Academic Discourse from Alethurgical Perspective: A Case of Higher Education Reform in Poland

  • Justyna Spychalska-Stasiak
  • Helena Ostrowicka


The phenomenon of the “transformations of the university” (Kwiek, 2010, 2011, 2015) that has been observed over the two past decades is quite complex. Problems concerning state funding for universities, the development of competitive and market-oriented educational institutions and, at the same time, the emphasis on the egalitarisation of higher education and commercialization of contemporary science – these are just some of the indicators of the changes contributing to the erosion of the traditional model of the university. The transition noted in the literature has left its mark on nearly every aspect of academic culture - from the recommended ways to manage the university, through the modification of goals, conditions and methods of education, to radical change of intentions accompanying scientific cognition (Slaughter, Leslie 1997; Melosik 2009; Sułkowski 2016). This paper is aimed to show in what ways the systemic and institutional transformations are accompanied by the discursive construction of “truths” about the reform of higher education in Poland. The presentation is a part of the broader research project entitled “Governmentality of university – a discursive image of the contemporary higher education reform in Poland” supported by the National Centre of Science in Poland, Grant No 2014/14/E/HS6/00671 (see Ostrowicka, Spychalska-Stasiak 2018; Ostrowicka, Stankiewicz 2019; Chomik, Ostrowicka 2019). We are interested to answer two questions:

  • what truths about the reform of higher education are constructed in the analyzed discourse?
  • what alethurgical mechanisms are responsible for their production?