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STUDY IN Poland - Educational System IN POLAND

 
 
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Institution Types and Credentials | Structure of Education System | Grading System
Admissions to Higher Education | Information on the national education system

 
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Institution Types and Credentials

Types of higher education institutions:

  • Uniwersytety (Universities)
  • Politechniki (Technical Universities)
  • Akademie Medyczne (Medical Academies)
  • Akademie Rolnicze (Agricultural Academies)
  • Akademie Ekonomiczne (Economical Academies)
  • Wyzsze Szkoly Pedagogiczne (Higher Teacher Education Schools)
  • Akademie Muzyczne, Sztuk Pieknych,Teatralne I Filmowe (Academies of Music, Fine Arts,Theatre,and Cinematography)
  • Akademie Wychowania Fizycznego (Academies of Physical Education)
  • Akademie Teologiczne (Theological Academies)
  • Szkoly Morskie (Merchant Marine Academies)
  • Szkoly Wojskowe (Military Schools)
  • Wyzsza Szkola Policji (School of Police)
  • Panstwowe Wyzsze Szkoly Zawodowe (State Schools of Higher Vocational Education)
  • Niepanstwowe Szkoly Wyzsze (Non-Public Schools)
  • Niepanstwowe Wyzsze Szkoly Zawodowe (Non-state Schools of Higher Vocational Education)

School leaving and higher education credentials:

  • Swiadectwo dojrzalosci
  • Swiadectwo ukonczenia (of a given school)
  • Inzynier
  • Licencjat
  • Dyplom ukonczenia studiów wyzszych
  • Lekarz
  • Lekarz stomatolog
  • Lekarz weterynarii
  • Magister
  • Magister edukacji
  • Magister inzynier
  • Magister inzynier architek
  • Magister sztuki
  • Licencjat II
  • Master
  • Swiadectwo ukonczenia studiów podyplomowych
  • Doktor
  • Kwalifikacje pierwszego stopnia
  • Doktor habilitowany
  • Kwalifikacje drugiego stopnia

 

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Structure of Education System

Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 7
Age of exit: 18

Structure of school system:

Primary

Type of school providing this education: Primary School (Szkola Podstawowa)
Length of program in years: 6
Age level from: 7 to: 13
Certificate/diploma awarded: Swiadectwo ukonczenia szkoly podstawowej - Certificate of Completion of Primary School Education)

Lower Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Gimnasium (Gimnazjum)
Length of program in years: 3
Age level from: 13 to: 16
Certificate/diploma awarded: Swiadectwo ukonczenia gimnazjum (Certificate of Completion of Education in the Gymnasium)

Technical Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Technikum (Technical Secondary School)
Length of program in years: 4
Age level from: 16 to: 20
Certificate/diploma awarded: Swiadectwo dojrzalosci technikum (Maturity Certificate of the Technical Secondary School) or swiadectwo ukonczenia Technikum (Certificate of Completion of Education in the Technical Secondary School)

Upper Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace (General Lyceum)
Length of program in years: 3
Age level from: 16 to: 19
Certificate/diploma awarded: Swiadectwo dojrzalosci liceum ogólnoksztalcacego (Maturity Cetificate of the General Lyceum) or swiadectwo ukonczenia liceum ogólnoksztalcacego (Certificate of Completion of Education in the General Lyceum)

Vocational Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Szkola Zasadnicza (Basic Vocational School)
Length of program in years: 3
Age level from: 16 to: 19
Certificate/diploma awarded: Swiadectwo ukonczenia szkoly zasadniczej (Certificate of Completion of Education in the Basic Vocational School)

Vocational Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Liceum Profilowane (Specialized Lyceum)
Length of program in years: 3
Age level from: 16 to: 19
Certificate/diploma awarded: Swiadectwo dojrzalosci liceum profilowanego (Maturity Certificate of the Specialized Liceum) or swiadectwo ukonczenia liceum profilowanego (Certificate of Completion of Education in the Specialized Lyceum)

School Education:

BEFORE THE 1999 REFORM, primary education lasted for 8 years leading to the conferring of the Swiadectwo Ukonczenia Szkoly Podstawowej (Certificate of Completion of Primary School Education). Secondary general education was provided in the four-year general lyceum (lyceum ogólnoksztalcace). Secondary vocational education was provided by a range of schools , i.e. four-year liceum ( lyceum), liceum zawadowe (vocational lyceum), liceum techniczne (technical lyceum) and a 5-year technikum (secondary technical school). The graduates of all secondary schools were awarded either the Swiadectwo Dojrzalosci (Maturity Certificate of a given kind of secondary school) or the Swiadectwo Ukonczenia (Certificate of Completion of Education in the given kind of secondary school). Apart from that, there were basic vocational schools (szkola zasadnicza) whose graduates obtained the Swiadectwo Ukonczenia Szkoly Zasadniczej (Certificate of Completion of Education in the basic vocational school).

AFTER THE 1999 REFORM, 6-year primary schools and 3-year gymnasia were introduced. Secondary education is provided in 3-year general lyceums (liceum ogólnoksztalcace) or in vocational secondary schools such as the 3-year liceum profilowane (specialized lyceum) and 4-year technikum (secondary technical school). In addition, there are 2-3-year basic vocational schools (zasdnicza szkola zawodowa) whose graduates obtain the Swiadectwo Ukonczenia Zasadniczej Szkoly Zawodowej (Certificate of Completion of Education in the Basic Vocational School). The secondary school credentials of the former system will be issued until 2005. In the transition period, both the former and the new types of secondary school will co-exist. The credential that gives right to enter higher education before and after the reform is the Swiadectwo Dojrzalosci issued after completion of education in a secondary school and having passed the Maturity examination (Egzamin Dojrzalosci/Matura).The only type of post-primary school that does not give access to higher education is the basic vocational school, both in the old and new system. The graduates of these schools may continue their education in different types of complementary secondary schools: liceum uzupelniajace (complementary lyceum) or technikum uzupelniajace (complementary technical secondary school). Following completion of education in these schools they can pass the maturity examination and obtain a Maturity Certificate and thus become eligible for entrance to higher education

Higher Education:

The higher education system comprises both state and non-state institutions. The latter are created on the basis of the 1990 Higher Education Act. Before that, there were only state higher education institutions (with the exception of the Catholic University of Lublin). When the Act on Schools of Higher Professional Education came into force in 1997, courses of higher professional education were created. Thus, at present, there are both university-type and non-university type (professional education) institutions in Poland. Graduates of higher professional courses (offered by panstwowe wyzsze szkoly zawodowe and wyzsze szkoly zawodowe) are awarded the professional title of licencjat or inzynier after 3-4 years' study. Graduates of university-type higher education institutions are awarded the professional title of magister or an equivalent after having followed uniform 5-year magister level courses or 1.5 to 2-year complementary magister level courses (in the case of holders of the professional title of licencjat or inzynier obtained either at university-type institutions or institutions of higher professional education).

Most higher education institutions are under the responsibility of the Ministry of National Education and Sport. Some, however, are under the control of other competent Ministries: Ministry of Health (Academies of Medicine) and Ministry of Culture (Academies of Music, Fine Arts, Theatre, and Film Studies). There are also schools that are supervised by the Ministry of National Defence (military schools), the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Main School of Fire Service, School of Police) and the Ministry of Infrastructure (merchant navy schools).The total number of state higher education institutions is 116 and there are 182 non-state higher education institutions. The credential giving access to higher education is the swiadectwo dojrzalosci (Maturity Certificate) of a given kind of secondary school. The most common form of recruitment is the entrance examination.

Academic Year:

  • Classes from: Oct to: Jun
  • Long vacation from: 1 Jul to: 30 Sep

Languages of instruction: Polish

Stages of studies:

  • Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level:

Non-university level education in Poland is provided by szkoly policealne and szkoly pomaturalne. The szkoly policealne train students in a variety of vocational fields. The graduates obtain the swiadectwo ukonczenia szkoly policealnej (certificate of completion of education in post-secondary school), and can then take a vocational examination and obtain the dyplom uzyskania tytulu zawodowego (vocational title diploma). The vocational training in this type of schools lasts between 1 and 2.5 years, depending on the field of studies.The szkoly pomaturalne train only nurses and midwives, and the graduates are awarded the dyplom ukonczenia szkoly pomaturalnej (diploma of completion of education in the post-secondary school). The duration of education is 2.5 years. Since 1999 the training of nurses and midwives is organized as higher studies.

University level studies:

University level first stage:

First level studies are organized both by university-type higher education institutions and the institutions of higher professional education (wyzsze szkoly zawodowe). The graduates obtain the dyplom ukonczenia studiów wyzszych (diploma of completion of higher studies) and are awarded the professional title of licencjat or inzynier after completing the education and preparing a thesis or diploma project. The duration of studies is 3 to 4 years, depending on the field of study. The graduates can continue their education at university-type institutions in complementary courses of the second level and obtain the title of magister or equivalent. The professional title of licencjat has been awarded since 1992, when new regulations concerning the qualifications in higher education were announced.Military schools and the School of Police award the graduates of first level studies the title of oficer dyplomowany. The Main School of Fire Service grants them the title of inzynier pozarnictwa.

University level second stage:

The studies of the second stage are organized in the university-type higher education institutions as uniform studies lasting 5-6 years or as complementary studies, lasting 1.5 - 2 years, and offered to holders of the professional titles of licencjat or inzynier. The graduates receive dyplom ukonczenia studiów wyzszych (diploma of completion of higher studies) and are awarded the title of magister or one of its equivalents after submitting and defending of a thesis or a diploma project (with the exception of the studies in Medicine). The holders of the title of magister or its equivalent may continue their education at postgraduate level.These are the professional titles awarded by different kinds of second level higher education studies lasting usually 5 years (it is indicated when the duration of studies is different):- universities: graduates are awarded the title of magister;- technical universities: graduates are awarded the title of magister inzynier;- academies of medicine: graduates are awarded the title of lekarz (in Medicine, after 6 years of studies) or lekarz stomatolog (in Dentistry, after 5 years of studies); the title of magister is awarded to graduates in the fields of Pharmacy and others after 5 years of studies;- academies of agriculture: graduates are awarded the title of magister inzynier or lekarz weterynarii (in Veterinary Medicine, after 5.5 years);- academies of economics: graduates are awarded the title of magister or magister inzynier (in some faculties);- teacher-training schools: graduates are awarded the title of magister edukacji or magister; - schools of arts: graduates are awarded the title of magister sztuki;- academies of physical education: graduates are awarded the title of magister, additionally they are granted the professional title of trener, instruktor rekreacji or instruktor turystyki;- academies of theology: graduates are awarded the title of magister;- merchant navy schools: graduates are awarded the title of magister inzynier;- military schools: graduates are awarded the title of magister, magister inzynier or lekarz (at Wojskowa Akademia Medyczna w Lodzi, after 6 years of studies); additionally, they are also granted the military rank of podporucznik (second lieutenant);- Main School of Fire Service: graduates are awarded the title of magister inzynier pozarnictwa;- non-state higher education schools and higher education institutions of the Catholic Church and other confessions can award the title of magister.

University level third stage:

The academic degree of doktor can be obtained in two ways: by students of doctoral (postgraduate) studies, lasting usually 3-4 years, or by persons who combine their professional work with academic research and elaboration of a dissertation. All candidates must hold the professional title of magister or equivalent. To be awarded the degree of doktor, the candidate must submit and successfully defend a doctoral dissertation assessed positively by two supervisors and pass doctorate examinations.The degree of doktor can be conferred either by higher education institutions or by research institutes entitled to award it. The name of the qualification awarded as an equivalent to the degree of doktor in artistic disciplines is kwalifikacje pierwszego stopnia (first degree qualifications).

University level fourth stage: Doktor Habilitowany:

The degree of doktor habilitowany is awarded to candidates who already hold the degree of doktor. It can be obtained either by academic staff of higher education institutions and research units, or by persons who combine their research work with other professional activities. To be awarded the academic degree of doktor habilitowany the candidate must: have remarkable scientific or artistic achievements; submit a habilitation dissertation which contributes to the development of a given scientific iscipline; receive a favourable assessment of his/her dissertation from three supervisors; pass a habilitation examination and deliver a favourably assessed habilitation lecture. The name of the qualification awarded in artistic disciplines as an equivalent to the degree of doktor habilitowany is kwalifikacje drugiego stopnia (second degree qualifications).The holders of the doktor habilitowany degree are eligible for the academic post of professor at higher education institutions and can be awarded the academic title of profesor conferred by the President of the Republic of Poland.

Teacher Education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

Since 1990, teacher training in Poland is organized as tertiary education. Primary school and gymnasium teacher are trained in a kolegium nauczycielskie (teacher training college). There are also foreign language teacher training colleges (nauczycielskie kolegium jezyków obcych). The graduates are awarded the dyplom ukonczenia kolegium nauczycielskiego and the professional title of licencjat (conferred by the higher education institution which supervises the given college).Before 1990, the education of pre-primary and primary teachers was organized in a range of secondary/postsecondary teacher training schools. The qualification awarded was swiadectwo dojrzalosci (maturity certificate) and/or dyplom ukonczenia … of a given kind of school (diploma of completion of education in …. institute). The education of the graduates of primary schools who wanted to become teachers lasted from 4 to 6 years, and that of graduates of secondary schools 2 or 3 years. The names of those teacher training schools and institutes are: liceum pedagogiczne (teacher training lyceum), studium nauczycielskie (teacher-training institute), studium wychowania przedszkolnego (pre-primary education institute), studium nauczania poczatkowego (beginning learning institute), pedagogiczne studium techniczne (technical teacher training institute).

Training of secondary school teachers

Holders of the degree of magister or its equivalent who have pursued a pedagogical course are eligible. Since 1990 secondary school foreign language teachers can also be trained in foreign language teacher training colleges (nauczycielskie kolegium jezyków obcych). The graduates are awarded the dyplom ukonczenia kolegium nauczycielskiego and the professional title of licencjat (conferred by the higher education institution which supervises a given college).

Training of higher education teachers

Academic teachers are recruited among the holders of academic degrees of doktor and doktor habilitowany. The academic teachers of lower grade can be graduates of higher education institutions, i.e. holders of the degree of magister or its equivalent, who are preparing for the doctorate.

Non-traditional studies:

Lifelong higher education

Higher education institutions and research institutes can organize courses for holders of higher education diplomas (magister equivalent), the aim of which is to update or develop their professional or academic knowledge. Graduates of these courses are awarded the swiadectwo ukonczenia studiów podyplomowych (certificate of completion of postgraduate studies). The duration of the programme depends on the field of study and the institution.

 
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National Bodies

Ministry of Education and Sport (Ministerstwo Edukacji Narodowej I Sportu)

al. Szucha 25
00-918 Warszawa
Poland

Tel: +48(22) 628-04-61
Fax: +48(22) 629-71-11
Telex: 813523 men pl
eMail: minister@menis.gov.pl
WWW: http://www.menis.pl

Role of governing body: Creating educational policies at the national level, coordinating other governing bodies, controlling higher education institutions supervised by this Ministry

Central Council of Higher Education (Rada Glówna Szkolnictwa Wyzszego)

al. Szucha 25
00-918 Warszawa
Poland

Tel: +48(22) 629-84-78
Fax: +48(22) 628-84-78

Role of governing body: Cooperates with the Minister of National Education and the other national bodies in the implementation of tasks concerning higher education; in particular, defines the requirements for organizing new fields of study an the conferring of professional titles, as well as minimum curriculum requirements for each field of study

Polish Universities Rectors' Conference

ul. Wieniawskiego 1
00927 Poznan
Poland

Tel: +48(61) 829-43-92
Fax: +48(61) 829-44-44
EMail: rectorof@amu.edu.pl
WWW: http://www.krasp.org.pl

State Accreditation Commission (Panstwowa Komisja Akredytacyjna)

al. Szucha 25
00-918 Warszawa
Poland

Tel: +48(22) 622-36-86
Fax: +48(22) 622-36-86
EMail: pka@menis.gov.pl

Role of governing body: Quality assurance, advisory and controlling tasks in establishing new higher education institutions and concession of licences to organize new fields of study in the existing ones

Central Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles (Centralna Komisja do Spraw Stopni Naukowych i Tytulu Naukowego

Palac Kultury I Nauki
pl. Defilad 1
00-901 Warszawa
Poland

Tel: +48(22) 826-82-38 +48(22) 620-33-24
Fax: +44(22) 620-33-24

Role of governing body: Supervises the conferring of the academic degrees of Doktor and Doktor Habilitowany; entitles the faculties of the higher education institutions and to research units to award these academic degrees.

 

 

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Admissions to Higher Education

Admission to non university higher education studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Swiadectwo dojrzalosci

Minimum score/requirement: 2 - mierny (mediocre) in the grading scale introduced in 1991; 3 - dostateczny (satisfactory) in the grading scale used before 1991

For entry to: szkola policealna

Name of secondary school credential required: Swiadectwo ukonczenia (of a given school)

Minimum score/requirement: 2 - mierny (mediocre) in the grading scale introduced in 1991; 3 - dostateczny (satisfactory) in the grading scale used before 1991

For entry to: szkola policealna, szkola pomaturalna

Entrance exams required:

For some courses (according to the institutions) there is an entrance examination. Some institutions also have qualifying tests or qualifying interviews for access to some of their courses.

Other admission requirements:

Sometimes physical and mental predisposition of candidate to exercise a given profession must first be ascertained

Admission to university-level studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Swiadectwo dojrzalosci

Minimum score/requirement: 2 - mierny (mediocre) in the grading scale introduced in 1991; 3 - dostateczny (satisfactory) in the grading scale used before 1991

For entry to: all institutions of higher education

Entrance exams required: For some courses (according to the institutions) there is an entrance examination. Some institutions also have qualifying tests or qualifying interviews for access to some of their courses.

Numerus clausus/restrictions: Higher education institutions are autonomous in this matter. The number of students is decided by the senate of each institution.

Other admission requirements: Prize-winners of national competitions (olimpiada) in various secondary-school subjects are exempt from entrance examinations.

 

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Grading System

Usual grading system in secondary school

Full Description: 6 - 1 (excellent (celujacy), very good (bardzo dobry), good (dobry), satisfactory (dostateczy), unsatisfactory (niedostateczny), mediocre (mierny),fail: often, the marks '+' and '-' are added to the principal grades)

Highest on scale: 6 (excellent)

Pass/fail level: 2 (satisfactory)

Lowest on scale: 1 (fail)

Main grading system used by higher education institutions

Full Description: 5 - 2 (5 very good, 4 good, 3 satisfactory, 2 unsatisfactory)

Highest on scale: 5 (very good)

Pass/fail level: 3 (satisfactory)

Lowest on scale: 2 (unsatisfactory)

Other main grading systems

For non-final exams, the marks '+' and '-' are often added to the principal grades. In some schools the grade 6 (excellent) exists.

 

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Information on the National Education System


System of Higher Education

Both state and private institutions of higher education exist in Poland. The latter began to appear after 1990. A private school of higher education must receive permission to operate from the Ministry of National Education and Sport. It acquires a legal status then registered by the Minister of National Education and Sport.

In 1998 the first state and private vocational schools of higher education began to appear. These schools train students in vocational/professional specializations and prepare them for specific professions by including 15-week internships and school practice in the mandatory curriculum. Study programs can take the form of daily, evening or extramural studies and distant learning courses. Daily studies is the prevalent form.

To qualify for admission to an institution of higher education, the applicant must hold the secondary school certificate (swiadectwo dojrzalosci). The rules of admission to the first year of study are determined autonomously by each institution. Some organize competitive entrance examinations, others use ranking procedures based on the final grades listed in the secondary school certificate, still others admit all who apply.

Professional titles awarded to graduates of institutions of higher education:

  • the professional title of licencjat is awarded following the completion of 3 or 3.5 years of professional training;
  • the professional title of inzynier is awarded following the completion of 3.5 or 4 years of professional studies in technical areas, agriculture and economics and business;
  • the title of magister is awarded following the completion of a 5 year program of professional studies in a given discipline; equivalent titles include magister edukacji (in the field of Education), magister sztuki (in the field of Fine Arts), magister inzynier (in the fields of Engineering) and magister inzynier archtekt (in the field of Architecture). Medical and veterinary studies last 6 years and the titles lekarz medycyny (in the field of Medicine), lekarz stomatolog (in the field of Stomatology) and lekarz weterynarii (in the field of Veterinary). The title of magister can also be obtained following the completion of 2 or 2.5-year complementary magister's programs, for which holders of the professional title of licencjat or inzynier are eligible.

To be awarded any of the above professional titles the student must complete all subjects and internships or practice included in the program of study, submit and defend a diploma project or thesis and pass a diploma examination. Upon graduation, each student receives a diploma in a specific discipline, three copies of the diploma and, upon request, a diploma in a foreign language.

The Act of the Academic Title and Academic Degrees regulating the award of academic titles and degrees establishes the following academic ranks (in ascending order):

  • the academic degree of doktor of a particular academic subject area within a particular academic discipline.
  • the academic degree of doktor habilitowany of a particular academic subject area within a particular academic discipline.
  • the title of profesor of a particular academic subject area.

The degree of doktor is granted to persons who having obtained the professional title of magister (or its equivalent) and having passed the appropriate doctoral examinations have submitted and successfully conducted a public defense of a Ph.D. thesis which must also be examined by at least two specialists. The thesis, written under the supervision of a tutor, should present the author’s original solution to an academic problem, and display the author’s general theoretical knowledge within the relevant academic discipline, and ability to undertake independent academic research.

The degree of doktor habilitowany is awarded to persons who have obtained a doctorate, whose scientific attainments are extensive, and who have submitted an habilitation dissertation, successfully participated in an habilitation colloquium, and have delivered a habilitation lecture. The habilitation dissertation is to be reviewed by at least three specialists and should be considered to be a significant contribution by the author to the development of a particular academic discipline.

The title of profesor is granted to persons who after obtaining the degree of doktor habilitowany have proceeded to both outstanding academic attainments and important educational achievements (successful management of a research team could be understood as such an educational achievement). The assessment of these achievements must be supported by the opinions of at least three specialists.

The degrees of doktor and doktor habilitowany can be granted by the faculty boards of university faculties (or the academic councils of institutes, including non-teaching institutes such as those of the Polish Academy of Sciences) of appropriate academic standing. The right to grant higher degrees is accorded by the Central Commission for Matters Related to Academic Title and Degrees, the members of which are chosen by an electoral college consisting of all Polish Professors. In certain cases resolutions granting the degrees of doktor habilitowany have the force of law only after confirmation by the Central Commission.

The title of profesor if granted by the President of the Republic of Poland and the bases of a resolution of the Central Commission issued in response to a petition by an academic council of sufficient standing to be entitled to grant the degree of doktor habilitowany.

Structure of the Education System - Diagram

The system, as presented in the diagram, is to be fully implemented from the school year 2004/2005.

 

 

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Source: http://www.euroeducation.net/prof/polaco.htm
 
 
 
 
 
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