Being A Student in Poland: 2016 vs 2017 – What Has Changed?
After winning the election at the end of 2015, polish right-wing party “Prawo i Sprawiedliwość” is implementing a number of changes to Polish universities from 2017. The Minister of Higher Education, Jarosław Gowin, opted to create an elite education system. Although there will be fewer students, they will receive an exceptional standard of education and be able to access more grants than were available in 2016.
1. Less students
Up until now, every high-school graduate with a high-school certificate, who gained enough points required for passing the threshold of acceptance to the university, was admitted as a student.
This threshold varied from university to university, but mostly they were not that high, given that the number of accepted students was not restricted in any way by the Ministry of Education. Ratings and funds awarded to the universities were promoting larger numbers of students. This year, there was a major change in the system which grants money to the institutes of higher education. The biggest funds will go to the ones with a 13:1 ratio of students to professors. Meaning that if a university has more students, funds from the ministry will decrease. This will, of course, result in fewer and fewer students being accepted.
2. Better conditions for international students
Key changes to the education system favoured international students. The donation received by the government is three times as high for students from overseas. Often universities are focusing on enrolling international students than native Polish young people and offering them better terms.
From 2018 a planned increase in the government scholarship for international students is set to increase from 900PLN to 1200PLN/month.
3.Bigger grants for gifted students
The Polish education system rewards the brightest students. Those with the best results stand more chances of being accepted. This means that the best students will receive more money from their universities
4. Changes in the ECTS system
A relevant piece of news for those who wish to change university relates to ECTS points which can now be transferred.
Previously, the number of ECTS points that a student had would be determined by the student’s first university rather than the second. As an example, if you studied at University A and you earned 10 points for a given subject, and then transferred to a University B which only awards 5 points for the same course – from now on, you will receive only 5 ECTS points.