(Warsaw, 19 November 2012) Perspektywy Education Foundation published a report: International Students in Poland 2012, presenting the newest trends in internationalization of Polish higher education. There are currently 24 253 international students from 141 countries studying in the Polish higher education institutions, an increase of nearly 4 000 over the previous academic year alone.
But it is still not only significantly less than in the developed countries of the West or in China, but also less than in the neighbor countries: Czech Rep., Hungary, Slovakia or Lithuania. Poland’s higher education remains the least internationalized in the European Union. However, considerable progress has been made. Over the past five years the rate of international students went up from 0,6% to 1,39% of the total student population in Poland (it also should be noted that the student population in Poland has been declining).
The largest groups of international students in Polish universities come from Ukraine (6321) and Belarus (2921) followed by students from Norway (1514) and from the USA (970). The latter, in most cases, come for medical studies that in Poland are on a high level and less costly. The new, and fast growing, is a group of students from Spain (1177). Also worth noting is a threefold increase in the past three years of the number of students from Saudi Arabia. Out of 387 students from Saudi Arabia 20% are women.
Contrary to the global trends, relatively few students from Asia study in Poland – only 565 from China, 215 from India, 533 from Taiwan and 187 from Vietnam, and the numbers are falling. On the other hand, the number of students from Ukraine has been growing steadily. There are now twice as many students from Ukraine as there were in 2009.
28% international students in Poland study economy and business, 26% medicine, 11% technology and 8% social sciences. Polish universities offer over 400 programs taught in English.
The most popular Polish universities among international students are: Jagiellonian University (1197), Medical University in Poznan (1031), University of Warsaw (944) and Medical University in Lublin (766). On the other end there are 40% of higher education institutions in Poland that have no international students at all.
The authors of the Report relied on the data collected (but not yet published) by the Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS) for academic year 2011/2012, and data available at OECD, UNESCO and Eurostat (for 2010). The Report International Students in Poland 2013 was prepared for the “Study in Poland” program (www.studyinpoland.pl), jointly run by the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (CRASP) and the “Perspektywy” Education Foundation.