THE POPULARITY OF GEOGRAPHY IN POLAND AS A SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINE TO STUDY INTRODUCTORY REPORT OF THE RESEARCH
Authors: Bożena Wójtowicz
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The number of secondary school graduates choosing a particular discipline to study is, to some extent, the reflection of the position of this scientific discipline and the improvement of its research achievements as well as the economical needs for such university graduates. The popularity of a particular scientific discipline is revealed in the number of applicants wanting to study the selected discipline along with the number of students. It depends on many factors, such as: changing demographic processes, social changes, the demand for specialists in the sphere of the economy, the status and the position of a particular scientific discipline, the personal interest of the individual as well as the formal conditions (e.g. limits of the accepted students, legal restrictions, demanded disciplines, etc.). In order to answer the question how popular the Geographical studies are in Poland, the statistic data of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education was analyzed. Furthermore, the questionnaires among the students of Geography in eight academic centers in Poland were conducted. The research allowed to capture the important factors that had the great impact on the interest in the sphere of the geographical studies among young people. It should allow the universities dealing with geographical studies to develop the strategies of popularization of such studies. The psychological aspect of the made choice had the considerable impact on the popularity. The main factors, which were crucial as far as the selection of the studies at the university was concerned, appeared as follow: the close distance from the university, the possibility of selecting the preferred specialty, the prestige of the university in the rankings, the family traditions.