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Teaching at a Polish University - PHD required? or being a foreigner enough ;)


Maluch 30 | 95
7 May 2014 #1
to teach at a university in Poland are they pretty adamant about having a PhD or will a regular old masters suffice?
Monitor 14 | 1,820
7 May 2014 #2
Problem is that they don't employ new people at all. It's the time of demographic low and private schools are being closed and some specialties in public universities too. Theoretically one can work with Master only, but for minimum salary as assistant only. Foreign diplomas (master and PhD) are treated worse. If from out of EU, then could even be not recognized. Except perhaps if you're already full professor.
teflpuss
7 May 2014 #3
A Masters is enough to work as a 'lektor', i.e. a member of the teaching staff, but getting a job is nigh on impossible at the moment. The demographic situation in Poland has led to universities sacking teaching staff this year. You might pick up a few hours on a freelance basis at best. Good luck, but don't expect too much enthusiasm.
DominicB - | 2,677
7 May 2014 #4
Have to agree that the chances of finding work are slim to none, and if you do manage to find anything, the pay will be abysmally low, and not worth the bother even to think about. You wouldn't be able to survive on it, never mind be able to justify the costs of moving to Poland. This isn't a viable option. Your being a foreigner adds basically nothing to your employability. Native English speakers with masters degrees are dime a dozen in Poland now, so you're nothing special. There have been major cutbacks at Polish universities recently, so job prospects would be very poor.
OP Maluch 30 | 95
8 May 2014 #5
fine... I will start my own university then! :)
Monitor 14 | 1,820
8 May 2014 #6
I've heard that South America is much better place for that.
georgiejones
8 May 2014 #7
well my friend (with a masters degree) got a rather well paid job at the university of Lodz with no problem....
why are you so bitter and negative dominic? did things not pan out for you?
Monitor 14 | 1,820
8 May 2014 #8
Link his facebook profile or hasn't happened :)
krecik89 3 | 60
8 May 2014 #9
I know a few foreigners who work in the university system. Some have got jobs recently. Most university departments will see good foreign qualifications gained within the EU or America as a definite plus. Also, if you're lecturing in e.g. South American studies and you're from South America then an obvious plus. Pay may not be great but enough to have a half decent life and you're probably not in it for the money anyway.
Dont gag me yo 7 | 156
8 May 2014 #10
Link his facebook profile or hasn't happened :)

linkedin.com/pub/clifford-bates/9/3a5/512
Monitor 14 | 1,820
8 May 2014 #11
This Clifford Bates has PhD and big enough experience to get professor position in Warsaw University. georgiejones said about a person without PhD.
DominicB - | 2,677
8 May 2014 #12
With a doctorate and plenty of experience, and a very high level of Polish, I made a lot more money working with universities and PAN as an independent translator and advisor than I ever could working for the university itself. With a mere masters, though, no one is going to pay you decent money for anything.

well my friend (with a masters degree) got a rather well paid job at the university of Lodz with no problem

Baloney. There are no "rather well paid jobs" at Polish universities, for Poles or foreigners. Adjunct professors with habilitacje don't clear more than 4000 PLN a month, and most earn a lot less. A lecturer with a masters is going to bring in less than 2000 PLN a month under the very best of circumstances, if they get hired at all.

Pay may not be great but enough to have a half decent life and you're probably not in it for the money anyway.

The overwhelming majority of Polish academics don't earn near enough from their universities to have a decent life. Full professors top out at a mere $30,000 a year. Most consult on the side for supplemental income, or even as their primary source of income.

Wages at Polish universities are determined by a schedule determined by the ministry of education. Individual universities and departments have little in the way of flexibility to negotiate wages on a case by case basis. No matter how desperately they need someone, they have to pay them according to the schedule. Same as with the University of California system.
Lenka 3 | 1,442
8 May 2014 #13
DominicB, one thing, please remember that they work "at the blackboard for [b}14[/b] hours a week. Which means that if they simply work at 2 places they work 4 days and get around 4 thousands a month. Lets count some more- every good professor works with weekend students as well, hmmm, interesting how many hours/ money you can get from there. Ohhh, again I forgot another thing, students writting their thesis, lets say 15 students per lecturer, lets say 500 per each student.... Oh lets not miss the fact that they usually have some function like "year professor" "head of the departement"...

I would just want to know when they cross the 25 times of the country's average salary. From what I know in small collage they can make it by a half year.

I'm not saying all ppl working at the university is a millionaire or that some of them shouldn't be paid more (only some) but cut the BS please, they are far from starving.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
8 May 2014 #14
I would just want to know when they cross the 25 times of the country's average salary. From what I know in small collage they can make it by a half year.

25 x 4000 per year and in small collage in half year = 25 x 4000 x 2 per year is 200 000 PLN. Is that what you're saying?
Lenka 3 | 1,442
8 May 2014 #15
Yes and I know it for sure. Of course it's not for someone who has only master and just started working there however quite many did it. What ppl say about the money they get is one thing- the other perspective is that of an accountant that has to change things when they earn more than 25 times the average salary.
teflpuss
9 May 2014 #16
Lenka. Do you have any direct experience of working in a Polish university? Thought not. Dom knows what he's talking about. I can vouch for that. I work as a 'lektor' and wouldn't be able to live well without having two other jobs.
Lenka 3 | 1,442
9 May 2014 #17
Nah, but I know it from the account side, and believe me, there is no cheating there. True however it's more doable with Polish professors rather than native speakers. As I said it's not for someone with master and no expirience but quite many do it. If it's so bad I wonder why I had 3 natives teaching me, working for many years in the same collage and happy with it.
DominicB - | 2,677
9 May 2014 #18
If it's so bad I wonder why I had 3 natives teaching me, working for many years in the same collage and happy with it.

If they're making decent money, it's because they are not working as an employee of the university, but are receiving money from various grants, like I was. The university pay scale is meager and inflexible, and is determined solely by the ministry of education.

Grant money, on the other hand, can be spent at the discretion of the recipient, as long as they adhere to the grant guidelines.

For example, I was paid from an EU grant for translating and advising. The other way professors and scientists make money is by freelance consulting. The actual pay they get from the university itself is lousy: about 3500 PLN a month for an adjunct.
Harry
9 May 2014 #19
If it's so bad I wonder why I had 3 natives teaching me, working for many years in the same collage and happy with it.

Having done the job myself, I know that it's a very rewarding one. The problem is that the money is pretty terrible (when I was there it was a volunteer gig with a stipend of £50 a month).
Lenka 3 | 1,442
9 May 2014 #20
The actual pay they get from the university itself is lousy: about 3500 PLN a month for an adjunct.

I see the problem, poor things, they are starving! You do realise most Poles are happy with a stable job for 2000? And let's just remind that they work 14 hours with the students. 14 hours for Pete's sake!

I guess some of our immigrants are really out of reality. You actually realise most ppl don't have big expensive apartements, don't eat every day in a 4 star restaurants, don't need private medical insurance and all that?
Harry
9 May 2014 #21
And let's just remind that they work 14 hours with the students.

It's actually rather more work than the 14 hours of lectures. For example, do you think that lectures just write themselves? That study groups just happen? That there is an essay marking fairy? And she also doubles as an exam-setting and exam-marking fairy? And that there are zero developments for lecturers to keep current with?

I guess some of our immigrants are really out of reality. You actually realise most ppl don't have big expensive apartements, don't eat every day in a 4 star restaurants, don't need private medical insurance and all that?

You might want to realise that life for foreigners in Poland is very simply more expensive than it is for Poles. For example, because we won't have a 'family flat' or know somebody who does, we always pay market price for accommodation. Here in Warsaw you're looking at 2000zl (bill in) for a 35-ish metre flat within 30 minutes of the city centre, so earning a gross salary of 3,500zl is simply not going to pay the bills.
teflpuss
9 May 2014 #22
And let's just remind that they work 14 hours with the students. 14 hours for Pete's sake!

I have never had 14 contact hours a week. Tomorrow alone I have ten. Lenka, there's not much point in debating this with you.
Lenka 3 | 1,442
9 May 2014 #23
Harry, guess what- noone forces anyone to live in Warsaw. Look at Opole- University there, Wrocław, Cieszyn...Not to mention smaller collages along the way. Way not try there?

What besides the flat is so much more expensive? Because believe me- most of my friends live in comercially rented flats.
I read yours and Dominic lists of what one needs and what costs you are looking at and believe me, it's not the average life of a Pole. And I won't even mention the poorer areas.

I have never had 14 contact hours a week. Tomorrow alone I have ten. Lenka, there's not much point in debating this with you.

Funny cos that the law in Poland in state owned Uniwersities.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
9 May 2014 #24
@Lenka: Such discussion has no point.
Lenka 3 | 1,442
9 May 2014 #25
True cos it depends on ppl expectations, expenses ans situation in life. However when I read that professors are basically earning starving wages it makes me life. One of the biggest BS written here. I may say a lot about bribes, laziness and stuff of some of our teachers. Not all for sure, I'm not saying that but lets face it, but some shouldn't earn even what they get.
Harry
9 May 2014 #26
@Lenka: Such discussion has no point.

Pretty much. Some people in this discussion have been there and done that, other people haven't but think that they know better than the people who have.

So to come back the the OP's question: no a PhD is not required but you are not going to make a living wage with only a master's.
Lenka 3 | 1,442
9 May 2014 #27
Pretty much. Some people in this discussion have been there and done that, other people haven't but think that they know better than the people who have.

Yes, and someone saw they pay slips (pasek in Polish showing every part of the salary, all deductions and so on).
DominicB - | 2,677
10 May 2014 #28
You do realise most Poles are happy with a stable job for 2000?

Most Poles do not have habilitacje, so it doesn't matter at all what most Poles would be happy with. And I'd be pretty pi$$ed off if I were bringing in only 3500 PLN a month after studying for 15 years. That's what I got as a teaching assistant when I was a grad student 30 years ago in the States. A mere $14,000 a year. Peanuts. And to drag my caboose half way across the globe for so little would simply not be an option. At all.

@Lenka: Such discussion has no point.

I have to agree with this. You're out of your element, Lenka.
Lenka 3 | 1,442
11 May 2014 #29
Most Poles do not have habilitacje, so it doesn't matter at all what most Poles would be happy with

True, however you have to remember habilitacja is only the middle of the ladder in the Uniwersity. And sorry, many doctors dream of getting a work in their field and not end up working at the shop. Are you so out of reality you don't know that?

That's what I got as a teaching assistant when I was a grad student 30 years ago in the States. A mere $14,000 a year. Peanuts. And to drag my caboose half way across the globe for so little would simply not be an option. At all.

Great and I understand that but don't you think other ppl may have different outlook? For example they may want the adventure and expirience not the money?

I have to agree with this. You're out of your element, Lenka.

I talked to my two friends doing their doctorates(and working at the Uni) and guess what ? They agree with me. Whem I told them about these almost starving professors that can't have decent life I thought they will fall from their chairs. But I guess their opinion is not valid as well.

Dominic, I was wondering how your title was treated in Poland? I mean were you listed and clasified as doktor habilitowany?

OP, I must warn what I say about academics earning good money is not about a native speaker of English that has a master. I was talking about well established academics, usually Polish.
Andrea1
20 May 2014 #30
I came here to get information, since I'm offered a Adjunct Professor position in Theoretical Physics in Warsaw, if the 3500 ZLT per month were a downstatement, but seems that is the genuine Professor's salary. I don't get how is possible to live in Warsaw under such salary, since housing seems to be quite expensive, and if that's a Professor's Salary I wonder how a McDonald Caschier can manage...

Do you suggest to open a standalone thread for questions about living in Warsaw with such a Salary, or you can suggest me from here or point me to another one?

To Lenka I answer that he's free to try to become lecturer if he think is so easy and rewarding...
Personally I have more than a dozen publications, for which I worked an average between 60 to 70h/week, when I had to teach the pressure was quite a lot, since the "14 hours + receiving time + advising + preparing" had to go ON TOP of the 60h dedicated to research.

I expect the working hours to increase if I accept the position, and 3500 ZLT seems to be barely enough for a studio apartment and provisions, I wonder how I can keep in touch with my fiancèè in England...


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