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Abstract

The distance a person is willing to commute has a direct influence on her/his employment opportunities and wage level. It raises a lot of interesting questions, especially whether intra-urban commuting (due to a well-developed transport infrastructure, geographical concentration of job opportunities, etc.) is connected with any wage returns, and how they differ in comparison with those of inter-urban commuting. This article uses three data-sets at national (N1 = 1,884; N2 = 933) and local (N3 = 3,193) levels from the Czech Republic, and different approximations of commuting in order to contribute to the discussion. It provides robust evidence on positive wage returns to both inter-urban and intra-urban commuting, comparable with Western countries. The differences between large national and limited urban labour markets are reflected in functional form: wage returns are linear for intra-urban and non-linear for inter-urban commuting. The article also explores the validity of different measures of commuting time and distance provided by the on-line application Mapy.cz, and suggests that it represents a suitable approximation in the case of missing or limited data.

Summary

Subject and purpose of work: This paper discusses the essence and main areas of conditions of local development in the context of the political transformations which have occurred in Poland over the last thirty years. Against this background, an attempt was made to differentiate between the conditions and factors of local development. The purpose of this work is to seek, considering different ways of defining local development and as part of different developmental models, a distinction and consistency between the essence of the concept of “conditions of development” and the concept of “factors of development” and to indicate the universality of general conditions for development at all levels of a country’s territorial division.

Materials and methods: This paper draws on the author’s own thoughts and a critical analysis of the literature on the subject, as well as documents relating to the practical shaping of the strategy and development policy in Poland. It presents the basic ways of defining local development and the model approach to development processes and characterises the main conditions of Poland’s socio-economic development over the last thirty years.

Results: It was determined that in the literature conditions of development are often identified with factors of development, which is not justified. It was determined that conditions constitute a certain potential which determines the possibilities for the progress of developmental processes, whereas granting a driving force to these possibilities transforms them into developmental factors for a given area. The general conditions of a country’s development also define the conditions of development at the lower levels of territorial division.

Conclusions: In the context of the growing role of local development programming and planning, it is important to differentiate between the concepts of “conditions” and “factors” of local development. Local development is shaped by both the overall conditions and factors of development of a country, and the specific local conditions and factors. The effective implementation of local development programmes and strategies requires the skill to convert development conditions into factors.

Abstract

The author wants to talk about a new reality surrounds us, a new atmosphere, a new condition of life in the post-globalization era at the pandemic time of the coronavirus COVID-19. The pandemic, it is said, started from communist China with a centralized and at the same time globalized economy, but today the centre of all the global problems. This it is intended to be a first analysis where economics, politics and communication intertwine and interact with the health problem which has highlighted the weaknesses of a society which has been too busy for a long time to regulate GDP.

Abstract

Educational institutions all over the world realize the importance of promoting international cooperation. In order to stay competitive in such fields like education, research, innovations it is no longer enough to count on only internal resources. Exchange of experience, knowledge sharing, benchmarking provide possibilities for universities to constantly remain updated on modern know-hows.

New opportunities for improving the quality of higher education in Belarus are provided by different international programs and projects. Among them there is the project of the EU Program ERASMUS + CBHE “University Teaching and Learning Enhancement” / UniTeLE, which has been implemented since 2019. The project coordinator is Linnaeus University (Sweden).

In the framework of the ERASMUS + UniTeLE project, a consortium of Belarusian universities has conducted a higher education quality research. The purpose of this research is to identify areas for improving the quality of higher education in Belarus.

The research was carried out on the basis of a sociological survey of a representative sampling of teachers, staff and students of six Belarusian universities (more than 350 respondents from Minsk, Gomel, Brest, Gorki, Polotsk, Grodno were interviewed). Both SWOT analysis of higher education quality in Belarus and focus group of possible improvement were performed. The discussion was attended by work groups of 25 leaders, teachers and students from each of the Belarusian universities of the project consortium.

The following fundamental research results should be noted. Among the strengths of Belarusian universities are: specialization in the regions, the system of additional adult education, and practical experience of teachers (2/3 of respondents). 58% of respondents are confident in the advantages of innovative educational technologies used by teachers, 47% indicated a low intensity of innovation implementation. Respondents noted the high level of Hard Skills competencies of the teaching staff and insufficiently of Soft Skills competencies for both teachers and students. The respondents identified outdated educational technologies and methods and the content of curricula as the fundamental weakness of Belarusian education.

The following areas of quality improvement have been identified as the most important for Belarusian universities:

  1. -the development of Soft Skills competencies of both teachers and students to provide their close interaction;
  2. -the development of Soft Skills competencies among students to provide their close interaction with employers (the development of job search skills, entrepreneurial activity);
  3. -the introduction of active teaching and learning methods, the development of interactive educational technologies;
  4. -the inсlusion of students in the process of education quality internal assessment;
  5. -systematic assessment of teachers, including the process of applying for a job, teacher academic development planning (HR management).

For the practical improvement in the suggested areas, it is advisable to create Life Long Learning Centres and Centres of Academic Development of teachers in Belarusian universities, as well as a student-oriented quality assessment system. To improve the quality and competitiveness of Belarusian education, it is also advisable to develop international cooperation and networking among universities. The positive experience of such projects as TEMPUS ECOTESY, ERASMUS + UniTeLE, ERASMUS + BELL and others, can contribute to such cooperation and interaction.

Summary

Subject and purpose of work: Community Empowerment in Sustainable Agricultural Development and CSR (Study of spice farmers in Maluku Utara). One of the duties of the nation is to facilitate prosperity for its citizens through development. Such development is pursued by the government to reach economic growth by utilizing all agriculture potentials and by organizing community development.

Materials and methods: In this study, the goals are to identify, describe and analyze the empowerment of the spice farmers’ community in Maluku Utara in sustainable agricultural development and CSR. This study is descriptive in nature and uses the qualitative approach, while data analysis relies on the Creswell’s model. Maluku Utara has a resource potential that is needed for sustainable agriculture development and CSR for community welfare.

Results: Through empowerment, which involves several stages, such as enlightenment, capacity building, and enforcement, it is possible to improve awareness, capacity, skill and strength of the community to exploit all potentials. The support given to the spice farmers’ community in sustainable agriculture development and CSR is not at the maximum. Despite this support, there are factors constraining community empowerment in sustainable agriculture development and CSR.

Conclusions: These constraints may come from community, a very low number of agriculture counselors, natural resource inadequacy, and also weather factors at Maluku Utara, all of which hamper the empowerment process.

Abstract

In this article, we introduce the Evaluation Board (EB-NdV) task in the AVA system (Accreditamento, Valutazione e Auto-valutazione). The AVA was implemented in 2013 in the Italian University System according to the document called “European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)”. The ENQA’s guidelines (2005) provide for the construction of a common European area dedicated to university and post-university. In the University, the three main actors involved in the Quality Assurance (QA) system are the Evaluation Board (Nucleo di Valutazione, EB-NdV), the University Quality Board (PQ) and the Joint Student-Teacher Commission (CP). The EB-NdV has documented functions of evaluation and monitoring of the QA system, designed by the PQ following the strategic guidelines of the governing bodies of the university institution. The EB-NdV works as Independent Assessment Body (OIV) too. This task regards the assessment procedures concerning structures and human resources dedicated to the administrative support of the core activities of the universities. The EB-NdV draws up an Annual Report related to the AVA system. In conclusion the EB-NdV evaluates the QA system of the University in its entirety and in all its aspects. Moreover, the EB-NdV evaluates the relationships between the University Quality Board and the Joint Student-Teacher Commission (CP).

Abstract

Long-term changes in the development of service establishments in the vicinity of the border crossing points on the Polish-Czech border are discussed in this paper. These changes are the result of the border being opened and subsequent economic integration. A series of panel studies, which took place in 1995, 2000 and 2016, analysed of the locations and types of service establishments located within a half kilometre of 18 Polish-Czech border crossings. Given the increasing ease of crossing the border and the maintenance of passport and customs controls, the number of service and retail establishments increased until 2000. After the abolition of passport control in 2007, this number has decreased at many border crossings, with the most significant decreases in financial, insurance-related and commercial facilities (small shops). Most crossings have become little more than transport corridors that offer no important service functions. The total number of cultural, recreational and tourism-related establishments, however, has increased, mainly at border crossings located in towns and villages. The most important changes in service developments at the Polish-Czech border are discussed, as well as the probable reasons for these changes. The results may prove useful for spatial planning in municipalities that are located on the borders of countries undergoing political and economic integration.

Abstract

The patterns of scientific cooperation between the 28 European Union (EU) member countries, Switzerland and Norway, from 1993 and 2017, are evaluated in this article. We consider co-authorship patterns to be proxies for international transfers of tacit knowledge. The theoretical part of the paper contains propositions by researchers in evolutionary economic geography on path-dependence, selection and variation, and the role of networks in knowledge transfer. The principal argument is that the geographical configurations of knowledge transfers over distance are shaped via a set of connectivities – specific communication channels for the exchange of people, goods and knowledge between two or more countries. Some connectivities are more conducive for the transfer of explicit knowledge (e.g. merchandise trade, trade in patents), while human exchange flows (students, migrants, travellers) favour the transfer of tacit knowledge. The research project found that a considerable increase in human exchanges has helped to increase the total number of co-authored papers, but did not amend the geography of the European co-authorship network over last two decades. Rather, the layout of the network stems from a relatively stable set of historical, cultural and political legacies in Europe.

Summary

Subject and purpose of work: This article analyzes the factors depicted in the literature as essential for the emergence of far-right parties and assesses the importance of unemployment, immigration and political establishments in the failures of the far-right wing parties in Sweden and Finland in early 2000s.

Materials and methods: Multi-methods approach is used in this study including case studies and a novel technique based on Boolean algebra.

Results: The findings of this paper lead to the conclusion that the correlation between unemployment rates and the electoral strength of far-right parties is weak and does not support simplistic thesis such as high unemployment leads to extremism. Moreover, despite objectively favorable conditions in terms of high immigration rates, the presence of non-European immigrants in a country does not in itself explain the emergence of far-right parties.

Conclusions: The study points to the importance of political factors such as the differences between the mainstream parties and tackling the immigration issue by the Liberal Party in Sweden and the wide ideological span of the coalition government and the role of Finland’s special relationship with the USSR that militated against the emergence of far-right parties in these countries.

Abstract

Since 2011, when the Pinta Brewery brewed the first AIPA-style beer in Poland, dynamic growth of the craft beer market has been observed. While there were 70 breweries in 2010, in 2019 there were already about 420, most of them small. The number of new beers on the market also increased rapidly each year in the analysed period, from around 80 in 2013 to about 2,500 in 2019. Similar changes were noted in other countries, including the USA, where it was accepted to call this phenomenon ‘the craft beer revolution’. The aim of this paper is to indicate the reasons for the emergence and development of this process, using Poland as a case study. Based on statistical data and content analyses, as well as studying the modern history of the beer market, the distribution of craft beer pubs and the names of craft breweries, this work provides evidence that the proliferation of microbreweries in Poland can be confirmed by concepts such as a resource-partitioning model, neolocalism, path dependence, and the diffusion of innovations.