Professor Barbara Kudrycka, the Minister of Science and Higher Education, has initiated a series of legislation through parliament which will revolutionize education in Poland. Two new bills: on the law of higher education and scientific titles are expected to be passed this spring and come into life with the new academic year commencing in October 2011.
The reform is based on proven western practices, where academic institutions compete with each other to receive grants for research and development.
“The commercialization of education can save Polish science” believes Kudrycka. “14 billion zloty from the EU structural funds will be spent on research in Poland by 2015. Even in the times of serious budget cuts, the Polish government has allocated 300 million zloty more on education than last year. A number of Polish universities are building new laboratories worth hundreds of thousands EU funds.”
The responsibility for the division of the state funds will be granted to two new institutions: National Education Centre and National Research and Development Centre. The best universities in the country will be rewarded a prestigious title of Flagship Universities. The Polish Ivy League will benefit from a larger share of state funds than ordinary institutions. They will also have an authority to create their own study programs, which is a novelty in the Polish law.
Additionally, pressures have been put to develop close partnerships between academic centres and business enterprises. The Ministry prepared and distributed a practical guidebook for the universities’ authorities on how to sell scientific research and earn money.
Quality education at a low cost is a new motto for Poland. With an average academic course at €4000 per year, living costs at €200 per month and an opportunity of legal work, Poland becomes an increasingly attractive study destination for international students.
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