The Holy Cross University in the city of Kielce is a non-state higher school acting since 1994. It was recorded in the Non-state Schools Register by the Decision of the Minister of National Education at a serial number 44.
The university educates students at two faculties in the scope of 5 fields of study and 14 specialisations.
It has an accreditation of the National Accreditation Committee in the field of Physical Education (2003, 2008), Tourism and Recreation (2004) and Pedagogics (2004). The University employs highly qualified scientific and teaching staff and mainly quite a big group of independent scientists. Out of the working professors many of them are well-known and esteemed for their scientific achievements not only at home but also abroad.
The academic teachers employed in the Holy Cross University do their own research both as individuals and team. For this purpose scientific contacts were started with universities at home abroad.
The University inspires, organises and participates in many scientific conferences and thematic sessions of international, all-Polish and regional character, e.g. “Tourism as a source of social and economic changes” (Vilnius 1999); “The reform of the national educational system, challenges, chances and threats” (Kielce 2000); The world forum of Polish emigrants media (Kielce 2002); The regional and local factors and barriers of development of Tourism” (Kielce 2002). The University initiated an all-Polish scientific conference organized in cooperation with the Institute of Scientific Research in Warsaw and Świętokrzyski Academy in Kielce called “The grammar – school of the Third Polish Republic – challenges and threats”. Moreover, in the premises of the university a few outstanding specialists delivered lectures on different fields of social, cultural and scientific life within the framework of “The Open Świętokrzyski University”. The Israeli ex-ambassador in Poland Prof. Szewach Weiis paid a visit to the university and talked about difficult Polish Jewish relations in the period of not only the Second World War.
The important role in the framework of doing research and propagating scientific achievements is played by the university’s publishing house functioning since 1995. “Within the series called “The writings of the Holy Cross University several tens of books were published in the form of monographs, course books, bibliographic specifications and choice of sources. Besides printed materials, the university also edits periodicals “The Fascicles of the Holy Cross University” – a quarterly scientific magazine of and “The University Chronicles” edited in a yearly cycle. Except for a rich collection of books the university’s library also has special collections: cartographic, visual ones and the collection of periodicals in Polish and in foreign languages on the traditional media and on electronic ones including CD–ROMs. The collection of books is gathered according to the fields of education and students’ and university teachers’ research. The modern reading room with computer stands connected to the Internet is an integral part of the Library Complex.
The University’s authorities, by caring for providing the high level of education and modernising the teaching basis also do not forget to create conditions for many-sided development of students through supporting self-governing, scientific, sports, cultural and social activity.
In the students’ social and scientific activity the University’s Student’s Self-Governing Board, scientific circles: “Ecologist” and “Penitentiary” and the University Sports Association of Poland are especially active. The expression of students’ activity and integration is their numerous participation in sports and recreational events organised by the University Sports Association, Society for the Propagation of Physical Culture or Polish Tourist Country – Lovers’ Association. The students and graduates from our university were also present in national and international sports arenas winning many titles of champions. Among them there are the following people: Ms Anna Szafraniec, vice-champion of the world, champion of Poland, Mr Marcin Karczyński, champion of Poland in 2003, the members of the Olympic team Athens 2004 in mountain cycling. The winning of the first place in the Polish Championships of Non- state Higher Schools in football that took place in the city of Poznań in May 2005 should be considered a spectacular victory. The vice-championship of Poland was won by the University competitors during the Polish Championships of Non-State Higher Schools in basketball and badminton. In the sports ranking announced in 2002 by The Prospects Magazine the Świętokrzyski University was classified as the eighth high place among all non-state schools in this country.
Besides the sports successes one should emphasise the activity of the University’s Students’ Self-governing Board in the area of the university as well as in the events and social and cultural undertakings organised by the Kielceian students’ circle. During the Świętokrzyski Prophylaxis Days the exhibition of fine arts works made by the members of the Penitentiary scientific circle took place in the premises of the University. The varnishing-day the central idea of which was expressed in the slogan “Win your life” devoted to the problem of alcoholism and drug habit.
The various students’ activity is also represented by the music band, “We are” the students magazine Careers Bureau or voluntary activity within the program called “First-rate students”.
In the university there is a system of financial assistance for students and it also includes social grants, sports, grants and the grants for results in studying. Also the students of Polish origin living abroad can count on the assistance. On the vice-chancellor’s initiative since 1996 the prize “Primus inter pares” has been awarded for the most outstanding students. Moreover, every year one or two persons receive the scholarship of the Minister of National Education. In 2005 Mr Filip Szołowski, the multiple champion and vice-champion in triathlon distinguished himself for outstanding sports achievements.
In October 2002 the Holy Cross University became a prize-winner of the competition “Golden Firm 2002 of the Świętokrzyskie Province” and it received the prize of the city of Kielce called “The Golden Broom 2002” for aesthetics and green areas management. The years 2003 and 2004 brought another honours. This time the University was in a circle of the leading firms of the region adjusted to the EU market and was awarded prestigious statuettes like “Euro Visa 2003” and “Pro Europe 2004”. The support of the Kielceian cultural initiatives by the Holy Cross University was appreciated by the editorial staff of The Cultural and Artistic Magazine “Dedal” by awarding it the title of “The Patron of Świętokrzyski Culture 2004”.
The University has its own educational objects of the combined area of about 5.000 square metres. They include among other a theatre for 300 seats equipped with automated audio-visual aids, lecture halls, rooms for classes and seminars and many specialist studies including those with access to the Internet, foreign languages lab, sports and recreational rooms together with utility rooms. The educational buildings as regards architecture and equipment are adapted to teaching disabled people, the ones with hearing and vision defects and also those with dysfunctions of lower limbs. For the needs of educating mainly in the scope of physical education and physiotherapy and also for conducting sports and recreational classes, the objects of the combined area of 12.500 square metres are rented in the territory of Kielce. They are among other, sports halls, swimming pools, gym halls and partly schoolrooms.