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On November 16, Jaroslaw Gowin, a conservative politician, took office as the new Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education, despite being initially touted for the position of Defence Minister. The new government of Prime Minister Beata Szydlo took power following a land-slide victory of the euro-sceptic right-wing Law and Justice party in the October parliamentary elections.
Gowin has spent the majority of his career in journalism and education. A graduate of Jagiellonian University, he holds a doctorate in political science and has spent a part of his studies at Cambridge University. He is a co-founder and former long-time Rector of Tischner European University in Krakow, established in 2003. Gowin entered politics in 2005, winning a seat in the senate, where he served on the science and education committee. Following a two-year stint at the senate, he was elected to the parliament in 2007. Gowin is no stranger to the executive either, having served in Donald Tusk's cabinet as Minister of Justice between 2011 and 2013, only to be dismissed following his political estrangement from Tusk's party and dismay in the cabinet over his controversial statements on several issues.