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
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
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
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%).