Why should I study in Poland?

The country located at a geographic crossroads that links the forested lands to the sea lanes...

How to Study in Poland

Poland is situated in Eastern-Europe. Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union, hosting 38 million people. Poland's capital and largest city Warsaw is a very lively city with its picturesque Old Town which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Vistula and the Oder are Poland’s longest rivers and connect cities are Kraków, Wrocław, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Poland’s Higher Education System

The Polish higher education system is characterized by its high number of private institutions: There are 457 institutions of higher education, including 326 privately owned institutions.

According to OECD tertiary education attainment is increasing, however, with about 30% of the adults holding a tertiary qualification in 2017, compared with 11% in 2000. Poland has increasingly become a destination country for international students. There are 57,00 foreign students from 170 countries studying in Poland, over 6,950 more than a year ago (over 10% increase) in the academic year 2017/2018. Foreign students currently make up 5.63% of the total number of students in the country (ten years ago the figure was only 0.71%, in the academic year 2016/2017 - 4.88%).

In line with the Bologna process, Polish universities offer three levels of degrees: The first-cycle studies (3 to 4 years), leading to the title of a licencjat or inżynier (engineer), is the Polish equivalent to the bachelor degree. It is followed by two or two and a half year master programmes. In some subjects (e.g. law, pharmacy, psychology, and medicine) there are long, integrated master degrees (five to six years). The final stage is doctoral programmes (usually with an additional three years).

Poland’s Higher Education System in International Comparison

The below table shows the national breakdown of Polish universities and how they stand across the spectrum of above average (receiving a score of ‘A’ (very good) or ‘B’ (good)), or below average (receiving a score of ‘D’ (below average) or ‘E’ (weak)). In doing so, U-Multirank offers a clear picture of the countries strengths and areas for improvement.

Polish higher education institutions perform strongest in U-Multirank’s teaching & learning and regional engagement dimensions, while their performance in the knowledge transfer and international orientation dimensions are below the average of the global U-Multirank sample of institutions.

National performance: Poland

Percent of all Universities 100% 80% 60% 40% < below Average above > 40% 60% 80% 100% Teaching & Learning 27% 41% Research 33% 49% Knowledge Transfer 69% 21% International Orientation 49% 26% Regional Engagement 31% 45%

How much does it cost to study in Poland?

Students from EU/EEA countries do not have to pay tuition fees at public universities in Poland. All other foreigners are required to pay tuition fees that on average are the following: EUR 2,000 per year for first, second and long cycle studies; EUR 3,000 per year for doctoral and postgraduate studies. For more information click here.

Addition of information on fees and financial support

Source: Eurydice 
Reference year(s): 2020/2021


In this section we highlight the fees for studying in Poland. The fees are shown in the national currency and address all fee types: tuition, enrolment (part- or full-time, etc.), certification, or other administrative costs. Students that are exempt from fees are also described, as well as information on international student fees if they differ.

  • All students pay an administrative fee of PLN 250 related to enrolment procedures once per study cycle. It includes also small fees for issuing student ID cards, student record books and diplomas.
  • Fees for other international students, defined as non-EU/EEA students, are decided by higher education institutions (HEIs).

Source: Eurydice - National Student Fees and Support Systems in European Higher Education – 2020/21.

Financial Support

In this section we highlight the financial support system implemented in Poland. The types of support covered in this section include: grants, loans, tax benefits for students' parents (or students themselves) and family allowances.  How these terms are defined, are outlined below:

  • Grants are provided in the national currency and are differentiated between merit-based and need-based (or universal, where applicable). All main public financial support that does not need to be paid back is included, with the exception of grants for study abroad (i.e. mobility grants). Information is also presented on the proportion of students (in the short, first and second cycle) who receive grants.
  • Loans: information focuses on the existence of a student publicly-subsidised loan system and the percentage of students that take out a loan. Information on the interest rate and modalities for the repayment of loans may also be provided.
  • Tax benefit is any tax relief that is granted to parents whose child is a higher education student or to students themselves. The information aims to cover the amount of the tax relief, how it can be claimed and who is eligible to apply.
  • Family allowances for students' parents: this part provides information on their amount and the eligible population.
  • Need-based grants, provided by the ministry and managed by HEIs, are available for all students (both first- and second-cycle, full-time and part-time) with a low personal/family income, and for students with disabilities. The income threshold to be eligible for a need-based grant for students with low family income is decided by HEIs and is between PLN 686.40 and 1,051.70 per person per month. In 2018/19, 13.8% of first-cycle and 15% of second-cycle full-time students received a need-based grant. The average amount was about PLN 6,680 per year (2018/19).
  • Merit-based grants, provided by the ministry and managed by HEIs, are allocated to the best-performing full-time and part-time students. The average amount of the merit-based grant is about PLN 5,700 per year (20181/9). In 2018/19, 22.9% of first-cycle and 13.9% of second-cycle full-time students received a merit-based grant.
  • The total monthly amount of the need- and merit-based grants for a student shall not be higher than 38% of a professor's salary (i.e. PLN 2,435.8/month, PLN 24,358/year) – the highest academic position at higher education institutions – as regulated by legislation.
  • Loans of maximum PLN 10,000/year may be taken out in any cycle by students starting their studies before the age of 30, whose personal income is below net PLN 3,000/month (in 2020/21). The state guarantees 90-100% of the loan, depending on the student’s family situation/income. The loan is granted for the period of study and for a maximum of six years, and repayment begins two years after graduation. While the loan is being paid out and for the following two years, interest is paid by the state, and later on interest rates are capped. The interest rate is 1.05 % (June 2020). The number of repayment years can be twice the number of paid instalments. The best-performing 10 % of graduates may have 20-50 % of their loan cancelled. In 2019, banks made loan agreements with 2 166 students, which is fewer than 1 % of all students.
  • A tax benefit (relief) of PLN 1 112.04 (2019) per child per year for parents/guardians of students up to 25 years of age is available, provided income does not exceed a specified level, and the student does not earn a taxable income (including capital gains) exceeding PLN 3,089/year. There is no tax relief dedicated specifically to students.
  • Family allowances are based on the low income of parents or disability of a student.

What are the entry requirements for universities in Poland?

In general, the requirements for international students applying for universities in Poland include:

  • Notarized secondary school certificate or an official duplicate issued by the candidate's high school, filled out application form, 4 passport-size photographs and a copy of candidate’s ID (passport).
  • Certificate of the English language proficiency optionally (unless the high school courses were taught in English).
  • Medical certificate with no contraindication for studying, admission fee payment receipt.

Admission for MA (Master) candidates requires:

  • Undergraduate program diploma or an official duplicate issued by the university, candidate's CV with the details about the school and professional career optionally, one academic reference and one personal reference optionally, filled out an application form, 4 passport-size photographs and a copy of the candidate’s ID (passport).
  • Proof of English language proficiency (unless the first degree was taught in English).
  • Medical certificate with no contraindication for studying, admission fee payment receipt.

How to get a Scholarship in Poland?

Poland offers government, foundations and university scholarships that are available as well to international students both from within the EU itself and from countries outside the EU. For more information, please click here.

Do I need a Student Visa for Poland?

To be able to study in Poland international student have to legalize their stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland. European Union (EU) citizens who would like to stay longer than three months in Poland, simply need to register their stay in the country. Non-EU citizens need to obtain a visa at a Polish consulate in your their country before arrival in Poland. For more information, please click here.


How do Polish Universities fare in U-Multirank?

  1. The 2022 edition of U-Multirank presents data on 42 Polish universities.
  2. In U-Multirank, Polish universities score strongest in the dimension of Research, in which more than half of all indicator scores ranked above average (group ‘A’ or ‘B’), while in Knowledge Transfer, more than 2/3 are ranked below average (‘D’ or ‘E’).
  3. The universities with the highest number of ‘A’ scores are the Medical University of Warsaw (11), the University of Information Technology and Management (11), and SGH Warsaw School of Economics (10).
  4. Those U-Multirank top performers exhibit diverse profiles: amongst them, there are comprehensive universities, technical universities as well as medical universities.

Here you can find the current Polish country report.

Poland's Higher Education Performance in U-Multirank

Where to study in Poland

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