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Poland:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary 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

Types of institutions

Post-secondary education is considered part of secondary education in the Polish classification, while it is classified at Level 4 in ISCED and in the Polish Qualifications Framework (Article 8 of the Act of 22 December 2015 on the Integrated Qualifications System).

Post-secondary schools offer programmes which are a follow-up to upper secondary education. They enable students who have completed general upper secondary education to acquire a diploma confirming vocational qualifications upon passing vocational exams. Post-secondary schools are administered by central government bodies, local government units, non-governmental as well as civic organizations, religious organizations, associations and natural persons.

Post-secondary schools offer programmes lasting up to 2.5 years.

Most post-secondary schools are non-public.

The broadly defined upper and post-secondary education sector also includes colleges of social work (currently, 6 institutions in the country) and initial teacher training institutions, including teacher training colleges and foreign language teacher training colleges (in total, 13 institutions as of 30 September 2015). The latter no longer enrol new students and will be abolished as of 1 October 2017. Thus, colleges actually play a negligible role in the education system. Programmes in colleges last for 3 years.

Geographical accessibility

Post-secondary schools, as schools for adult learners, are, by definition, distributed unevenly across the country. In order to improve accessibility, some schools offer boarding services. Distance learning has also been introduced in some areas of study where this is possible.

In the school year 2014/2015, a vast majority of post-secondary schools (81.4%) provided part-time extra-mural programmes, 12.1% and 6.4% of schools provided day programmes and full-time programmes respectively, while evening programmes were provided only in 0.2% of post-secondary schools.

In 2014/2015, the number of post-secondary schools decreased by 3.4% as compared to the previous year (from 2 467 to 2 382). The number of students decreased by 14.3 thousand, i.e. by 5.1% in comparison with the previous year. Currently, there are approximately 265 thousand students in post-secondary schools.

The predominance of female over male students is increasing. In 2014/2015, female students represented 70.6% of all post-secondary school students, while six years before this proportion was more or less equal, with a slight predominance of male students (51%).

Admission requirements and choice of school

Post-secondary schools admit mainly graduates of general upper secondary schools, and of specialised upper secondary schools which are now being abolished. Most of them require only a secondary school leaving certificate, not a maturity certificate. However, colleges admit only holders of a maturity certificate. Admission rules for public schools are defined by the School Education Act and related regulations; the admission process in non-public schools is based on the rules laid down in their statutes.

Age levels and grouping of pupils/students

Post-secondary schools for young people admit graduates from general and specialised upper secondary schools (the latter currently being phased out). Thus, the age of students is approximately 19-20/21 years. The temporary changes in the starting age for primary education will also have impact on enrolment in some cohorts aged 18-19/20).

A class (also referred to as ‘division’ in national legislation) is the basic organisational unit in a post-secondary school. It groups students at the same level of education who jointly follow the same curriculum under the supervision of teachers. The number of students (learners) in a class is not predefined in legislation; exceptions concern primarily disabled students (e.g. the number of students in a class in integration post-secondary schools or schools with integration classes may be between 15 and 20, including 3 to 5 disabled students).

For some subjects (e.g. foreign languages) and for vocational education classes, students may be divided into groups or classes may be organised in a different way, as defined in the statutes of a given school.

Organization of the school year

Classes in the school year are divided into two semesters:

1) the first semester lasting from the first day of classes (the first working day of September) till the last Saturday preceding the winter holidays;

2) the second one from the Monday directly after the winter holidays till the last day of classes (the last Friday in June).

The dates of the winter break vary among the provinces in Poland. The winter holidays are scheduled between mid-January and the end of February and last for two weeks. The exact timing of the winter break is determined by the head of the regional education authorities in agreement with the governor of the province. Schools in Poland also have Christmas and Easter breaks.

Detailed information on the organisation of the school year (start and end dates of the school year, summer holidays and winter breaks with geographical variations, and public/religious holidays) are available in the annually updated Eurydice publication Organisation of the school time in Europe. Primary and Secondary General Education. 2016/2017 school year

Organization of the school day and week

According to the Regulation of the Minister of National Education of 7 February 2012 on the outline timetables in public schools (last amended on 29 December 2014), the weekly number of hours of compulsory classes in post-secondary schools is 28.