Research and the Polish higher education system
Presently, with 450 universities, Poland is rated as the fourth most dynamically developing country in Europe (following Great Britain, Germany and France) with respect to the number of higher education institutions. Nearly two million students are enrolled in 200 different study programmes. It is common practice for the leading universities to offer classes taught in foreign languages.
State funded universities such as Wroclaw University of Technology prevail in the higher education system in Poland. The private higher education sector, however, develops dynamically. There is a special national accredition agency (PKA), which monitors the quality of the academic offer for each discipline according to strict criteria set in ministerial standards.
Higher Education Degrees
The Polish higher education system operates in accordance with Bologna process guidelines. This means that students may attend three-year bachelor’s programmes, two-year master’s programmes and four-year PhD programmes. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is commonly acknowleged as a method of recognition of academic performance. Completion of an academic year is preconditioned by the accumulation of 60 ECTS points. Usually 1 ECTS point corresponds to 20-25 hours of workload.
Master (MA, MSc, Magister)
Equivalent degrees: Master of Art, Master Engineer, Master Engineer Architect, qualified physician, dental surgeon or veterinarian. Granted following the completion of 5-6 year long uniform university studies. The MSc may also be obtained following the completion of 2-2,5 years-long supplementary master’s degree studies which may be taken by persons with a college diploma.
Doktor (PhD, Doktor)
This is the degree awarded to those who pass the doctoral exam and successfully defend their dissertation. A master’s degree in a relevant discipline is a formal precondition to be admitted into PhD programme in Poland. The structure of the PhD programme in Poland consists of research methodology seminars and core discipline seminars. The focus of the PhD Programme is on individual work of the PhD candidate with a supervisor, who at least must hold habilitation in a discipline related to the PhD thesis.
Language of instruction and research
English is the dominant language of international reserarch and degree programmes in Poland. Foreign students in Poland are offered mainly English language degree programmes in all three cycles of the Bologna higher education system, including the PhD level.