The 2019-2020 academic year - summary

According to the POL-on register, 373 higher education institutions operated in Poland in the 2019/20 academic year. Data presented in the publication comprise 353 higher education institutions which filed statistical reports.

There were 1,204.0 thousand students in higher education institutions in the 2019/20 academic year, by 2.1% fewer than a year earlier. Starting from the 2006/07 academic year, a decline in the number of students has been recorded due to demographic changes (a decrease in the population aged 19-24).

Women accounted for 57.6% of all students. 71.6% of all students were enrolled in public schools.

Business and administration (18.1% of the total number of students), health (10.9%), social and behavioural sciences (9.7%) as well as engineering and engineering trades (8.9%) were most often chosen narrow fields.

The number of foreign students in the 2019/20 academic year increased by 5.0% in relation to the previous academic year and stood at 82.2 thousand, i.e. 6.8% of all students. The students from Europe were prevalent – 61.9 thousand persons in total (75.3%), the most from Ukraine – 39.0 thousand students (47.5%).

In the 2019/20 academic year, 527.8 thousand students learned modern foreign languages in obligatory courses (47.1% of all students excluding foreigners). Their number fell by 2.4% in comparison with the previous academic year. 93.9% of students learning foreign languages attended only one foreign language course, accounting for 44.2% of the student population. A much smaller percentage of students learned two foreign languages (6.3%).

The number of graduates in the 2018/19 academic year reached 313.8 thousand and was by 4.2% smaller than in the 2017/18 academic year. 53.5% of the total number of graduates completed first- -cycle programmes, 6.3% – long-cycle programmes and 40.2% – second-cycle programmes.

Students with disabilities accounted for 1.8% of all students and the graduates with disabilities - 1.8% of all graduates.

The number of postgraduate students in the 2019/20 academic year reached 152.2 thousand. Female students constituted 70.5% of all postgraduate students.

Since the 2019/20 academic year, doctoral students can be educated in doctoral programmes or at doctoral schools (established under the Act of 20 July 2018, the Law on Higher Education and Science). Doctoral students in higher education institutions, institutes and the Medical Centre of Postgraduate Education amounted to 29.8 thousand, including 16.5 thousand women. In doctoral schools there were 3.8 thousand doctoral students, including 1.9 thousand women.

In the 2019/20 academic year, 199.6 thousand students received scholarships, by 12.4% fewer than in the previous academic year. 6.4 thousand doctoral students received scholarships, 76.7% of which were scholarships for outstanding doctoral students.

A total of 93.1 thousand academic teachers were employed in HEIs, including 43.7 thousand women. There were 13 students per academic teacher.

Pursuant to the Act of 20 July 2018, the Law on Higher Education and Science, higher education institutions became more independent in distributing funds received from the state budget, especially in the scope of subsidy for maintaining teaching and research potential. In 2019, the revenues of higher education institutions totalled PLN 28,170.9 million (of which PLN 25,335.5 million were generated by public HEIs), by 14.9% more than in the previous year. The subsidy for maintaining teaching and research potential (69.4%) was the main source of operating revenue of public HEIs, whereas non-public HEIs generated their revenues mainly from fees for educational services (75.0%).
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