The Center is an autonomous research unit of Poznan University, Poland. It was opened in 2002 by the decision of its Rector, Professor Stanisław Lorenc. Professor Marek Kwiek has been its Director from the beginning. It has been funded by EU research programs (6th Framwork Programme, 7th Framework Programme, Lifelong Learning Programme, Erasmus Thematic Network etc.), EEA Grants/Norway Grants, European Science Foundation (ESF), Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, OECD, UNESCO, as well as numerous Polish research programs.

Since July 2012, following the Agreement between the AMU Rector, Professor Bronislaw Marciniak and UNESCO Director-General I. Bokova, the Center houses UNESCO Chair in Institutional Research and Higher Education Policy. Professor Kwiek is its Chairholder.


The Center’s major objective is to do advanced research in social sciences (especially higher education research, accompanied by higher education policy) in cooperation with international, international projects. Major areas of its interest include: higher education research and policy, research and development policy, university management and governance, reforming higher education in Central and Eastern Europe, the state/market’s roles in education, educational legislation, and public services/welfare state (especially in two contexts: EU and European transition economies). As well as Europeanization, globalization, theories of the welfare state and theories of democracy.


The Center’s structure includes its Director, Program Coordinator, members and Advisory Board. As research is organized through international research projects, collaborators of the Center work within particular projects.