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Poland:Main Providers

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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

In June 2016, the Minister of National Education announced changes in vocational education aimed at gradual introduction of a dual system adapted to the needs of the economy. As its key feature, the system is based on collaboration among educational and training institutions and enterprises as the economic environment of the school.

Primary schools for adults

  • Primary schools for adults are intended for learners aged 18 and above or those who reach the age of 18 in the year in which they start primary education.
  • In September 2014, there were only 3 primary schools for adults. Since 2010 the number of adult learners in these schools has decreased steadily; in 2014, they had only 25 learners. Although formal education led to the elimination of illiteracy among adults, the quality of learning outcomes remains low, as demonstrated by results of the PIAAC survey.
  • In special cases, primary schools for adults admit learners under 18 (but aged at least 15), if they have serious learning difficulties or there are other obstacles to completion of a primary school for children. In 2014/2015, there were only 2 learners aged 18 or below in primary schools for adults (Central Statistical Office, 2015, Table III.25).

Lower secondary school for adults

  • Lower secondary schools for adults are intended for learners aged 18 and above or those who reach the age of 18 in the year in which they start lower secondary education and have completed 6-year primary education (or either the 6th or the 7th grade of the “old” 8-year primary (single structure) school).
  • Learners may be awarded a lower secondary school leaving certificate and prepare for the final lower secondary school exam.
  • In special cases, lower secondary schools for adults admit learners under 18 (but aged at least 15), if they have serious learning difficulties or there are other obstacles to completion of a lower secondary school for children and young people. In 2014/2015, learners in lower secondary schools for adults represented approximately 72% of students aged up to 18 (Central Statistical Office, 2015, Table IV.25). Learners aged above 18 were a small minority among all learners in lower secondary schools for adults.
  • In the school year 2014/2015, there were 192 lower secondary schools for adults, attended by 13 099 learners, with women representing 30% of all learners. The majority (57%) of them followed part-time education. In the same school year, there were 4 067 graduates, with women representing 32% of all graduates (Central Statistical Office, 2015, Table IV.22).
  • More than half (56%) of lower secondary schools for adults are non-public institutions.

Upper secondary schools for adults

General upper secondary school for adults

  • Schools intended for lower secondary school graduates aged 18 and above which:
    • lead to an upper secondary school leaving certificate that provides access to further education in post-secondary schools;
    • prepare learners to take the maturity exam and, if passed, continue education in higher education institutions.
  • Since the end of August 2015 general upper secondary schools have been the main type of school for adults at this level.
  • In the school year 2013/2014, there were 1 693 general upper secondary schools for adults enrolling 197 621 students; 93% followed part-time programmes. In the same year, there were 28 818 graduates; 53% of all graduates were women (Table V.3.17).
  • The maturity exam pass rate among general upper secondary school graduates is around 32%. Another matter of concern is the small proportion of learners taking the exam: only 34% of graduates in 2013/2014. As the figure below shows, rates vary considerably across the regions.

Post-secondary schools for adults

  • Schools intended for secondary school graduates which:
    • lead to a diploma confirming vocational qualifications if learners pass a vocational exam – at the level of a technician;
    • do not require a maturity certificate for admission; an upper secondary school leaving certificate is sufficient.
  • In the school year 2014/2015, there were 1 905 post-secondary schools for adults enrolling 228 980 learners. Most (70%) of them are non-public schools with a public-school status; 20% are public schools, and 10% are non-public schools . In the same school year, there were 68 224 graduates, with women representing 75% of all graduates.

Public institutions providing continuing education for adults

Public institutions providing continuing education for adults are subject to the following legislation:

The table below shows the scope of activities of four main types of institutions.

Table 3. Public institutions providing continuing education for adults


Type of institution
Activities
Forms of continuing education for adults
Continuing education centres (CEC) 186 CECs, excluding schools (source: SIO*, 30 Sept. 2015):
  • offer vocational qualification courses and vocational skill courses, general competences courses and other courses;
  • provide continuing education in schools for adults within a CEC;
  • provide career guidance and information,
  • cooperate with employers and their organizations, labour offices and other national and foreign centres for continuing education.


Vocational qualification courses and vocational skill courses; general competences courses; and other courses provided in schools for adults within a CEC
Practical training centres (PTC) 157 PTCs (source: SIO, 30 Sept. 2015):
  • offer vocational qualification courses and vocational skill courses, general competences courses and other courses;
  • provide practical training for students in vocational schools;
  • organize supplementary courses for juvenile workers;
  • cooperate with employers, labour offices and other vocational education providers;
  • cooperate with in-service teacher training centres to support vocational education and training teachers.


Vocational qualification courses and vocational skill courses, general competences courses and other courses
Further and in-service training centres (FITC) 368 FITCs (source: SIO, 30 Sept. 2015):
  • offer vocational qualification courses and vocational skill courses, general competences courses and other courses;
  • may additionally organise theoretical training sessions for juvenile workers;
  • cooperate with employers, labour offices and other vocational education providers.


Vocational qualification courses and vocational skill courses, general competences courses and other courses
Vocational and continuing education centres (VCEC) New type of a continuing education provider established by the amendment to the School Education Act of 19 August 2011. VCECs are to combine activities of vocational schools and continuing education providers. They consist of at least one of the above-mentioned continuing education institutions and at least one school providing vocational education.

92 CECs combined with schools (source: SIO, 30 Sept. 2015):

  • are authorised to provide all services as for institutions included in an VCEC, and:
    • provide career guidance and information;
    • cooperate with employers and their organizations.

 

Vocational qualification courses and vocational skill courses, general competences courses and other courses provided in schools for adults within a CEC

Source: Author’s own elaboration.

*School Education Information System (System Informacji Oświatowej, SIO)

Vocational qualification courses may be provided by schools as well as public and non-public educational institutions. They have extended the range of institutions involved in education and training activities.

According to the School Education Information System (SIO), there are 2 142 non-public continuing education and practical training centres, including 8 which operate together with schools as an educational complex.

Training institutions

Institutions providing training for the unemployed and job seekers

The Register of Training Institutions (RTI, Rejestr Instytucji Szkoleniowych), operating under the Act of 20 April 2014 on the Promotion of Employment and Labour Market Institutions (text of the Act in Polish), is the biggest directory of institutions which provide training for the unemployed and job seekers in Poland. Institutions interested to provide such training in cooperation with the public employment services (as a commissioned and publicly-funded activity) are required to be registered in the RTI in the relevant Regional Labour Office. The requirement of registering and updating data makes the register the most comprehensive and reliable source of information on training institutions which offer courses targeted at the unemployed and job seekers.

  • In 2015, 13 341 training institutions registered in the RTI offered 139 331 training courses in 30 areas:
    • 55% of training institutions were administered by natural persons as part of their economic activity, and 27% were associations, foundations and companies.
    • The most popular areas of training were: personal development and career development; ICT and use of computers; and transport services, including driving licence courses. Within each of these areas, more than 14 000 courses were offered.
    • In 2015, training institutions included in the RTI offered 84 434 courses leading to an examination.
    • Training courses financed by the European Social Fund were provided by 3 236 institutions, and 11 967 institutions conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of training (e.g. a questionnaire-based survey or interviews after a course).
    • A total of 5 817 372 people participated in training courses in 2015 (stor.praca gov.pl: accessed in July 2016)

Other training institutions

The market of institutions and companies offering training is very diverse and extends beyond those included in the RTI. Some institutions provide consultancy services in addition to training services. There is, however, no single register or database of all entities offering training services to adults, aside from the unemployed and job seekers.


Higher education

Non-degree postgraduate programmes, as another form of continuing education, are provided by public and non-public higher education institutions (HEIs), research institutions and institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The Law on Higher Education does not refer to continuing education, but in view of the so-called third mission of higher education (see 8.1, Table 1 and the chapter on higher education), this type of programmes can be considered part of continuing education.

Students in non-degree postgraduate programmes

According to the Act of 27 July 2005, the Law on Higher Education, non-degree postgraduate programmes are a form of education provided by HEIs and intended for applicants who have completed at least a first-cycle programme. Students are awarded a (non-degree) postgraduate qualification upon completion of a programme which lasts no shorter than 2 semesters, corresponding to at least 60 ECTS.

In the academic year 2014/2015, there were 434 HEIs in Poland, including 302 with a non-public status (Central Statistical Office, GUS). Any HEI may provide non-degree postgraduate programmes in the academic areas corresponding to at least one field of study in which it offers degree programmes. HEIs can also provide non-degree postgraduate programmes in other areas upon the consent of the minister responsible for higher education and consultation with the General Council for Science and Higher Education (Rada Główna Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego).

In 2015, 151 555 students, with female students representing 72%, were following non-degree postgraduate programmes.

Open universities and third-age universities

Third-age universities (TAU), which are educational institutions for seniors, have no definition or legal basis in the Polish law (federacjautw.pl; accessed in July 2016). Various types of such institutions are defined in literature. The TAU Federation distinguishes between three main types of TAU in Poland:

  1. independent non-governmental organisations (NGOs) (e.g. associations) or entities operating within NGOs (approx. 54%);
  2. entities operating within institutions administered by local government units (e.g. culture centres, libraries, welfare centres) (approx. 22%);
  3. entities operating within public and non-public HEIs (approx. 19%). (Profesjonalny UTW / Professional TAU, accessed in July 2016).

The TAU Federation (Federacja UTW), an organization that brings together third-age universities across Poland, regularly publishes reports on the activities of its member institutions. According to the Federation mailing list, in August 2015, there were 556 TAUs in Poland, including 72 in the Mazowsze region (federacjautw.pl, accessed in July 2016).