Open University programme is one of the key programmes consisting in cooperation between the University of Lodz and schools. It has been implemented at our university for several years now and it aims at showing students what studying is like in practice.
University of Lodz is always open to those who want to know more – high school and technical school students who may soon join the community of our university. Prospective students can sign up for selected classes and see, for example, how lectures differ from practical classes and why they are not the same as a lesson. Activities within the Open University programme often trigger scientific passions in young people, which they then continue and develop during their studies.
MULTITUDE AND DIVERSITY OF ACTIVITIES
During the classes 'Molecular DNA Scissors' organised in a laboratory at the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, students have the opportunity to independently perform the separation of short DNA fragments, obtained by digesting nucleic acid with restriction enzymes, and visualise them using ultraviolet light.
During the lecture entitled "Ethnographic research in business. An example of design anthropology" organised at the Faculty of Philosophy and History, students learn about the specifics of ethnographic research and its usefulness in business, based on examples from Design Anthropology. This field of science identifies detailed societal needs and expectations in order to create new everyday use objects (among others, furniture, cars, phones, websites).
Faculty of Management offers 'Homoresponsabilis' – a business simulation game that allows you to take on the role of an entrepreneur. During the game, teams of students, acting as companies, are exposed to a variety of market situations requiring quick and responsible decision-making.
Faculty of Philology invites to classes which take place in a cinema room, which is used daily by students of film studies. Students have the opportunity to watch a selected film and, thanks to an introduction by a member of staff from the University of Lodz, analyse it during the discussion after the screening.
Meeting in English? No problem. We encourage you to visit the Faculty of International and Political Studies, UL and take part in the classes 'Alternative Realities in North-American TV Series', during which you can learn how the notion of the existence of realities parallel to our own is used in American TV series.
LARGE AND SMALL MEETINGS
Some meetings with the students within the Open University programme take place in small groups – such as the classes "Emotions – a friend or enemy?" at the Faculty of Education Sciences. The meeting with the students is a workshop using interactive methods.
Yet, there are also meetings where the audience fills the entire auditorium. The demonstrations of experiments at the Faculty of Physics and Applied Informatics are watched with interest by nearly 150 students.
Małgorzata Załęczna, Vice Principal of the Adam Mickiewicz High School No 3 in Bełchatów says:
We have been cooperating with the University of Lodz for several years now. Prior to the pandemic, our students attended classes at various faculties of the university. They always returned from Lodz very satisfied, impressed by the opportunities that the University of Lodz offers. On several occasions we have also hosted scientists and students from the student science clubs of the University of Lodz at our school. They organised demonstrations and workshops for our students. During the pandemic, we took part in remote (online) classes with the University of Lodz researchers, which also worked well. Students really appreciate the constant contact with the university. It is an opportunity for them to look at a particular subject they are learning at school from a different, more mature perspective. Many times, thanks to the activities organised by the University of Lodz, they discover new interests or passions, which in the future, after graduating from the university, may become their way of life. I know that these meetings have led many students from my school to study at the University of Lodz.
SCHOOL VISITS WITHIN THE OPEN UNIVERSITY PROGRAMME
Most of the activities within the Open University programme are held at the faculties of the University of Lodz, but once in a while, there are also visits to schools in Lodz and the Voivodeship of Lodz.
For example, radio workshops, run by students from the University of Lodz Student Society for Journalism, who visited different schools, were very popular. During the radio workshops, students recorded news stories and learnt how to edit by means of basic equipment used by radio reporters.
Chemistry demonstrations, conducted by students from the University of Lodz Society of Chemistry Students Orbital, also aroused interest. Its participants learnt, for example, how artificial blood is made for film.
The Open University programme members also visit local science events organised by schools. Our employees and students conduct outdoor activities and demonstrations.
FOR YOUNGER PUPILS
The classes within the Open University programme are mainly addressed to high school and technical school students, but we happen to host primary school students too.
Younger science enthusiasts can take advantage of the workshop entitled "Kgałhmhwnzwnćue? – that is, a few words about message encryption" which is organised at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Lodz. During the activities, they learn selected ways to encrypt and decrypt data and then solve mathematical puzzles using the knowledge they have gained.
At the Faculty of Economics and Sociology, during the classes "Planning and controlling expenses, or the power of managing one's own money. The art of putting money aside for a designated goal", students learn how to control their expenses and learn how to build financial security wisely.
The Open University programme – in principle – is a programme addressed to students. However, we do not forget about the teachers – from time to time, we send them invitations for meetings at the University of Lodz.
On the occasion of issuing the free publication entitled “Pytania o Unię Europejską. Vademecum dla młodzieży” [Questions on the European Union. Vade mecum for young people] Dr Tomasz Kamiński met teachers of social studies at the Faculty of International and Political Studies of the University of Lodz, and explained how the publication could be used in lessons.
OPEN TO THE CURRENT NEEDS OF SCHOOLS
If your school does not find a topic of interest to its students in the range of activities offered within the Open University programme, we look forward to receiving your suggestions. The wide range of topics covered by the research conducted at the University of Lodz gives us the opportunity to tailor the scope of the classes to meet the current needs.
For example, the classes on the American electoral system that we conducted for one of the high schools in Lodz in the year of the United States presidential election.
NOVELTIES IN THE OPEN UNIVERSITY PROGRAMME OFFER
Since 2020, classes within the Open University programme have been also organised by the University of Lodz Branch in Tomaszów Mazowiecki and the University of Lodz Career Office.
The Branch offers, for example, many interesting topics on forests. Students have the opportunity to learn about the current state of forests biodiversity, its benefits and the need to protect it in the face of emerging threats.
Workshops with coaches from the University of Lodz Career Office are, in turn, a way to learn about one’s strengths and identify one’s resources and, consequently, increase awareness of one’s potential. The University of Lodz Career Office will also advise on what to consider when choosing an employer, what mistakes to avoid in one’s CV and what to do to make a good impression during a job interview.
A LITTLE LESS OPEN
Until 2020, we were running nearly 90 different classes per academic year. After the outbreak of the pandemic, taking into account the safety of students and lecturers, we suspended classes at the faculties and switched largely to a remote (online) form, so we have been implementing slightly fewer of them. However, many topics require direct contact between the lecturer and the students.
In order not to lose touch with students, we have launched Studiuj z nami [Study with Us] Facebook group. It presents the university's offer through the achievements of the members of the University of Lodz community – students, academics and alumni. We showcase their activities, successes and academic passions. We show what they do and what interests them. Hopefully, this will encourage students to join the #UniLodz community.
You can also find us on other social media.
WISELY ABOUT EDUCATION WITH THE LODZ UNIVERSITY PRESS
Facebook group 'Mądrze o Edukacji' [Wisely About Education], run by the Lodz University Press, is a platform for the exchange of good practices in the field of education and upbringing of children and young people. Its mission is to share information and ideas, engage educators in joint activities and to discuss issues that broaden pedagogical competences and promote the quality of education.
The group brings together educators, teachers, tutors and anyone interested in innovative education and creative techniques of working with students.
The group was inspired by the American psychologist Robert J. Sternberg's concept of 'education for wisdom', which prepares students for self-reliance, develops critical thinking skills and promotes the use of a student's potential to perform better.