General situation in terms of scholarships
Education in Poland is at a high standard at very low costs. Anyone eligible can apply for different types of scholarships with discounts available for international students. The Polish Government Scholarships are about the best scholarships available. They not only pay the full tuition fee but also allow recipients to receive monthly stipends to cover a portion of daily living expenses. They are granted for a set period of time but extensions can cover the whole term of study.
Type of scholarships and granting institution
Many types of scholarships are offered in Poland by the government, various foundations and by the universities themselves. There are 6 main types of scholarships in Poland:
- Scholarships within bilateral agreements – These are financed by the Polish or the foreign partner government.
- CEEPUS exchange programme – The programme involves 16 Central and Eastern European countries whose exchanged students are exempt from paying tuition fees plus grants funded by the hosting country.
- Visegrad Scholarship Programme – These are 1-4 semester scholarships for Master and Post-Master degrees. The programme is administered by the heads of the international Visegrad fund.
- Eastern Partnership and Post-Soviet countries scholarships – these scholarships are offered especially to Belarusian students for BA, MA and PhD studies and funded by the Konstanty Kalinowski Foundation.
- Scholarships for citizens from developing countries – These scholarships assist students at PhD level of studies in technical fields in Poland. They are funded by the Polish government.
- Fulbright Programme – These are essentially grants for funding an exchange program between the United and Poland to enable students, trainees, scholars, teachers, instructors and professors for training in both countries. Funding is administered by the Polish-US Fulbright Commission
Availability and conditions for getting a scholarship
The fluid availability of scholarships in Poland is outstanding with the government, exchange programs, foundations and universities largely footing the bill with scholarships.
The first prerequisite for eligibility for a scholarship is the ability to pursue study at an academic level in Poland. To achieve this status, a student must have completed a second level education and possess a leaving certificate for entrance into a university institution. Students who have passed the International or European Baccalaureate exams may apply for undergraduate studies in any Polish institution of higher learning.
Possessing an equivalent leaving certificate or diploma does not automatically qualify students to apply for a scholarship. The process of nostrification must be followed to establish authenticity of certificates or diplomas by issuing countries and compliance with Polish law. Students must possess a valid visa and have passed a medical check-up before entering Poland.
Foreign students who holds a Card of a Pole will normally qualify for some scholarships, while other foreign students living in Poland on a temporary residence permit or a visa are not eligible unless they or their family members fulfil the required provisions of Polish law.
Local scholarships for foreign students
A quota of scholarships are offered by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for students who pursue higher education in Poland under international agreements. Polish missions that receive applications send them to the Bureau’s Section for Recruitment and Education of Foreigners in Poland. The final decision is made by the Minister of Science and Higher Education.
Typical scholarships in Poland
Generally speaking, the availability and type of scholarships offered academic studies in Poland is staggering. Scholarships are offered by the Polish government within the EU and within the country itself and overseas; various foundations and programs also offer scholarships. EU Countries like the UK and others provide scholarships for their students to study in Poland; countries outside the EU also offer scholarships for studies in Poland.