Higher education institutions are an essential, endogenous element of economic development and take part in resolving global issues. Their utilitarian role, however, may be greatly limited as a result of improper ways of financing science and didactics. The prevailing mechanism of financing didactics in public universities in Polish reality does not ensure the effectiveness of deployed resources and only partially bases on competition, thus not generating the stimuli for positive changes. The algorithm on the basis of which the resources are allocated should be modified. It should be based on criteria reflecting changes in social and economic surroundings. It should also comprise mechanisms stimulating competition between universities and enhancing the quality of didactics and science.
In the face of global economic problems European (and not only European) universities are forced to diversify their income. The constant and stable stream of governmental funds for education is beginning to dry up.For the majority of Polish universities the main and noticeably dominant source of income are the revenues from teaching activity. Thus the current diversification of universities’ revenues appears to be just a fiction. The situation is even worse because of both the global economic crisis and the imminent decrease in the birth rate. Polish universities should follow funding models of foreign leaders, who successfully deal with diversification of their revenues. Obviously we cannot compare such universities as Harvard or Oxford with Polish universities, but some of their solutions are worth following. Only by diversifying sources of their revenues will Polish universities be able to compete with the foreign leaders and secure a stable basis for development and use of their potential.