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Poland:Higher Education Funding

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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

Colleges of social work

Colleges, which are part of the school education system and are managed by local government at the province level, are financed according to the principles set out above.

Higher education institutions

Teaching activity of public higher education institutions (HEIs) is financed from State budget subsidies.

HEIs receive a subsidy for their statutory tasks set by law, such as:

  • tasks related to the education of students enrolled in full-time programmes, full-time doctoral students and research staff; the maintenance of HEIs, including renovation of premises (‘basic grant’);
  • tasks related to non-refundable financial support for students and doctoral students, which can also be used for the renovation of student dormitories and canteens;
  • co-financing and financing of investment projects,
  • tasks regarding the provision of appropriate conditions for full participation of disabled students and doctoral students in the learning process.

Moreover, a pro-quality subsidy is set aside within the State budget and allocated in the form of grants to the best organisational units of HEIs for quality-related tasks, including top-ups to salaries and scholarships.

Subsidies / grants can be divided into the following types:

  • specific-purpose grants: funding to cover or contribute towards costs of investment projects and of purchasing tangible assets for the training of disabled students and doctoral students;
  • grants for specific institutions: other types of funding.

Grants are financed from the part of the State budget managed by the minister responsible for higher education. Military HEIs, art HEIs, HEIs for maritime studies, medical HEIs and public service HEIs as well as those training staff for civil aviation are co-financed from the part of the State budget which is administered by the minister supervising these HEIs.

The State budget also provides funding for some investment projects in HEIs within the framework of multiannual programmes.

HEIs can receive other funds from the State budget (including the Structural Funds and funds for research) and from the budgets of local government units or their associations, though in the latter case, the co-financed task must be linked with local government units’ own tasks. Public HEIs in Poland pursue their own financial policy based on activity and financial plans approved by their senates. The plan must meet the requirements set out in the Council of Ministers Regulation of 18 December 2012 on detailed rules for financial management in public higher education institutions.

An HEI prepares an annual activity and financial plan taking into account grants, other funds from the State budget and budgets of local government units or their associations and other public funds, as well as its own planned revenues.

A public HEI submits its activity and financial plan to its supervising minister and to the minister responsible for public finance, within fourteen days after its adoption.

The rector of a public HEI:

  • devises a strategic development plan for the institution, to be adopted by the collegial body indicated in its statutes;
  • takes decisions concerning the assets and financial management of the institution, including the sale or encumbrance of assets, and oversees the administration and business operations of the institution;
  • takes decisions in all matters concerning the institution, with the exception of those reserved by law or statutes for the remit of other bodies.

The head of finance and administration (kanclerz) of a public HEI is responsible for the management of its administrative and business affairs in so far as this is provided for by the statutes and by the rector.

The bursar (kwestor) of a public HEI holds the function of chief accountant and is the deputy of the head of finance and administration.

Basic subsidy

As in the school education system, the mechanism for financing teaching activities of HEIs is divided into two stages.

The total amount of funding to be distributed among all HEIs is established annually in the Budgetary Act. Pursuant to the Act, State-budget expenditure on teaching activities of public HEIs is subject to annual indexation:

  • with regard to remuneration: adjusted at least by the average annual salary increase rate in the State budget sector as defined in the Budgetary Act for a given budgetary year;
  • with regard to other components: adjusted at least bythe average annual growth rate of consumer prices as defined in the Budgetary Act for a given budgetary year.

In the next step, the minister responsible for higher education, by regulation, establishes an algorithm for the distribution of the subsidy among individual HEIs so as to ensure effective use of public funding, while taking into account the quality of education.

The main part of the subsidy is distributed separately for two groups of public HEIs: university-type HEIs (uczelnia akademicka) and non-university HEIs (uczelnia zawodowa).

The amount of the subsidy in a given year depends largely on the amount in the previous year, which is intended to ensure stability in HEIs’ funding. This is achieved by applying a so-called transfer rate constant (with HEIs receiving in a given year a fixed percentage of their previous-year subsidy), which was as high as 65% in 2016.

The distribution algorithm is based on 6 criteria:

  • students: a criterion which takes into account the number of students and doctoral students enrolled in full-time programmes and differences in costs among fields of study, and which gives higher weightings to doctoral students and to students following practically oriented (‘practical-profile’) programmes at public non-university HEIs ;
  • human resources: a criterion which depends on the average number of academic teachers by degree and title (in FTE);
  • proportionate development of education: measuring balanced development of an HEI in terms of the ratio of staff to students;
  • research: a criterion which takes into account the number of national and international research projects financed or co-financed by the minister responsible for science;
  • authorisations: a criterion which is related to the number of authorisations to confer doctoral and postdoctoral degrees,
  • exchange: based on the number of students participating in international exchange programmes covering study periods of at least one semester (weighting for outgoing students: 1, for incoming students: 3).

These criteria are used to distribute 35% of the subsidy.

There are weightings assigned to each of the criteria, which are presented in the table below.


Criterion University-type HEIs Non-university HEIs
Students 0.35 0.35
Human resources 0.35 0.35
Proportionate development of education 0.10 0.30
Research 0.10 0.00
Authorisations 0.05 0.00
Exchanges 0.05 0.00

Source: Author’s elaboration.

Grant for non-refundable financial support

20% of the overall subsidy is allocated to individual public HEIs in proportion to the number of students and doctoral students staying in dormitories of their home institutions.

The remaining part is distributed among individual public and non-public HEIs and research institutions in proportion to the total number of students and doctoral students, the number of students and doctoral students receiving a maintenance grant, and the number of disabled students and doctoral students.

A maximum of 5% of the subsidy may be set aside for supplementary and adjustment allocations.

Grant to provide conditions for full participation of disabled students and doctoral students in the learning process

This type of grant is determined by the number of disabled students who:

  • are deaf or have impaired hearing (weighting 3.6);
  • are blind or visually impaired, or have a motoric disability (weighting 2.9);
  • have other types of disability (weighting 1.4).

Grants for investment

National legislation does not define any standardised or quantified criteria.

An application from an HEI is assessed by a panel appointed by the minister which takes into account, in particular, the relevance of planned investment to the development of the institution.

Grants are provided on the basis of an agreement.

The total amount of such a specific-purpose State-budget grant may not be higher than the value of investment as specified in the estimated budget at the start of the implementation of a given project.

Related legislation:

Act of 27 July 2005, Law on Higher Education

Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 27 March 2015 on the procedure for the distribution of State-budget subsidies for public and non-public higher education institutions

Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 19 February 2015 on the procedure for the distribution of State-budget subsidies for financial support for students and doctoral students among public and non-public higher education institutions and research institutions

Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 26 January 2015 on the procedure for the distribution of grants for pro-quality tasks

Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 8 August 2011 on the procedure for the distribution of, and accounting for, grants to cover or contribute towards costs of investment projects in public higher education institutions

Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 18 December 2012 on the detailed rules for financial management in public higher education institutions

Other sources:

www.mnisw.gov.pl

Financial autonomy and control

Colleges of social work

Colleges are subject to regulations described in the section on school education.

Higher education institutions

HEIs are autonomous in all areas of their activity and, in particular, with regard to financial and resource management.

Central and local government authorities may take decisions concerning HEIs only in cases provided for in Acts of Parliament.

Use of public funds

Public HEIs are classified as public sector entities, and therefore should comply with all rules of public finance management as defined in the Act on Public Finance.

This includes, for example, the need for management control, using appropriate accounting rules and conducting obligatory internal audits, if the revenues or costs included in the activity and financial plan exceed 40 million PLN.

The annual financial report of a public HEI is subject to a certified audit.

The minister responsible for higher education and the ministers supervising selected types of HEIs monitor compliance of the activities of HEIs with the law, their statutes and the requirements of the permission granted for the establishment of a non-public HEI, as well as the proper and correct use of public funds. The minister responsible for higher education may request information and clarification from the authorities of an HEI and the founder of a non-public HEI, and may carry out inspections of HEIs in accordance with the provisions on audits in government administration.

The rector of an HEI also submits to the minister responsible for higher education:

  • by the end of November in the year following the reporting year: an annual report of the activities of the institution;
  • by 30 June of the year following the reporting year: a report on the execution of the activity and financial plan;
  • within one month of their adoption: selected resolutions of the relevant governing bodies of the institution (e.g. regarding the adoption of, or amendment to, the statutes; establishment or abolishment of a degree programme in a given field of study; adoption of, or amendment to, study regulations for degree programmes).

Acquisition and use of private funds

Activities of public HEIs can be financed from their own revenues which should be kept in a separate bank account.

The range of different funding sources in this area may be very wide. The revenues of a public HEI may, in particular, include:

  • fees charged for educational and research services;
  • income from economic activity;
  • income from the sale of the institution’s own assets;
  • fees for the use of such assets on the basis of tenancy, leasing or other agreements with third parties;
  • income from gifts, inheritances, legacies and public donations.

An important element of financial autonomy of public HEIs in Poland is also the fact that the funds unused in a given year remain at the disposal of the institution.

As other public sector entities, public HEIs cannot, however, have or purchase stocks or shares in companies or bonds issued by entities other than the State Treasury or local government units.

Public HEIs charge tuition fees only in certain cases defined by the law which are discussed below.

Staff policy

HEIs also have considerable autonomy in terms of staff policy. This applies especially to hiring, promotion and use of disciplinary measures.

However, as in the case of school education, the extent of discretion in determining salaries is limited. National legislation sets many requirements regarding remuneration. These include:

  • the minimum rate of basic pay for staff employed in individual positions in public HEIs;
  • the amount of, and conditions for granting, other salary components;
  • the ratio of the average monthly salary in a public HEI, for individual groups of staff positions, to the base amount determined in the Budgetary Act, though individual rates of salary components are determined by the rector.

It is worth emphasising that these regulations apply to both academic and other staff of an HEI.

Within this framework, funds for salaries in a public HEI are determined by its senate.

Related legislation:

Act of 27 July 2005, Law on Higher Education

Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 11 December 2013 on the conditions for the remuneration for work and for granting other work-related benefits to employees of a public higher education institution

Other sources:

www.mnisw.gov.pl

Fees within public higher education

Colleges of social work

No tuition fees are charged by public colleges for full-time programmes, except for courses repeated by students due to unsatisfactory learning achievements.

Tuition fees may be charged for part-time programmes.

In justified cases, college students may be exempted from tuition fees for part-time programmes by the head of a given college.

There are no registration fees in colleges.

Higher education institutions

No tuition fees are charged by public HEIs for full-time first-, second- and long-cycle programmes and full-time doctoral programmes.

Public HEIs may charge fees only for:

  • part-time degree programmes and part-time doctoral programmes;
  • classes repeated by a student as part of full-time degree programmes and full-time doctoral programmes due to unsatisfactory learning outcomes;
  • degree programmes offered in foreign languages;
  • classes not included in the outline of a study programme, including classes leading to supplementary learning outcomes which should be achieved by students to enrol on second-cycle programme in a given field of study;
  • non-degree postgraduate programmes and in-service training courses;
  • validation and certification of learning outcomes.

The amount of such fees is determined by the rector of an HEI.

With regard to the cost of part-time programmes, the Law on Higher Education states that fees may not exceed the costs incurred by the institution to the extent necessary to establish and deliver programmes, including the costs of preparing and implementing a development strategy of the institution, and, in particular the development of academic staff and teaching and learning and research infrastructure, including depreciation and repairs.

The amount of fees for the validation and certification of learning outcomes may not exceed the costs incurred to deliver such services by more than 20%.

Detailed rules for charging fees, including the procedure and conditions for partial or full exemption from such fees, are laid down by the senate of an HEI.

Fee waivers may be granted, in particular, to students or doctoral students who have outstanding academic achievements or participate in international scholarship programmes, and to those who are in a difficult financial situation.

As from 2011, HEIs are required to conclude agreements with all students whichdetermine types and amounts of fees and conditions for collecting fees. To be valid, an agreement should be concluded in writing not earlier than after the decision of admission and not later than thirty days after the commencement of courses. The agreement is concluded for the entire expected duration of study; the student is not be obliged to pay fees other than those specified in the agreement.

An HEI does not charge fees for:

  • registration in the next semester or year of studies;
  • exams, including resit exams, exams conducted by a review examination board or final exams;
  • the issue of a practical placement record book;
  • the submission and assessment of a final thesis;
  • the issue of a Diploma Supplement.

There are no registration fees in HEIs. However, public HEIs charge fees related to the admission process in individual fields of study. The maximum amount of such fees is determined annually in a regulation of the minister responsible for higher education. The maximum admission-related fees in the academic year 2016/17 are as follows:

  • 150 PLN (35.1 EUR) for applicants in the fields of study where the admission process involves artistic aptitude and architecture design ability tests;
  • 100 PLN (23.4 EUR) for applicants in the fields of study where the admission process involves a physical fitness test;
  • 85 PLN (19.9 EUR) for applicants in all other fields of study.

HEIs may runstudent dormitories and canteens. Fees are charged for such services.

Arrangements concerning doctoral programmes and doctoral students in research institutions other than HEIs are the same as those for HEIs, except that the amount of fees mentioned above is determined by the head of a given research institution.

Related legislation:

School Education Act of 7 September 1991

Act of 27 July 2005, Law on Higher Education

Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 9 May 2016 on the maximum fees for the admission process in a public higher education institution in the academic year 2016/2017

Financial support for learners' families

There are no separate financial support mechanisms for students' families.

Financial support is available, in specific cases discussed in the next section, only to students and conditional upon the financial situation of the family.

Families of students, if they meet certain criteria, can benefit from the previously described support in the form of family benefits and a family tax benefit.

Students and doctoral students are entitled to free medical care at public health care facilities. Health insurance contributions are paid by their home HEIs.

Students are entitled to apply for accommodation in a dormitory and for meals in a student canteen of their HEI, and for accommodation for their spouse and children in a dormitory of their HEI. In the case of public HEIs, priority is given to students of a given institution who would otherwise be prevented from, or significantly hindered in, studying by the daily travel to the institution and who are in a difficult financial situation.

Additionally, students are entitled to a 50% reduction in urban public transport fares. Entitlements to reduced fares for public railway and bus transport are laid down in separate legislation. Local government units may decide to reduce fares for urban public transport for doctoral students.

Theminister responsible for higher education may establish a programme for HEIs to provide students with academic textbooks used in the educational process.

Related legislation:

Act of 27 August 2004 on Publicly Funded Healthcare Services

Act of 27 July 2005, Law on Higher Education

Other sources:

www.mnisw.gov.pl


Financial support for learners

Colleges of social work

College students are covered by the legislation concerning financial support from the State budget or local government budgets for pupils and other learners in schools and other educational institutions as described in the previous sections.

Higher education institutions

Financial support for students in first-, second- and long-cycle programmes and for doctoral students is granted in the form of non-refundable and refundable support.

The main forms of financial support to students in Poland in 2016:


Type of support Form of support
Non-refundable support
Maintenance grant
Special grant for disabled persons
Rector’s scholarship for best students
Minister’s scholarship for outstanding achievements
Aid payment
Doctoral scholarship
‘Diamond grant’
Refundable support
Student loans and credits

Source: Author’s elaboration.

An HEI can create its own scholarship fund for scholarships for staff, students and doctoral students. Financial support for students and doctoral students may also be granted by local government units. Furthermore, scholarships for academic achievements may be awarded to students and doctoral students by natural persons or by corporate bodies other than State or local government bodies subject to the rules for awarding scholarships being approved by the minister responsible for higher education.

Moreover, student self-government (samorząd studencki) carries out activities concerning student matters, including student welfare and cultural activities. Student self-government bodies make decisions concerning the distribution of funds allocated for student matters by the governing bodies of an HEI. They submit to the governing bodies of an HEI a report on the distribution of funds at least every academic year. An HEI provides funding necessary for the operation of student self-government bodies.

Students have the right to associate in student organisations within an HEI and, in particular, in research interest groups, artistic groups and sports clubs, pursuant to the rules laid down in the Law on Higher Education. The governing bodies of an HEI may allocate funds to student organisations and associations. The organisations concerned submit a report on the use of those funds, together with a financial statement, to the governing bodies of the institution at least once every semester.

Non-refundable support

Benefits of this type, with the exception of the minister’s scholarship, are granted from thefinancial support fund for students and doctoral students at the request of the student.

The funds are distributed by the rector in consultation with the student self-government body and the doctoral student self-government body of a given HEI. The rector may establish a grants committee for this purpose.

The funds allocated for the rector’s scholarships for the best students, which are awarded to no more than 10% of all students in each field of study provided by an HEI, may represent up to 40% of the total amount allocated for the rector’s scholarships, maintenance grants and aid payments. If the number of students in a given field of study is smaller than ten, the rector`s scholarship for the best students can be awarded to one student.

The total monthly amount of maintenance grants and of the rector`s scholarship cannot be greater than 90% of the lowest basic salary of an assistant as set in the regulations on the remuneration of academic teachers. In consultation with the student self-government body, the rector adopts detailed regulations for the calculation, award and payment of student financial support benefits.

Grants are awarded for a semester or academic year.

Students are obliged to submit a statement that they do not receive financial support benefits in more than one field of study.

However, students may receive financial support in several forms at the same time.

Maintenance grants

Maintenance grants may be awarded to students in a difficult financial situation.

In consultation with the student self-government body in a given HEI, the rector determines the per capita family income threshold for students to be eligible to apply for a maintenance grant.

The threshold:

  • may not be lower than 1.30 of the per capita family income threshold defined for social welfare ;
  • may not be higher than 1.30 of the income threshold in the family benefits scheme increased by the amount of family allowance for the eldest child.


Amount in PLN Amount in EUR
Income threshold: minimum level 668.20 PLN 156.5 EUR
Income threshold: maximum level 1 043.90 PLN 244.5 EUR

Additionally, full-time students in a difficult financial situation may receive an increased maintenance grant when living:

  • in a student dormitory,
  • in facilities other than a student dormitory, if the daily travel from their place of permanent residence to the HEI prevents or significantly hinders them from studying;
  • together with their unemployed spouse or child in a student dormitory or other facilities.

Maintenance grant for disabled persons

Such grants may be awarded to students with a disability confirmed by a certificate from the competent authority.

Rector’s scholarship for the best students

A scholarship may be awarded to a student who has obtained a high average mark for a year of study or has research or artistic achievements, or has been highly placed in international or national sport contests.

Scholarships for outstanding achievements

A scholarship may be awarded by the minister responsible for higher education at the request of the rector, after consultation with the board of a basic organisational unit of an HEI, or with the senate in the case of HEIs which do not have basic organisational units.

The minister's scholarship for outstanding achievements may be awarded to a student for academic, artistic or sporting achievements.

The number of scholarships awarded in a given calendar year may not be greater than 1 003 for students and 104 for doctoral students.

The amount of the grant may not exceed 15 000 PLN (3 513.5 EUR) in the case of students and 25 000 PLN (5 855.8 EUR) in the case of doctoral students.

Grants and scholarships may be awarded for the period of an academic year or semester only. Students are obliged to submit a statement confirming that financial support benefits have been received while attending courses in no more than one field of study.

Aid payment

Anaid paymentmay be awarded to students who are temporarily in a difficult financial situation for reasons beyond their control.

Students may receive such a payment twice in an academic year.

Doctoral scholarship

Doctoral scholarships are available to full-time doctoral students.

A scholarship may be awarded to doctoral students who fulfil at least one of the following criteria:

  • they teach classes as part of their practical training;
  • they carry out research which is of major importance to a given institution.

The minimum amount of a doctoral scholarship may not be lower than 60% of the minimum basic pay of an assistantas laid down by the legislation on the remuneration of academic staff.

A decision awarding a doctoral scholarship is taken by the rector of a given HEI or the director of a given research institution who also specifies its amount and the period of entitlement to such a scholarship.

The amount of a doctoral scholarship may be increased for doctoral students with outstanding research or teaching achievements, with top-up funds coming from a pro-quality grant mentioned earlier.

The procedure for granting increased doctoral scholarships is determined by the regulations laid down by the rector after consultation with the competent doctoral student self-government body, while taking into consideration the principles that:

  • a maximum of 30% of all doctoral students in each year of a doctoral programme are eligible to receive such a scholarship;
  • a doctoral student included in the 30% group who has not been awarded a doctoral scholarship may be granted funding equal to the amount increasing the scholarship.

‘Diamond grant’

The “Diamond Grant” (Diamentowy Grant) Programme of the minister responsible for research is targeted at outstandingly gifted or talented:

  • graduates of first-cycle programmes;
  • students who have completed the third year of their long-cycle programmes and do not hold a Master’s degree yet.

Support may be granted to a maximum of 100 persons.

Programme grants may be awarded for scientific research financed from the research part of the State budget.

Refundable financial support

Refundable financial support is provided in the form of student credits and loans.

A student loan or credit may be granted to students who:

  • took up their study before reaching the age of 25;
  • are enrolled on any type of first-, second- and long-cycle programmes or doctoral programmes;
  • follow a programme in any type of HEIs.

As from 2016, an application for a credit may also be submitted by prospective students, with a credit agreement signed only when the bank receives a confirmation of their status as a student or doctoral student.

Priority in access to student loans and credits is given to low-income students. The maximum amount of monthly per capita income in the family which entitles the student to obtain a student credit is published annually by the minister responsible for higher education. In the academic year 2016/2017, the net income amount is 2 500 PLN (585.6 EUR).

The amount of student credit or student loan may not exceed in one year of study 6 average monthly salaries in the enterprise sector, excluding payments from profit, published by the Central Statistical Office.

The amount of the basic monthly instalment of a loan or credit, including a credit guaranteed by BGK (Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego), is 600 PLN (140.5 EUR) in the academic year 2016/2017.

As from the academic year 2016/2017, students and doctoral students may also choose a higher instalment of 800 PLN (187.4 EUR) or 1 000 PLN (234.2 EUR) or a lower instalment of 400 PLN (93.7 EUR). Greater flexibility results from the fact an option has been introduced to apply for an increase or reduction depending on current needs.


Amount in PLN Amount in EUR
Basic student loan and credit instalment 600 PLN 140.5 EUR
Reduced student loan and credit instalment 400 PLN 93.7 EUR
Increased student loan and credit instalment 800 PLN

1 000 PLN

187.4 EUR

234.2 EUR

Maximum net per capita income in the family of a student given priority in access to student loans and credits 2 500 PLN 585.6 EUR

Student credits and loans are paid in monthly instalments for no longer than 10 months in a year, excluding periods of leave granted in accordance with the rules of study.

Student credits and loans are granted for a period not longer than the duration of study, and the period may not exceed a total of 6 years for students and 4 years for doctoral students.

The amount of student loan or credit repayment instalments may not exceed 20% of the monthly income of the borrower.

The repayment of a student credit or loan:

  • starts no later than 2 years after graduation, also for doctoral studies;
  • is spread for a period which is at least twice as long as the period for which a credit or loan was granted, unless the borrower requests a shorter repayment period.

Student credits and loans are financed from the financial resources of commercial banks, with a contribution made from the State budget towards the interest .

Student credits and loans can also be partially or fully written off and the amount is also financed from the State budget.

Student credits and loans can be written off, in particular, on the following basis:

  • a difficult situation of the borrower;
  • good graduation results (20% of a loan or credit is written off for students or doctoral students those who has graduated in the top 5% group in a given academic year).

Related legislation:

Act of 27 July 2005, Law on Higher Education

Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 17 July 2005 on the minister’s scholarships for outstanding achievements awarded to students

Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 17 July 2015 on the minister’s scholarships for outstanding achievements awarded to doctoral students

Act of 17 July 1998 on Student Loans and Credits

Announcement of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 9 December 2015 on the publication of a consolidated text of the Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education on the detailed rules and procedure for granting, repaying and writing off student credits and loans

Other sources:

www.mnisw.gov.pl


Private education

Colleges of social work

Colleges are subject to the regulations described in the section on school education.

Higher education institutions

Non-public HEIs receive grants for tasks related to non-refundable financial support for students and doctoral students and for tasks related to the provision of conditions for full participation of disabled students and doctoral students in the process of learning. The distribution mechanisms for these grants are described above.

Additionally, a non-public HEI which complies with the requirements laid down in legislation may receive a grant for pro-quality tasks which may be used for tasks related to the training of full-time doctoral students and for increasing doctoral scholarships for the best doctoral students.

Non-public HEIs keep funds from State budget grants for statutory tasks in separate bank accounts.

Non-public HEIs manage their financial affairs independently, based upon an activity and financial plan which is approved by a collegial governing body indicated in the statutes of a given institution, and in accordance with the legislation on accounting.

Students in non-public HEIs may apply for financial support in accordance with the same regulations as students in public HEIs.

Rules for charging fees and the amount of fees in a non-public HEI are determined by the body indicated in its statutes; however, fees for educational services relating to the provision of degree and doctoral programmes, and fees for repeating courses within degree and doctoral programmes, may not exceed the costs incurred for establishing and delivering such programmes or courses in the institution concerned, including the costs of devising and implementing the institution’s development strategy, and in particular the development of academic staff and teaching and research infrastructure, including depreciation and renovation costs.

Full-time doctoral programmes are free of charge in non-public HEIs if they receive a grant from the State budget.

A non-public HEI should obtain an authorisation to conduct programmes and be entered in the register of non-public HEIs

Related legislation:

School Education Act of 7 September 1991

Act of 27 July 2005, Law on Higher Education

Other sources:

www.men.gov.pl

www.mnisw.gov.pl