Education in Poland

In 2007 the Bologna system was introduced in Poland. Thanks to this tertiary education is coherent with the European standards. The Bologna system divides the study into three stages: Bachelor (BA, BSc), Master (MA, MSc), Doctor (PhD).

The Bologna system

In 2007 the Bologna system was introduced in Poland. Thanks to this tertiary education is coherent with the European standards.

The Bologna system divides the study into three stages.

  • Bachelor (BA, BSc) – the first cycle studies lasts 3 years (6 terms). After graduation the alumnus holds BA or BSc certificate. As far as the technical studies are concerned, the study lasts 3,5 years and the alumnus holds Bachelor of Engineering certificate. There is a possibility to continue the education on graduate school at a different field of study.
  • Master (MA, MSc) – second cycle studies called master level studies lasts 2 years (4 terms). The alumnus holds MA or MSc or Master of Engineering certificate. There are studies that can be studied only at the uniform master-level studies. It regards to those fields of study that require a particular students’ involvement, such as: medicine, stomatology, psychology, law, veterinary, pharmacy, or drama studies. This kind of studies lasts 5 years.
  • Doctor (PhD), third cycle studies (doctoral studies). This is an offer for those who want to work as university lectures. People who decide on this kind of studies also want gain knowledge in a particular field of study and broaden it. Doctoral studies last from two to four years and are focused on researches and science.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) studies enjoy a good popularity in Poland. These studies belong to post-graduate types of studies and last a year or two. MBA studies are fully paid and the fee depends on the field of study and the prestige that the university has. In this course students gain knowledge in economy, administration, accountancy, finance, or marketing that is required in the manager’s positions.

ECTS

Polish system of higher education is compatible with the European standards thanks to the ECTS points (European Credit Transfer System) for particular subjects. The more ECTS points given subject has the greater amount of time a student is to take to pass the exam. It is required for a student to score subjects of a total value 30 ECTS in the course of a semester.

Mode of studies

There are three modes of studies in Poland, depending on student’s availability. On full-time studies classes are from Monday to Friday. On state universities they are for free. Classes are held in the form of lectures, classes, tutorials, seminars and laboratories.

Part-time studies are a good alternative for those who work. Classes are held in a weekend mode. This type of studies is paid and the fee depends on the field of study and the university. It is worth remembering that some majors can be studied only in a full-time mode. in a part-time studies form of classes and topics are the same as on full-time studies however they are accumulated in two or three days a week.

We can also distinguish evening studies. They belong to part-time studies but classes are held form Monday to Friday in the afternoon or evening. This mode of studies is chargeable as well.

For part-time study students there is a possibility to obtain permission on Individual Study Organization. With the approval of the university student can set his own schedule, examination dates and the number of absences from classes increased to 50% of the regulated classes. Usually this permission is given to a student who studies two majors, being on an abroad scholarship, actively acting in favor of the university or in special cases (birth of a child, difficult family situation or chronic diseases).

State vs. public schools

Higher education in Poland is divided into: state and public (private) schools. Full-time studies on a state school are free of charge, financed by the state budget (universities, polytechnics, medical, environmental, economics universities etc.). Studying in public schools (in their name there is a term “higher education”) always come with costs. State schools as well as public schools offer their students different kind of scholarships.

Scholarships and financial aid

Foreign students may apply for student aid, the same as Polish students: maintenance grant (low incomes), housing scholarship, scholarship from university president, Minister's scholarship for academic, artistic or sports achievement, scholarship for the disabled or grant (paid once in emergency situations). Foreigners may receive Polish government scholarship on the basis of bilateral agreement. Thank to this they are free of charge; however, there is a limited number of scholars. To receive Polish government scholarship it is important to go to the Polish diplomacy abroad. Once during studying in Poland students, who receive scholarship, may grant:

  • settling-in grant for the first year, not exceeding 60% of the scholarship
  • random grant of not more than 40% of the scholarship,
  • grant that is given in connection with the preparation of diploma project of not more than 40% of the scholarship.

If a person comes from Belarus it is worth to check the Konstanty Kalinowski Scholarship Program. This program is for Belarusians who cannot study in their own country due to political repressions.

Types of studies

Polish schools offer very wide range of different types of study. Depending on personal interests and career plans candidates may choose:

  • technical studies
  • medical studies
  • biology and science studies
  • law and administration studies
  • pedagogical studies
  • social studies
  • humanistic studies
  • philology
  • studies of tourism and sport
  • artistic studies
  • military and naval studies

More information about these types of study you will find HERE

Grading system

After each semester a student has an examination session. In Poland it is possible to get grades from 2 to 5, where 2 means failure - 3 is a minimum. 4 means that a student has mastered the material at a good level and 5 that at a very good level. Tutors also use the partial grading system, so you can get a 3.5 or 4.5 if a little run out to a higher grade.

Student exchange program

Most of Polish higher schools have got agreements concern international students exchange LLP Erasmus. The opportunity to study abroad has all students, including foreigners. Each school individually cooperates with schools abroad. There is a possibility to study one semester or a whole year on another Polish university thanks to the MOST program. The program is free and does not depend on the type of study. It gives a great opportunity to relate with specialists from different universities, use their libraries and also have an amazing adventure and meet many interesting people of similar interests.

Insurance

UE/EFTA citizens have to have TheEuropean Health Insurance Card(orEHIC). To get this card a student must apply for EHIC to the appropriate office in a country, attached a certificate from the Polish university or school that delegates to study.

Other foreigners must purchase a commercial insurance policy that (depending on the chosen medical service) costs from about 30 to 280 zloty per month.

If you have got the Polish Charter (Karta Polaka) you may go to the National Health Fund (in Poland - NFZ) and receive health benefits free of charge. The others should go to NFF to make a registration. They should have with them a passport, a certificate from school about studying and a certificate from the city hall about registration of residence with the PESEL number (the national identification number). The insurance premium to NFF is 46 zloty per month. The insurance premiums for Polish citizens and those who have the Polish Charter are paid by the universities.

Candidates form abroad who plan to study in Poland will find detailed information on the websites of particular universities: the list of necessary documents, recruitment procedures, information about scholarships, insurance, accommodation and a lot of useful and practical information.