The Polish higher education system has been divided into three stages since the 2007/2008 academic year: Bachelor, Master, and Doctor. However, the fields of Law, Pharmacy, Psychology, Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry still operate on a two-stage system consisting of Master and Doctor levels.
The Jagiellonian University in Kraków, established in 1364 by Casimir III the Great, is the oldest university in Poland and the second oldest in Central Europe. Its foundation was prompted by the need for a class of educated individuals, particularly lawyers, to codify the country’s laws and serve in the courts and offices.
The Polish higher education market has a significant number of private colleges and universities, with around 310 privately owned institutions and 138 state schools of higher learning. This has resulted in intense competition, contributing to lower prices for studying in Poland compared to other European countries. Leading universities in Poland offer high-quality programmes taught in English in areas such as medicine, engineering, humanities, business, and finance. Over 100 higher education institutions in Poland currently offer study programmes in English. Poland has also participated actively in the Bologna Process, allowing students to use the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) to continue their education in other countries.
Each institute is responsible for its own admission process, and applicants are typically required to hold a “maturity certificate” to qualify for admission in Poland.
Grading is conducted twice a year, every semester. The final grade may be based on a single exam or the student’s performance throughout the semester, with a point system used in the latter case. Failing grades are common and usually corrected on a retake exam or a special “committee exam.”