Emilia Mazurek, Olena Vynoslavska


The recent changes taking place in the European higher education systems leads to less stable, less secure and less attractive working conditions for academic teachers. Nonetheless, it is observed that the academic profession is attractive for young talented people. The research was aimed at studying educational biographies of engineers who took up PhD studies at technical universities in order to find out the importance of young people’s experience and life history in making important life decisions (i.e. starting academic career). The biographical research was performed based on the material of lifelines and autobiographic essays prepared by PhD students of technical universities in Poland and Ukraine. The study included 56 participants of 23 to 30 years of age. A typology of biographical narratives was developed as a result of analysis of the research material. Additionally, the crucial similarities and differences between educational biographies of PhD students from Poland and from Ukraine were indicated. On the basis of the research it can be determined that traditional motives of undertaking the academic profession – i.e. curiosity, professional status, and financial rewards – still play a big role. New motives are also appearing: investing oneself and social mission. An academic profession is seen as a possibility of development and autonomy to a greater extent than in the economic sector. However, the lack of guarantee of employment at the university after PhD studies and lower remuneration in academic structures compared to the economic sector make it difficult to plan one's own future and choose academic career instead of a different career path.


academic profession; educational biography; higher education; PhD studies; technical university

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ISSN 2410-8286 (Online), ISSN 2409-3351 (Print)