Life & work
According to a new report from the National Information Processing Institute - Poland’s National Research Institute for the Ministry of Education and Science, nearly 86,000 foreigners studied in Poland in 2021. The majority of them (64 per cent) chose three-year first-cycle degree programmes, the most popular of which were in management and computer science (selected by 28 per cent of students). Around one fourth of non-Polish students decided to pursue second-cycle degree programmes, often choosing management, economics, finance and accounting, and international relations as their major study areas. When it comes to long-cycle degree programmes (selected by 14 per cent of students), medicine proved to be the most popular course of study.
As reported by the National Information Processing Institute, citizens of Ukraine made up the biggest share (i.e. over 40 per cent) of all foreign-born students in the academic year 2021/2022. Belarusians were the second largest national group, making up 13 per cent of all international students. It comes as no surprise that Polish degree programmes attracted mostly citizens of neighbouring countries, in keeping with the trend seen over the last decade. However, it has been observed that long-cycle degree programmes also proved popular among students from other countries, including OECD member states: Norway (11.2 per cent), Germany (8.1 per cent), Taiwan (6.4 per cent), Sweden (6.2 per cent), India (4.8 per cent), Ireland (4.4 per cent) and the United States (3.8 per cent).
It is also worth noting that a number of international students come to Poland as part of the Erasmus programme or other student exchange programmes. The great majority of them (57.8 per cent) are from Spain, but Polish universities also attract exchange students from Turkey (12.3 per cent), Italy (7.1 per cent) or France (6.1 per cent).
Language-wise, most foreign students in the academic year 2021/2022 attended courses conducted in Polish (56 per cent). Those who chose foreign language degree programmes, favoured courses taught in English (41.5 per cent of all international students), usually in the fields of medicine and business administration and law.