Development of Student’s Professional Competences within the Framework of Science- Business Cooperation - Polish Journal of Management Studies

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Development of Student’s Professional Competences within the Framework of Science- Business Cooperation

Abstracts > Vol 9

Kurowska-Pysz J.

Abstract: The paper concerns the issue of students involvement in projects related to science-business cooperation, especially in the aspect of the development of their professional skills during academic training. The studies were the starting point for a reflection on students' interest in developing additional practical skills during their studies, and their knowledge of the essence of innovation and science-business cooperation. The issues concerning the role of students in science-business cooperation and the factors motivating and demotivating students to undertake such activity were also raised in the paper.

Key words: professional career, competences, academic entrepreneurship, science-business cooperation.


Modern universities are functioning not only as centers of research and teaching, but also as institutions, whose mission is to prepare the future cadre of the economy, through professional and comprehensive process of teaching students [1]. Academic entrepreneurship, i.e. the full use of scientific knowledge in practice, depends on the creation, within universities and in the economic environment, the right conditions for utilizing the brainpower, knowledge and academical ideas [2]. This becomes possible due to the growing, despite many obstacles [11], but mutually beneficial, institutional cooperation between universities and enterprises [4]. The result of this cooperation is a release of creativity, activity, and personal potential of skilled researchers and students. Increasingly, they are engaged in projects for mutual transfer of knowledge between science and business practice [8]. The positive impact of academic entrepreneurship both on the development of scientific careers, as well as on the professional preparation of students participating in such project, should be emphasized. This is an opportunity for young people, to gain work experience while still in academic education, as well as a chance to make contact with a modern, pro-innovative companies, and for a deeper understanding of the economic environment, in which they intend to seek employment in the future. From the employers point of view - among other cognitive and applicational qualities, relating to the science-business cooperation, the contact with young, talented and ambitious people is important from the point of view of development of human resources in enterprises. Also, if the student cooperating with the company will not be employed, his/hers activity, enthusiasm and optimism in his/hers activities is a valuable asset for the company, especially the companies base staff lacks such an approach.
Despite many benefits that students can have from the science-business cooperation, especially in terms of strengthening their professional skills, and the opportunity for periodic or permanent employment, the interest in such cooperation on the part of students is still not satisfactory. The cognitive aim of this paper is to define the most interesting forms of engagement in enterprises for students within the framework of science - business projects, as well as key motivators and de-motivators related to this. The application goal of the paper set out by the Author is the formulation of recommendations on optimization of mechanisms encouraging the involvement of students in science-business projects, and thus, favorably affecting their practical skills and professional competences.
In the theoretical part of the paper the Author has focused on considerations regarding desired skills and competencies that students should acquire under  cooperating with companies in science-business projects; the Author has also focused on an analysis of possible forms of such cooperation. The empirical part of the paper contains a discussion of the conclusions of the studies. They are qualitative in nature and are not representative for the whole population of students, but they can be a valuable demonstrative material, for optimizing the path of development of science-business cooperation, from the point of view of the benefits for the student.

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The study confirms that students are generally interested in the development of additional practical skills during their academic education, but certainly, the level of activity in this area is decreasing, if we ask for a specific, preferred forms of engagement. Most of the students have indicated internships and participation in projects. Combining these results with the answers provided in Tables 3 and 4 it should be noted, however, that the most interesting for the students are paid forms of improving competences. Financial expectations of students, however, in many situations will encounter a resistance from employers, claiming that the company should obtain gratification for the practical training of students. Therefore the difficult problem how to reconcile the financial aspirations of students with the attitudes of employers remains to be solved. Although the answer to the above research question 1 is positive, this does not mean that the university will automatically create conditions for the development of practical skills to all interested students. It depends, inter alia, on the following factors:
the quality of student's theoretical knowledge as a starting point to explore opportunities to develop their practical skills in cooperation with companies,
authentic readiness for greater education effort on the part of the student and motivation to engage in additional forms of practical training,
organizational efficiency of the university in preparation of practical classes and other forms of participation in science-business cooperation such as internships, study visits, for interested students,
interesting of companies in taking students on practical training in various forms.
The second research question was about assessing the level of students' knowledge on innovation and science -business cooperation. As a rule, students have a basic knowledge of this field, that comes above all from academic activities, and some of the respondents encountered even with actual examples of this type of cooperation. Responses presented in Table 2 indicate that the students associate the science-business cooperation primarily with the development of their practical competences (and not, for example, with research for the companies), and expect that it will take just such a shape at college. From the point of view of the needs of students, the expectations are correct, although effective science-business cooperation should not be understood only in those terms. According to the Author, academic education should put more emphasis on the dissemination of benefits from such forms of cooperation, among academic staff and students, such as:
- addressing the problems of economic practice by the academic staff and students,
- research carried out in companies or on their behalf.
These forms were not indicated by the students as often as others, probably because they cannot properly assess their cognitive and application significance, both for academia, as well as for companies. It would also be useful to demonstrate on specific examples, the extent to which students can turn in this type of actions, and the benefit they can get.
The third research question concerned the role of students in science-business cooperation. Students claim that they should be involved in this type of work, and also that the university is trying to involve them in such activities. According to some respondents, this kind of activity should even be mandatory. The Author does not agree with these opinions, as observations indicate that both in the companies, as well as universities, there are people that feel very well in this type of activity, as well as those that do not have predispositions to that. Definitely the access to shared scientific and practical projects should be open to students, such as open recruitment for study tours, internships, and the use of company-funded scholarships. But mainly students who meet certain criteria, should benefit of these the most lucrative forms of cooperation. This is important just in respect to paid forms, where the company provides the student with financial gratification, but also has the right to demand from the student. Such undertakings should therefore be dedicated primarily to the brightest students, equipped with appropriate knowledge and the most motivated to undertake such activity. The university, which organizes student
s participation in collaborative science-business projects, should strictly define the criteria to be met by students applying for such a possibility.
The last research question concerned the issue of student
s motivation for participation in projects on science-business cooperation. Professional issues come to the fore here, as students combine such activities with the chance for a good presentation to prospective employers. This is, of course, a correct way of thinking, but the opportunity to gain employment through contacts with the company during the studies should be the result rather than the precondition to take such cooperation. For many students certainly an important argument in favour of engaging in cooperation with the companies will be payment, the more, that devoting their time for a participation in science-business projects, they restrict the ability of other paid employment during their studies. Financial gratification should be used as an important, measurable contribution to students engagement in science-business cooperation. As it turns out of Table 5 the biggest barrier to student participation in such projects is the lack of time and lack of proposals for such cooperation. Taking the time to acquire practical skills should of course be treated in terms of austerity, that will certainly pay off in the future, but only part of the students will be able to accept the fact.
The University may support them in this area by improving the organization of their activities, such as establishing certain days off from classes during the week. Nevertheless, the student who focuses on strengthening his position in the labour market, certainly has a stake in cooperation with companies, while sacrificing many other leisure activities. As mentioned above, the university
s task, should be to support students who seek opportunities to strengthen their practical competences in contact with companies, either by directing the information that such opportunities arise to them, as well as by pointing them the individual path of cooperation with companies out, recognizing earlier students pre-qualifications to take such actions. According to the Author the best academic intermediaries in integrating students into science-business cooperation should be centres for technology transfer or careers offices. The Author intends to devote further research on science -business cooperation to this issue.


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Streszczenie: Artykuł dotyczy kwestii zaangażowania studenta w projekty związane ze współpracą nauka-biznes, w szczególności w aspekcie rozwoju ich umiejętności zawodowych w trakcie kształcenia akademickiego. Badania były punktem wyjścia do refleksji na temat zainteresowania studentów w rozwijaniu dodatkowych umiejętności praktycznych w trakcie studiów oraz ich znajomości istoty innowacji i współpracy nauka-biznes. W artykule zostały również poruszone kwestie dotyczące roli studentów we współpracy nauka-biznes oraz czynniki motywujące i demotywujące ich do podjęcia takiej działalności.

Słowa kluczowe: kariera zawodowa, kompetencje, przedsiębiorczość akademicka, współpraca nauka-biznes.


摘要: 纸的问题在有关科学与商业合作,特别是在学术训练期间他们的专业技能的发展方面的项目中的学生的参与。研究了学生的兴趣在学习期间发展更多的实用技能和他们的知识创新和科学业务合作的本质的思考的起点。关于学生在科学与商业合作和因素的作用问题激励和丧气学生进行这种活动也提出了在文件中。
关键词: 职业生涯、 职权范围、 学术的创业精神、 科学与商业合作。

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