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Over 105,000 international students in Polish universities: report

20.07.2023 21:30
More than 105,000 foreign students are studying in Poland, marking a major milestone for Polish higher education, according to a new report.
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The majority of these students, 48,100, are from Ukraine, which accounts for 45.6 percent of all foreign students in Poland, the Perspektywy Educational Foundation said in a report this week.

Compared to the previous year, the number of students from Ukraine increased by over 12,000.

Belarus, with 12,000 students (11.4 percent) and Turkey with 3,800 (3.6 percent) complete the top three spots, the foundation reported.

The overall figure of 105,000, out of a total of 1.21 million university students in Poland, represents an internationalization rate of 8.7 percent.

'Enormous work done by Polish higher education'

Waldemar Siwiński, founder of the Perspektywy Foundation and initiator of the Study in Poland program, said: “This is on par with the European average, reflecting the enormous work done by Polish higher education over the past 19 years."

He added: "When we joined the European Union [in 2004], only 8,800 foreign students were studying at Polish universities, which gave us an internationalization rate of just 0.48 percent, the lowest in Europe."

Siwiński continued: "We set out to actively promote Polish universities worldwide. At the same time, universities were creating study programs in English and preparing their academic and administrative staff to professionally manage the internationalization process."

'Best ambassadors of Poland'

Prof. Arkadiusz Mężyk, rector of the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice, southern Poland, and chairman of the KRASP association of university presidents, shared that foreign students brought their "talents, scientific passions, and invaluable multicultural atmosphere" to Poland's academic landscape.

"With their presence, activity and enthusiasm, they enrich us, and upon returning, they are the best ambassadors of Poland and Polish universities," Mężyk said.

According to data for the 2022/2023 academic year, apart from Ukraine, Belarus, and Turkey, the most students came to Poland from Zimbabwe (3,600), India (2,700), Azerbaijan (2,500), Uzbekistan (2,100), China (1,800), Kazakhstan (1,700), and Nigeria (1,600).

The number of students from these countries has been consistently growing for the past four years.

Conversely, there has been a decline in the number of students from countries such as the United States, Russia, Germany, Vietnam, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Thailand, and Georgia.

The report reveals that 67 percent of foreign students in Polish universities are from Europe. Twenty percent come from Asia, and 12 percent from Africa.

Most foreign students in Poland study management, computer science, and medicine.

Sixty percent study in Polish, 37 percent in English, and 3 percent in other languages.


Source: PAP