IIE Networker - Fall 2007 - (Page 41)

Knowledge Network Poland An International Education Policy for Poland By Kazimierz Bilanow To say that Poland is at the forefront of international higher education would be an overstatement. Unlike the U.S., where the president and the Senate declared support for student mobility, or the U.K., where Tony Blair announced his Prime Minister’s Initiative and the Minister of Education urged universities to work towards internationalization, no prominent Polish politician or public body has publicly addressed the matter. This is not to say that Polish authorities, especially those responsible for higher education, have a negative attitude towards the internationalization of higher education. But they have had other pressing priorities. After the doors to higher education opened in 1989, the government no longer set quotas restricting how many young Poles could become doctors, lawyers or engineers, and higher education was in bigger demand than anyone imagined. In addition, Poland experienced a baby boom in the late 1990s, and the number of students grew from half a million in 1992/93 to two million in 2005/06. It became evident that public universities did not have the capacity to accommodate the higher numbers of students, and the government focused its efforts on meeting this need. In September 1990, in an effort to remedy the shortage, the government passed a new law permitting the establishment of private schools. The private sector quickly responded, and today Poland has more than 300 private institutions enrolling more than 600,000 students. Until quite recently, everyone involved in higher education in Poland felt confident. Enrollment in private schools was growing. Public universities—where tuition is still free for most students— Poland than there are Polish students going abroad. With only 10,000 international students, (1,989 from Ukraine, 1,305 from Belarus, 749 from the U.S., 739 from Norway, and 154 from China), Poland has the fewest number of international students among the OECD countries. The Socrates Erasmus exchange programs reveal that for every four Polish students going abroad only one exchange student comes to Poland. These changes have not gone unnoticed. Over the past three years, awareness of the need to internationalize higher education in Poland has grown. The ability to attract foreign students is now seen as a proof of university’s competitive position on the education market. were still making money by offering night classes or special courses for a fee. With the surplus of Polish students, there was little incentive to attract foreign students. Now, however, the climate has changed. boo The baby boom generation has graduated, and sin joining the European since Union, Polish i institutions now compete w for students with universities in other EU countries. Furthermore, young Poles, F eager to take advantage of the new situad ation, are enrol enrolling in British, German or Scandinavian u universities by the thousands. Recruit Recruiters from as far away as Australia and China show up at eduan cation fairs in Poland. Unfort Unfortunately, there are far fewer internatio international students studying in As the Polish government has been slow to act, The Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (CRASP), an organization of university leaders, together with the Perspektywy Education Foundation, implemented a multiyear program to promote Polish higher education abroad called “Study in Poland” in May 2005. Organizing conferences and encouraging international educators to attend higher education fairs, this program plays an important role in providing information on higher education markets and in helping universities to obtain access to these markets. Presidents and ranking officers from more than 80 Polish universities attended the conference held in February 2007.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2007

IIE Networker - Fall 2007
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
Investing in Our Future: Reaching Underserved Audiences through International Academic Exchanges
IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series A Conversation with Brown University President
National Policies for International Education
New Zealand
United Kingdom
Sponsored Students
Project Atlas: A Coordinated Approach to Measuring Global Student Mobility
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Fall 2007