Online Degree, Online Courses and Distance Learning in Poland

About Online Degree, Online Courses and Distance Learning in Poland

Poland has three types of schools; these are public, non-public and non-public accorded public status. All education, including higher education, is regulated by the government. In order to regulate the system of higher education, the Polish Government has passed the Act of 27 July 2005: Law on Higher Education.
Regulations Governing Distance Learning Schools In Poland
Distance learning schools in Poland are governed by the Ministry of Science and the Higher Education Regulation of 25 September 2007, according to which, up to 80% of the online courses that employ distance learning may be provided only by institutions authorized to confer postdoctoral degrees. Such institutions are allowed to issue online degrees in relation to online courses in Poland, relating to 60% of all subjects. 
Prior to the passing of the new law, the ministry allowed just two Warsaw-based non-public institutions to confer postdoctoral degrees, while there were as many as 12 nonpublic institutions authorized to issue the same. No other non-public institutions were authorized to run distance education schools with online courses or issue online degrees in Poland.
Higher education in Poland comprises
  • ‘first-cycle’ or undergraduate programs,
  •  second-cycle or graduate programs,
  • and third-cycle or doctoral programs. 
Poland’s educational laws allow an institution classified as a university to confer doctoral degrees in 12 disciplines or more, with tertiary education institutions adhering to the regulations of the Bologna Declaration.
During the academic year, 2007/08, the total number of tertiary educational institutions in the country was 455, up from 355, merely six years earlier. A large majority of these (exceeding 71%) are non-public. However, among non-public institutions there are just 5 universities and technical universities; contrast this figure with 35 such institutions among public schools, pointing clearly to the fact that non-public schools do not enjoy the credibility of public schools.
Foreign Students Boost Online Courses In Poland
About 23% of students in tertiary education are in the field of business and administration, making it the most popular area of specialization. There has been a huge increase in the number of foreign students undergoing tertiary education in Poland in recent years, including in distance learning schools.
As already stated, earlier, very few institutions were allowed to conduct online courses and issue online degrees in Poland. The new regulations seek to do away with this anomaly and ensure that all institutions delivering tertiary education are allowed to operate as distance learning schools, teaching up to 60% of all subjects pertaining to a specific course of learning.  This means that they can use up to 60% of the total class hours taught, excluding practical training and laboratory classes.
Some observers feel that the proposal doesn’t go far enough and maintain that it doesn’t do justice to the essence of distance learning that aims at providing education to a student without insisting on his physical presence in a college, thereby allowing such a student to earn an online degree by doing online courses.
This makes such education accessible to students who do not reside in academic centres who can enroll in distance learning schools. It also makes education less expensive by doing away with the cost of moving and living at the new location.
The new law is a step towards recognizing this fact and can only lead to greater educational reform in the future, thereby making distance learning schools in Poland a reasonable option.

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