The Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education has released a set of recommendations for Polish universities, the aim of which is to support students during the coronavirus crisis. Thanks to the so-called “student package” (Pakiet dla studenta), those who have found themselves in a “temporarily difficult situation” will be able to apply for financial aid to their university or college on the basis of “exceptional circumstances caused by the current epidemiological situation”. As noted by Jarosław Gowin, the Minister of Science and Higher Education, a lot of students who used to work in restaurants, cinemas or many other businesses have now lost their main source of income. It has been announced that those students whose family members have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic (hence cannot support their families) will be eligible for financial aid as well. The above rules also apply to PhD students who began their programmes of study before the academic year 2019/2020.
The Minister has also called on Polish universities to ensure timely payments of student scholarships and grants and not to charge students for their accommodation in halls of residence if they chose to return home for the duration of the crisis. Finally, the Ministry extended the validity of student identity cards until the end of May, so that students will not be required to visit their faculty offices in person.
All Polish universities will remain closed until at least 14 April. However, most of the institutions have shifted to online learning.
If you happen to be an international student in Poland, please visit the website of the Students’ Parliament of the Republic of Poland, where you will find more useful information on the current situation in the country.