Inter-faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities between 1992 and 30 September 2013.
Inter-faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities were created at the University of Warsaw in 1992 pursuant to a relevant Resolution of the University of Warsaw Senate of 16 December 1992. In 1998, Inter-faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities were transformed to the MISH College. On 19 March 2013, the Rector of the University of Warsaw renamed the College of Inter-faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities into the College of Inter-area Individual Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
The MISH project at the University of Warsaw was created Prof. Jerzy Axer. Until 2008, he was the director of MISH and then the chairperson of the MISH College Council.
As of its creation, inter-faculty individual studies (later: inter-departmental and interdisciplinary) were a novel study formula, especially attractive not only for candidates with extensive interests in the Humanities who could not fit into the traditional system of studying a single academic discipline, but also for those with inquisitive minds and prone to reflection, ready to assume responsibility for both the make-up and pace of their university education.
The overriding aim of the studies was to provide MISH students with the possibility of attending classes, obtaining credits, passing exams, and receiving final diplomas in all the teaching units making up the MISH College, as well as (without the possibility of obtaining a diploma) in other units of the University of Warsaw and other universities (with the consent of the relevant authorities). The individual studies were based on the master-student relationship. The most important way of creating this bond was for the tutor (scholarly supervisor) to provide the student with continuous care. The student chose the tutor from among the faculty of the University of Warsaw with at least a doctoral degree, specializing in the field closely corresponding to the student’s interests.
In the indicated period of operation of the MISH College, the studies conducted in the unit pursued educational goals closely corresponding to their original name. These were the following studies:
inter-faculty – led jointly by different units of the University of Warsaw, where an individual study program for each student had to include, for the first three years, classes (with credits and exams) in at least three study fields.
individual – organized in a tutorial system, in which each student chose a tutor. Together with the tutor, each year the student adopted a study plan, taking into account both the requirements necessary to obtain a diploma in a selected field of study and his/her individual interests and scientific fascinations.
humanistic – the set of study programs offered by units of the University of Warsaw making up the MISH College comprised primarily the Humanities, e.g.: Philosophy, Sociology, History, Art History, Ethnology, Philology (over a dozen specialties), Polish Studies, Psychology, Pedagogy, Journalism, Cultural Studies, etc. The MISH College offered a diploma in other disciplines, e.g. in Economics, Applied Social Sciences, Social Prevention Studies, Political Science, and Law.
The validity of such a model of study was confirmed by the adoption of the MISH model by leading Polish universities (e.g. University of Silesia in Katowice, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Jagiellonian University, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, etc.).
The success of the above initiatives led to the establishment in 1999 of the inter-university nationwide structure under the name »Artes Liberales« Academy, which transferred the MISH experience to the level of studies between Higher Education Institutions.
MISH studies were moreover a starting point for creating further innovative forms of interdisciplinary scholarship at the University of Warsaw. The unique Artes Liberales Studies is one of them. They were originally run in close collaboration of the MISH College and the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies “Artes Liberales” (now the Faculty of “Artes Liberales”).
Since the onset of MISH until 2012, the studies drew on heavily on the funds of the “Artes Liberales Institute” Foundation. Its resources covered the lion’s share of the MISH studies-related costs, remuneration for lecturers within the “module” (teaching offer developed each year exclusively for MISH students), as well as – in the first years – remuneration of the tutors. In time, the development of the MISH College and its enhanced position in the structure of the University of Warsaw, the amounts designated for the operation of the unit from the University budget increased steadily. In 2013, the overall costs of studies carried out by the MISH College were taken over by the University of Warsaw.