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The 23rd Inauguration of the academic year at SWPS University took place on October 4, 2018. We had the honor and the pleasure to share this special day with distinguished guests from the world of science, academia and the local government. We also welcomed 3,800 freshmen, including over 400 international students. The opening lecture, “To have or to be? Returning to the question about the essence of happiness”, was delivered by Professor Tomasz Zaleśkiewicz, Dean's Representative for Interdisciplinary Doctoral Studies at SWPS University in Wrocław.

New Law on Higher Education and Poland’s 100 Years of Independence 

"It will be a special year for us. Together with other higher education institutions we are taking up a challenge of aligning our university with the new legal framework established by the new Law on Higher Education in Poland. Higher education institutions and the academic community will be evolving, at a different pace and in different ways as they will be searching for their paths of development. Ahead of us is a year of intensive work, a year of not only teaching and research, but also a year of concentrated effort of the whole institution and our community”, said Professor Roman Cieślak, Rector of SWPS University.

It will also be a special year, because Poland is celebrating 100 years of Independence and we will also join in the celebrations in various ways. It is also an important year for our university, because in November 1918, Kazimierz Szpotański, innovator and entrepreneur, opened his High Voltage Apparatus and Devices Factory and it is here, in the former building of the company, that our Warsaw campus is located”, noted Professor Cieślak.

“SWPS University values, such as courage, openness and responsibility are taking on a special meaning on the 100th anniversary of Polish Independence”, concluded Rector.

Matriculation Ceremony

October 4, 2018 will be long remembered by first year students, who are beginning their education at SWPS University. “I would like to welcome all international students at the SWPS University. Some of you have come here from very far away, and for some of you this is the first experience of being away from home. Please remember that we are all part of one community. I hope you will feel wonderful in Poland and at our university, and that we will become friends quickly”, said Weronika Pawluk, Vice-President of the Student Council.

As every year, several students stepped up to the podium to be symbolically welcomed to SWPS University by the Rector. The group included representatives of our international students from Belarus, Columbia, Namibia, Russia, and Ukraine.

Opening Lecture – The Essence of Happiness

The opening lecture on "To have or to be? Returning to the question about the essence of happiness", delivered by Professor Tomasz Zaleśkiewicz, Dean's Representative for Interdisciplinary Doctoral Studies at SWPS University in Wrocław, addressed an important issue of our times.

“For thousands of years, philosophers and spiritual leaders and, nowadays, researchers representing various disciplines of social sciences, have been searching for the right answer to this question. One of the dilemmas intertwined in the debate about the essence of happiness relates to the tension expressed by the question “to be or to have”; the tension between the spiritual and the material world; between sacrum and profanum. Can accumulation of money and material possessions make us happy? … Erich Fromm and other thinkers who had lived hundreds of years before him, suggested that greed and pursuit of material possessions did not appease the human longing for happiness. The latest experimental research, conducted by psychologists, economists and scholars representing other disciplines of science, seem to strongly confirm these assumptions” said Professor Zaleśkiewicz.

Professor Tomasz Zaleśkiewicz, SWPS University in Wrocław - social psychologist. His research focuses on economic behaviors, such as money investing and financial decision making and comprises behavioral economics, neuroeconomics and game theory. He is Head of the Center for Behavioral Economics at SWPS University in Wrocław. The Centre for Behavioral Economics conducts research projects in the field of economic psychology and behavioral economics and collaborates with business organizations and associations of stock market investors. Author of several publications on economic psychology and on risk taking, for example: Psychologia inwestora giełdowego (Psychology of a stock market investor) (2003), Przyjemność czy konieczność? Psychologia spostrzegania i podejmowania ryzyka (Pleasure or Necessity? Psychology of perceiving and taking risks) (2005), and Psychologia ekonomiczna (Economic Psychology) (2012).

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