The University of Bialystok took part in Expo 2020 in Dubai

Science, pro-ecological education, our students in action and gifts from the University of Bialystok Publishing House. The University of Bialystok presented during the World Exhibition Expo 2020 in Dubai. The participation of the biggest university in the Podlaskie Region at Expo was possible thanks to the Xylopolis project, which is promoting the Podlaskie Voivodeship. The University of Bialystok is one of its partners.

The Podlaskie Voivodeship is the first Polish region displayed in Polish Pavilion at Expo 2020.

From 1 October, in the temporary exhibition zone, visitors could see the exhibition called Xylopolis. City fuelled by nature.  Achievements of visionaries, scientists, artists and inventors were presented during the exhibitions. There were also researchers related to the University of Bialystok. The guest of the exhibition could also see films about research carried out at the Faculty of Physics. The first film concerned works of dr. hab. Andrzej Stupakiewicz, prof. UwB and the method of cold ultrafast information recording formulated by him and his team. The second film told us about the participation of Professor Piotr Jaranowski in the first detection of gravitational waves. In addition, in the series People fulled by nature, one could see a film story about Maciej Oksztulski – the postgraduate student from the Faculty of Law and a project NO-AUTism which is realised at our University.

What is more, at the initiative of the University of Bialystok, the youngest guests could build houses for insect pollinators by themselves. This is also one of the elements of the Xylopolis project.

Although the Podlaskie Voivideship was present at Expo 2020 since its opening (1 October 2021), the most intense promotional activities of the region took place from 15 to 24 October. During that time there was the Podlaskie Week in the Polish Pavilion. The Polish delegation stayed for three days in Dubai. Professor Izabela Święcicka – Vice-Rector for Research and International Cooperation, Katarzyna Dziedzik – the university spokesman and Ewa Szpiganowicz from the International Cooperation Office met in the Polish Pavilion with partners of the Xylopolis project, including representatives of the provincial government headed by Marshal Artur Kosicki.

For the first time, the University of Bialystok had an occasion to be present during the World Expo. I am glad that we could show off our scientific achievements, share our experience in the field of environmental education. Many scientific and didactic activities of our University ideally fit the assumptions of the Xylopolis project. I am grateful to the initiators for inviting us to co-create the presentation and for the fruitful cooperation – summaries Professor Izabela Święcicka.

Representatives of the University had a chance to talk with students of the University of Bialystok, who are on a three-month internship organized by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency as well as the Polish Pavilion. The internship is financed in terms of the agreement signed between the University of Bialystok and the Ministry of Education and Science. Five students are on the internship: Katarzyna Gdula from the Faculty of Chemistry, Laura Anastazja Gordziejczyk from the Faculty of Philology, Milena Łuckiewicz from the Faculty of Economics and Finance, as well as  Karolina Lasota and Olaf Moczydłowski from the Faculty of Law.

This is something new for us, new experiences, and an adventure of a lifetime. We can meet a lot of interesting people, establish various relations as well as business relations – reports Karolina Lasota.

– Even if there are some difficulties, it is an experience which probably we will never undergo again. This will give us some knowledge about the world, people and most of all about ourselves – emphasizes Katarzyna Gdula.

As students admit servicing many and varied guests gives a lot of satisfaction.

– Contacts with visitors, telling about our exposition and primarily about the Podlaskie Voivodship, because this is the most important to us – says Laura Gordziejczyk.

– The most important fact is that every guest can feel like entering a traditional Polish home and feel like the most important person in our household – adds Olaf Moczydłowski.

Every guest is a bit different, has different nature, preferences, comes from different culture. It is important to feel that and lead a conversation properly –  points out Milena Łuckiewicz.

Professor Izabela Święcicka, Vice-Rector for Research and International Cooperation of the University of Bialystok, after the conversation with students and observing them in action, has no doubts:

 – They are wonderful young people, who learn here how to work in a team and gain new skills. I am convinced that after the return to the country, they make very good use from those experiences

Professor Izabela Święcicka during the visit in Dubai met with Adrian Malinowski, the General Commissioner of the Polish Section of Expo 2020 Dubai (in the picture). The discussion concerned, among others, the educational system in Arabic countries and cooperation possibilities between universities from the Middle East countries with Polish universities. The Commissioner was given the album Ścieżkami Puszczy Knyszyńskiej [translation: Along the paths of the Knyszyn Forest] from the representatives of the University of Bialystok. This is an exceptional album published by the University of Bialystok Publishing House. Professor Marek Konarzewski from the Faculty of Biology of the University of Bialystok and dr Janusz Kupryjanowicz from the University Natural Science Center are the authors of the album. This album will be given to the most important guests of the Polish Pavilion during the Expo. The World Exhibition Expo in Dubai will last until the end of March.

Xylopolis is a joint presentation of the Podlaskie Voivodeship and the Ministry of Climate and Environment. The authors of this concept are a team of experts from the Marshal’s Office, the Institute of Environmental Protection – National Research Institute, the Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Unibep Unitalent Group Foundation and the Bialystok University of Technology. The group of project partners also includes the University of Bialystok. The project is co-financed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.