Polish educational institutions and study programmes

Below, we explain what types of Polish educational institutions and study programmes there are, and how we check whether they are recognised and/or accredited. We check the and/or to make sure that the quality is sufficient. We give the necessary information for each type of education.

Secondary education | diplomas

On our webpage about Polish primary and secondary education, we describe the recognised secondary education diplomas. See Secondary education documents for a short explanation of the documents that students receive.

Higher education | educational institutions

There are 2 types of higher education institutions in Poland:

  • academic institutions (uczelnia akademicka) with a focus on scientific research; and
  • profession-oriented institutions (uczelnia zawodowa) with a focus on professions and work.

Both types of higher education institutions often have a profile or specialisation such as economics, agriculture, health, technology, art or education.

Please note: the division into academic and profession-oriented programmes in Poland is not always the same as the Dutch system. It often is, but not always. A study programme at an academic institution can sometimes be profession-oriented too.

Of the approximately 360 higher education institutions, about 70% are academic institutions (uczelnia akademicka). There are public institutions and private institutions.

Academic institutions

Students in Poland can attend the following academic institutions:

  • university (uniwersytet);
  • academy (akademia);
  • technical university (politechnika).

These institutions offer bachelor’s, master’s and PhD programmes. Education is often focused on scientific research, but sometimes on specific professions and work.

Profession-oriented institutions

Institutions of higher professional education do not have fixed names. Often there is something like wyźsza skoła (college) or wyźsza skoła zawodowa (higher professional school) in the name. These educational institutions only offer bachelor’s and master’s programmes. These study programmes are almost always intended to prepare students for a specific profession or field of work.

Checking the accreditation of higher education institutions

The Polska Komisja Akredytacyjna (PKA), the Polish Accreditation Commission, carries out the accreditation of higher education institutions. In principle, an accreditation is valid for 6 years.

  • You can find Polish accredited higher education institutions on the website of Rad-on. This site is in Polish, but it is easy to search for the name of the institution (nazwa instytucji) or the type of institution (rodzaj instytucji), for example.
  • The website of NAWA (Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange) contains overviews of accredited Polish higher education institutions. They are categorised by type of institution. However, there are 14 types in total so it is sometimes a bit difficult to find them. The website is in English.

Higher education | study programmes

It is sufficient to check the accreditation of the higher education institution (see above). In Poland, study programmes cannot start if they have not been approved by the government. If the higher education institution is accredited, you can assume that the programme is accredited.

Do you want to check whether a study programme exists? Use the overview of accredited programmes on the Rad-on website (only in Polish).