were held on the same day, at the same time, in one virtual space.

We began the 2020/2021 academic year together to experience the power of the community and diversity. 

Professor Roman Cieślak, Rektor of SWPS University


  1. The national anthem
  2. Rector’s opening address
  3. Announcement of the Rector’s and Director General’s Awards
  4. Matriculation of the first year students and doctoral candidates
  5. Gaudeamus Igitur perfomed by SWPS University Choir
  6. Speeches by student and doctoral candidate representatives
  7. Opening lecture
  8. Gaude Mater Polonia performed by SWPS University Choir

As usual, we began the ceremony by singing the national anthem. Next, Professor Roman Cieślak, Rector of SWPS University, delivered the Opening Address. He was followed by Vice-Rector for Research, Professor Aleksandra Cisłak Wójcik, who listed congratulatory letters that had been sent to SWPS University on the occasion of the new academic year. Subsequently, Recotr of SWPS University, Prof. Roman Cieślak, and Director General of SWPS University, Dr. Ewa Ger, announced recipients of achievement awards for academic, artistic, teaching and organizational contributions to the University in the previous academic year. Next, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs, Professor Ewa Gruszczyńska conducted the matriculation of the first year students and doctoral candidates. After the speeches delivered by student and doctoral candidate representatives, Rector of SWPS University officially announced the opening of the new academic year.

The Opening Lecture of the 2020/2021 Academic Year, titled “Journey to the Unknown? Global and Domestic Impact of the Pandemic on Human Rights” was delivered by Professor Adam Bodnar, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic of Poland (2015-2020), lecturer at SWPS University’s Faculty of Law in Warsaw.

Participants of the Ceremony also had an opportunity to enjoy a performance by SWPS University Choir, conducted by Ewa Mackiewicz, M.A..

Opening Lecture

Journey to the unknown?
Global and Domestic Impact of the Pandemic on Human Rights

The coronavirus pandemic has proved to be one of the most impactful events since WWII. Never before have democratic countries experience a crisis that would be equally damaging to social, economic, and political bonds.

The unique situation has provided a justification for the introduction of exceptional regulations that limit personal rights and freedoms. In different countries, the regulations met with a varied level of social acceptance. Will the currently-practiced mode of introducing new legislation become the norm for shaping the state-citizen relationship? Will it strengthen authoritarian tendencies?

The conditions of the so-called ‘new normal’ are conducive to the use of new technological solutions. Budgetary constraints and the global economic crisis may significantly decrease the quality of public services and challenge the right to equal access to health services and education. Will the current international human rights be sufficient to globally face the effects of the pandemic?

adam bodnar

Associate Professor Adam Bodnar – is the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic of Poland (2015-2020), formerly Vice-President of the Helsinki Foundation of Human Rights. He is a lawyer, academic teacher, and author of numerous publications on law and legal matters. He collaborated with many NGOs, including Panoptykon Foundation (Chair of the Foundation Council), ClientEarth Poland (member of the Program Council), and the Professor Zbigniew Hołda Association (co-founder and member of the board). He was also a member of the Civic Legislation Forum, operating at the Batory Foundation, and the editorial team of kulturaliberalna.pl. In 2018, he received a Norwegian Rafto Award for defenders of human rights. In 2019, the World Justice Project awarded Prof. Adam Bodnar and the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, the Rule of Law Award, which recognizes extraordinary achievements by individuals and organizations to strengthen the rule of law in exemplary ways.

View the Recording from the Event

Photos from the Event



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