A dynamic growth
Currently Polish academies are host to over 57,000 students from 157 countries. The percentage of foreigners among students is still not significant in comparison with other European countries, but Poland’s popularity as a place of study is rapidly growing. The percentage of foreign students today reaches 4.1%. Eight years ago it was only 0.6%.
Study programmes in Poland are most often selected by our eastern neighbours, the Ukrainians and Belorussians, as well as by students from Norway, Spain, Sweden, Lithuania, the Czech Republic. Over 83% of international students come from Europe.
Medicine, selected by ⅓ of foreign students, is by far the most popular, and medical schools have the largest percentage of foreigners in the student body.
The University of Warsaw has the largest overall number of foreign students. The influx of foreign students results partially from the development of programmes with English as the language of instruction; UW belongs to academies with the largest number of foreign-language programmes.
The Erasmus Programme, which used to be the most popular European student-mobility programme, was replaced by Erasmus+ in 2014. Poland was, and still is, their very active participant. In the course of two decades, our county was visited by 30,000 grantees from the European Union, and 100,000 Polish students went abroad.
The University of Warsaw is Poland’s unquestionable leader in academic exchange, and according to a study prepared by the European Commission, which assessed the development of student mobility in more than 3,000 institutions of higher education in Europe, is also very high in the European ranking.
Polish academies participate in other mobility programmes as well, not only within Europe but also worldwide. Mutual academic exchange programmes involve nearly 40 countries of the world and are addressed not only to students, but also to scholars.
Poland is one of the 47 counties constituting the European Higher Education Area, the establishment of which was the central idea of the Bologna Process. The integration of education systems facilitated international cooperation between academies and made it possible to compare levels of education, and hence contributed to the increase of student and scholar mobility.
Participating in the Bologna Process, Polish academies have introduced:
- the three-cycle framework of higher education qualifications,
- the European Credit Transfer System,
- study programmes based on the so-called learning effects, which facilitates comparing diplomas in the European framework of qualifications,
- diploma supplements,
and they continuously support:
- the development of systems guaranteeing the quality of education,
- postgraduate study programmes in keeping with the idea of “lifelong learning”,
- student, scholar and administrative staff mobility, not only through participation in the Erasmus and similar programmes, but also by establishing foreign-language courses of study.