Research and the Polish higher education system

The institutional structure of the university system in Poland is based on a principal divison between research universities and vocational higher education schools. The Jagiellonian University in Krakow belongs to the first category.

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 the Jagiellonian University in Kraków 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.

Only the leading reasearch universities, among these the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, meet the highest criteria set by the national accredition agency and consequently are entitled to offer PhD programmes. More information about the current structure of university research in Poland can be found at the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Higher education modus operandi

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.

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.

It is, therefore, essential for Europlata applicants to obtain a pre-acceptance letter from a chosen supervisor at the Jagiellonian University. First contact assistance in this respect is provided by Europlata executive co-ordinator at the Jagiellonian University.

A letter of pre-acceptance should be attached to your application for a PhD mobility at Jagiellonian University.