Poland:Higher Education

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Overview Poland

Contents

Poland:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Poland:Historical Development

Poland:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Poland:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Poland:Political and Economic Situation

Poland:Organisation and Governance

Poland:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Poland:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Poland:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Poland:Organisation of Private Education

Poland:National Qualifications Framework

Poland:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Poland:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Poland:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Poland:Funding in Education

Poland:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Poland:Higher Education Funding

Poland:Adult Education and Training Funding

Poland:Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Poland:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Poland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:Primary Education

Poland:Organisation of Primary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Poland:Assessment in Primary Education

Poland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Poland:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Poland:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Poland:Higher Education

Poland:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Poland:First Cycle Programmes

Poland:Bachelor

Poland:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Poland:Second Cycle Programmes

Poland:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Poland:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Poland:Adult Education and Training

Poland:Distribution of Responsibilities

Poland:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Poland:Main Providers

Poland:Main Types of Provision

Poland:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Poland:Teachers and Education Staff

Poland:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Poland:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Management and Other Education Staff

Poland:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Poland:Management Staff for Higher Education

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Poland:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Quality Assurance

Poland:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Poland:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Educational Support and Guidance

Poland:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Poland:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Poland:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Poland:Mobility and Internationalisation

Poland:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Mobility in Higher Education

Poland:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Poland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Poland:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Poland:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Poland:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Poland:National Reforms in School Education

Poland:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Poland:National Reforms in Higher Education

Poland:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Poland:European Perspective

Poland:Legislation

Poland:Institutions

Poland:Glossary

Higher education currently includes the following types of programmes:

  • college programmes (ISCED 5), provided by public and non-public colleges of social work (kolegium pracowników służb społecznych), which last 3 years and are classified as tertiary education for international comparisons, but are not recognised as higher education in the national legislation;
  • degree programmes (ISCED 6-7), provided by both public and non-public university-type higher education institutions (uczelnia akademicka) and non-university higher education institutions (uczelnia zawodowa), which comply with relevant requirements; these include:
    • first-cycle programmes which last 3 to 4 years and lead to a Bachelor's degree (licencjat or inżynier, depending on the field of study); programmes lasting 3 to 4 years lead to a licencjat degree, and those lasting 3.5 to 4 years lead to an inżynier degree;
    • second-cycle programmes which last 1.5 to 2 years and lead to a Master's degree (magister or an equivalent degree, depending on the field of study);
    • long-cycle programmes which last between 4.5 and 6 years and lead to the same Master's degree (magister) or the same equivalent degree as second-cycle programmes; however, no new long-cycle programmes may be launched in most of the existing fields of study as of the academic year 2007/08;
  • third-cycle or doctoral programmes (ISCED 8) which last 3 to 4 years and are provided by: (1) units of university-type higher education institutions authorised to confer either the post-doctoral academic degree of doktor habilitowany or the academic degree of doktor in at least two different disciplines of a given area of science; and (2) research institutions other than higher education institutions (units of the Polish Academy of Sciences and research and development institutions) authorised to confer the post-doctoral academic degree of doktor habilitowany.

Moreover, both teaching and research institutions offer non-degree postgraduate programmes, open to holders of a Bachelor's or Master's degree, which last 1 to 2 years. However, these programmes are considered a part of continuing or adult education.

The academic year in HEIs usually begins on October 1 and is finished at the end of June. It is divided into two semesters. In addition to the summer holidays, there are the following breaks for students: the winter holidays (in the first half of February) lasting 1-2 weeks and two shorter breaks at Christmas and Easter.

Detailed arrangements concerning the academic year are laid down by individual HEIs.


Specific Legislative Framework

Colleges

Legislation concerning colleges of social work which are classified as ISCED 5 institutions:

  • Regulation of the Minister of Social Policy of 24 March 2005 on colleges of social work,
  • Regulation of the Minister of Social Policy of 7 April 2005 on the programme requirements for initial training in colleges of social work.

The Regulation of the Minister of Social Policy of 24 March 2005 on colleges of social work applies to public and non-public colleges of social work. The Regulation defines the areas in which colleges provide their programmes and courses, and procedures for the establishment and liquidation of public and non-public colleges and programmes offered by colleges. It lays down arrangements concerning the internal organisation of colleges and the provision of education in colleges, pedagogical supervision over colleges exercised by the educational authorities and academic supervision exercised over a given college by a higher education institution.

The Regulations of the Minister of Social Policy of 7 April 2005 on the programme requirements for training in colleges of social work lay down national standards for programmes to be offered by this type of institution: duration of programmes, groups of courses (subjects) to be taught, the minimum course load and general curricular contents, the scope and duration of practical placements, and the profile of graduates. The requirements provide a basis for the development of curricula to be implemented in colleges.

Legislation concerning higher education

The main Acts of Parliament concerning higher education:

  • Article 70 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland,
  • Act of 30 April 2010 on the Regulations Adopting Acts of Parliament Reforming the System of Research,
  • Act of 30 April 2010 on the Rules for Financing Research,
  • Act of 30 April 2010 on the National Centre for Research and Development,
  • Act of 30 April 2010 on the National Science Centre,
  • Act of 27 July 2005, The Law on Higher Education, 
  • Act of 14 March 2003 on the Academic Degrees and Title, and on the Degrees and the Title in the field of Art;
  • Act of 17 July 1998 on Student Loans and Credits.

The Law on Higher Education of 27 July 2005 (LoHE) repealed the Higher Education Act of 12 September 1990, the Act on Schools of Higher Vocational Education of 26 June 1997, and the Act on Military Higher Education of 31 March 1965. It applies to public and non-public higher education institutions (HEIs). It does not apply to HEIs and higher education seminaries administered by churches and denominational organisations, except the Catholic University of Lublin, unless the LoHE or an agreement between the government and the authorities of churches or denominational organisations provides otherwise. The LoHE defines:

1) the basic terms used in HE, including a higher education institution, a public and non-public HEI, university-type and non-university HEIs, degrees, first-cycle, second-cycle and third-cycle programmes, non-degree postgraduate programmes, full-time and part-time programmes, fields and macro-fields of study, interdisciplinary programmes, etc.;

2) the requirements to be fulfilled by HEIs in order to use the following names: “university", "technical university", "university of applied sciences", "university" with another adjective”, and “academy";

3) basic tasks of HEIs.

It specifies the main national-level institutions and bodies in the higher education system (the General Council for Higher Education, the Polish Accreditation Committee /formerly the State Accreditatiin Committee/ and Rectors’ Conferences) together with their main responsibilities and general organisational arrangements.

It lays down arrangements concerning:

  • the establishment and liquidation of public and non-public HEIs;
  • supervision over HEIs;
  • international co-operation of HEIs in the area of education and research;
  • system of governance of HEIs;
  • the internal structure of HEIs;
  • the organisation of degree programmes and doctoral programmes;
  • rights and duties of students and doctoral students;
  • procedures of financial support for students and doctoral students;
  • operating rules for student and doctoral student self-government bodies;
  • arrangements for order and security on the premises of HEIs.

More information in chapter 15 https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/mwikis/eurydice/index.php/Poland:Legislation

General objectives

Higher education programmes are offered by colleges of social work (kolegium pracowników służb społecznych) (ISCED 5), higher education institutions (HEIs)  (ISCED 6 and ISCED 7) and research institutions (only ISCED 7).

The following main general aims are defined for all HEIs, including both university and non-university type, in the 2005 Law on Higher Education: 1) teaching students to prepare them for employment; 2) educating students in the spirit of responsibility for the Polish State, consolidation of democratic principles and respect for human rights; 3) conducting research and development work, and providing research services; 4) training and advancement of research staff; 5) disseminating, and contributing to, achievements of science, national culture and technology, among other things, by collecting and making available library and information resources; 6) providing training to enable the acquisition and development of knowledge; 7) creating conditions for the physical development of students; and 8) conducting activities benefiting local and regional communities. However, non-university HEIs (uczelnia zawodowa) authorised to provide only first-cycle (Bachelor's  degree) programmes may conduct R&D and train research staff, but are not required to do so.

The primary aim of research institutions other than HEIs is to conduct R&D activities, but a large number of them also train prospective research staff by providing doctoral programmes.

For specific aims of programmes at each level, see: college programmes, first-, second- and long-cycle programmes, and third-cycle (doctoral) programmes below.

College programmes

College programmes (ISCED 5) prepare students for employment – colleges of social work (kolegium pracowników służb społecznych) train prospective social workers, and may also offer in-service training courses in the areas of welfare and social work.

First-, second- and long-cycle programmes

First-, second- and long-cycle programmes are provided by both university-type HEIs (uczelnia akademicka) and non-university HEIs (uczelnia zawodowa). First-cycle programmes aim to provide knowledge and skills in a specific area of study, preparing students for work in a specific profession. Graduates of first-cycle programmes have access to second-cycle programmes. Second-cycle and long-cycle programmes aim to provide specialist knowledge in a specific area of study, preparing students for creative work in a specific profession. The completion of both second-cycle and long-cycle programmes provides access to third-cycle (doctoral) programmes.

Third-cycle (doctoral) programmes

Doctoral (third-cycle) programmes (ISCED 6), which are offered by university-type HEIs (uczelnia akademicka) and research institutions, aim to provide advanced knowledge in a specific area or discipline of science, preparing students for independent research and creative activity and for the award of a doctoral degree (doktor). Thus, they facilitate the preparation of an applicant for the procedure leading to the award of a doctoral degree. However, the completion of a doctoral programme is not a precondition for the award of this degree. Doctoral degree holders may continue their research career to obtain first a post-doctoral degree (doktor habilitowany) and subsequently a professorial title (profesor).