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Poland:Types of Higher Education Institutions

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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

Colleges of social work operate on the basis of the legislation concerning school education and form part of the school education system. First colleges of social work were established in 2005. Colleges provide 3-year programmes leading to a diploma and specialise in the training of social workers. In the academic year 2014/2015, there were 7 colleges of social work with 463 students enrolled.

Public colleges are established and administered by the local government body at the province (województwo) level. The establishment of a public college requires a favourable opinion to be given by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy.

Each college is supervised academically by an HEI which offers programmes leading to a Master's degree (magister) in the field of study corresponding to the specialisation field in a given college. Detailed arrangements concerning such academic supervision are laid down in an agreement obligatorily concluded between the body administering a college and an HEI. Moreover, pedagogical supervision is exercised by the head of the regional education authorities (kurator oświaty) in a given province (województwo).

Higher education institutions

Until 2005, HEIs were divided into higher education schools (szkoła wyższa) and schools of higher vocational education (wyższa szkoła zawodowa). They were established and operated on the basis of separate legislation (1990 Higher Education Act, and 1997 Act on Schools of Higher Vocational Education respectively). The 2005 Law on Higher Education, which repealed the legislation previously in force, distinguishes university HEIs (uczelnia akademicka) and non-university HEIs (uczelnia zawodowa).

A university-type HEI is an HEI in which at least one organisational unit (e.g. faculty) is authorised to award doctoral degrees (doktor). It may provide first-cycle programmes leading to a Bachelor's degree (licencjat or inżynier) (ISCED 6) and/or second-cycle or long-cycle programmes leading to a Master's degree (magister) (ISCED 7), and doctoral programmes (ISCED 8).

A non-university HEI is an HEI which, like a university-type HEI, provides first-cycle, second-cycle and/or long-cycle programmes, but is not authorised to award doctoral degrees (doktor) or provide doctoral (third-cycle) programmes. This type of institutions includes HEIs referred to as schools of higher vocational education (wyższa szkoła zawodowa) which are authorised to provide only first-cycle degree programmes.

In order to be authorised to provide first-, second- and/or long-cycle programmes, university-type and non-university HEIs are required to comply with the same requirements laid down in the Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 26 September 2016 on the conditions for the provision of degree programmes. The regulation lays down:

  1. requirements concerning an programme of study;
  2. requirements to be fulfilled by organisational units of HEIs in order to provide degree programmes in a given field, at a given level of study and of a given orientation / profile;
  3. fields of study in which HEIs offer long-cycle programmes and second-cycle programmes and may offer long-cycle programmes;
  4. detailed requirements concerning the establishment and operation of branch campuses of HEIs and basic organisational units of HEIs in other locations.

The so-called minimum staff resources are defined for individual fields of study or groups of fields of study. The ratios of academic staff to students are defined for individual fields of study. At present, the ratio of academic staff included in the minimum staff resources to students in a given field of study may not be lower than 1:60; as an exception, it may not be lower than:

  1. 1:50 in the fields of study related to foreign languages;
  2. 1:40 in the fields of medicine and dentistry,

Second-cycle and long-cycle programmes may be provided by organisational units of university-type and non-university HEIs which comply with the requirements listed above for first-cycle programmes and which conduct research in the discipline or area related to a given field of study. However, the minimum staff resources for second-cycle and long-cycle programmes should include a larger number of the academic staff holding a professorial title and a post-doctoral or doctoral degree than defined for first-cycle programmes. The required ratios of academic staff to students are the same as for first-cycle programmes (see above).

Additionally, the minimum staff resources for a given second-cycle or long-cycle programme in the basic organisational unit of an HEI can include: academic staff for whom the HEI to which the unit belongs is the place of their primary employment or academic staff employed in the HEI concerned for whom a research institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences is the place of primary employment.

In order to provide doctoral programmes, organisational units of university-type HEIs should be authorised to award either post-doctoral degrees or doctoral degrees in at least two different disciplines of a given field of science. Such authorisations are granted by the Central Commission for Academic Degrees on the basis of the quality of research and the number of staff holding a professorial title or a post-doctoral degree, after consultation with the General Council for Science and Higher Education. An organisational unit of a university-type HEI is required to have 8 or 12 staff members with a professorial title or a post-doctoral degree in order to be authorised to award doctoral degrees or post-doctoral degrees respectively.

Based on the Law on Higher Education, the following types of HEIs may be distinguished:

  • university-type HEI – an institution which carries out academic research and where at least one organisational unit is authorised to award a doctoral degree;
  • non-university HEI – an institution which provides first-cycle, second-cycle and/or long-cycle programmes, but is not authorised to award doctoral degrees;
  • military HEI – supervised by the minister responsible for national defence;
  • state service HEI – supervised by the minister responsible for internal affairs;
  • HEI of art studies – supervised by the minister responsible for culture and national heritage;
  • medical HEIs – supervised by the minister responsible for health;
  • HEI of maritime studies – supervised by the minister responsible for maritime affairs.

In the academic year 2014/15, Poland 434 HEIs in total, including 132 public institutions. The following types of HEIs may be currently distinguished (according to the Central Statistical Office):

  • universities (uniwersytety) (19),
  • technical HEIs (wyższe szkoły techniczne) (25),
  • agricultural HEIs (wyższe szkoły rolnicze) (7),
  • HEIs for Economics (wyższe szkoły ekonomiczne) (70),
  • pedagogical HEIs (wyższe szkoły pedagogiczne) (15),
  • medical universities/academies (akademie medyczne) (9),
  • schools/universities of maritime studies (wyższe szkoły morskie) (2),
  • universities/academies of physical education (akademie wychowania fizycznego) (6),
  • schools/academies of art studies (wyższe szkoły artystyczne) (23),
  • theological HEIs (15)
  • HEIs supervised by the minister responsible for national defence and HEIs supervised by the minister responsible for internal affairs (7)

Around 70% of public HEIs are university-type institutions which provide first-, second (or long-) cycle and third-cycle (doctoral) programmes, while the remaining ones (ca 30%) are non-university HEIs providing only first- and second (or long-) cycle programmes.

As explained in the previous sections, doctoral programmes may also be provided by units of research institutions other than HEIs (Polish Academy of Sciences, and research and development institutions) which are authorised to award post-doctoral degrees. Such research institutions are not discussed as a separate type of institutions providing tertiary programmes because they are primarily research rather than educational institutions. As in the case of HEIs, authorisations to award post-doctoral degrees are granted by the Central Commission for Academic Degrees on the basis of the quality of research and the number of staff (12) holding a professorial title or a post-doctoral degree.