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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 30, 2010
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Poland: A Country of Students
April 30, 2010   
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Poland has around 2 million students, which means the number of people in higher education in relation to the size of the population is one of the highest in Europe. Top higher education institutions increasingly offer courses in English and maintain active contacts with international academic and research centers.

After the end of communism in 1989, the number of colleges and universities offering higher education grew significantly. Now the country has more than 130 of them and over 300 private colleges and universities. Extramural studies account for a high percentage of courses. Poles are keen to study and gain qualifications that are useful on a competitive job market.

Polish colleges are implementing the guidelines of the Bologna Process, which calls for the introduction of a three-step system for gaining academic degrees. Many schools employ the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), which facilitates combining courses in Poland and abroad and increases student mobility.

Polish achievements in mathematics are world-renowned. Polish IT experts have been winning international competitions for years. Many lecturers at Polish colleges collaborate with prestigious academic centers around the world. Colleges teaching business courses offer education at international MBA level.

The biggest and one of the best Polish higher education institutions, the University of Warsaw (UW), established in 1816, has an excellent teaching staff and many talented students who are successful in Poland and abroad, particularly in IT competitions. The university combines teaching with research and has excellent research facilities in many fields of science. It collaborates with the world’s best academic and research centers, focusing on innovation and technology exchange.

The UW has over 3,100 teachers and nearly 56,000 students, plus more than 9,000 postgraduate and PhD students. It teaches 37 fields of study, offering over 100 majors in human, exact and natural sciences.

Founded in Cracow in 1364, the Jagiellonian University (UJ) is the country’s oldest and competes with the UW for the status of Poland’s best university. It was the second university to be established in central Europe, after the one founded in 1348 in Prague. The universities in Vienna, Pécs and Heidelberg were founded later. For a long time the UJ had a unique structure, as it includes medical faculties. Recently, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń also launched teaching of medical sciences. The Jagiellonian University offers bachelor’s, master’s and PhD courses in well over 100 majors, including a dozen or so courses in English.

The Warsaw University of Technology (PW) has been regarded Poland’s best school of technology for many years. It teaches nearly all fields of technology and offers excellent teachers, extensive laboratories and libraries and databases. As a result, it has a good reputation in Europe and further afield.

The PW is regarded as an academic and research powerhouse in terms of technology. It publishes a large number of research papers that are highly valued in Poland and abroad. The PW runs numerous cooperation and student exchange programs jointly with other colleges, and a large number of research programs.

Top of the Class
Best Polish higher education institutions in 2009, according to the Rzeczpospolita daily and Perspektywy publishing house:
- Jagiellonian University, Cracow
- University of Warsaw
- Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
- Warsaw University of Technology
- AGH University of Science and Technology, Cracow

Poland: A Country of Opportunities
Poland is a modern and dynamic country full of life-time opportunities for people who want to get the best quality education, improve their skills, boost their experience and invest in their future. It is a hub bridging East and West, North and South, open to new ideas, investments and ready for rapid change. With over 1.9 million students and one of the highest school enrollment indices in Europe, it is the only European country to record positive economic growth in 2009, along with the highest growth among OECD countries.

Polish universities are a part of this success story. Drawing on their traditions, experience and potential, they are moving forward and constantly modernizing their organization and curricula in an effort to function freely in the international community. Excellent and open-minded teaching and academic staff, modern infrastructure and well-equipped laboratories create a great environment for successful education and collaboration in R&D projects.

We deeply believe that these opportunities are worth exploring.

We look forward to meeting you.
Prof. Katarzyna Chałasińska-Macukow, chairwoman of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland
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