Dawid KOSTECKI: Ready, Study. Go! Poland

Ready, Study. Go! Poland

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Dawid KOSTECKI

Director General of the National Academic Exchange Agency.

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.Today, Poland is a magnet for students and academics from all over the world. And not just because of one of Europe’s oldest universities in the beautiful city of Krakow, established back in 1364. The allure extends to many other higher education institutions, including technical universities and business schools across the country. Warsaw, the dynamically developing capital at the heart of Europe, Gdansk, the melting pot of cultures and traditions on the shores of the Baltic Sea, and Torun, the birthplace of the great astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, are just a few examples. These and numerous other cities provide excellent scientific and academic facilities and resources that ensure safe and high-quality education. Throughout the world, Polish university diplomas attest to the exceptional skills of graduates pursuing academic careers, as well as those who succeed in business, including in prominent multinational companies.

The internationalisation of Polish higher education institutions is a deliberate process carried out by the Polish state. It has been initiated and supported for six years now by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA), an organisation I have the pleasure of leading.

One of the reasons for appointing NAWA to the Polish Parliament was the demand for a domestic counterpart to the established foreign higher education entities such as DAAD or Campus France. Today, as a member of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), we are able to contribute to the ongoing shaping of European higher education policy and have a voice in important discussions on the future of the European Higher Education Area or the European Research Area. This is extremely important given Europe’s dynamically changing reality. Today, the future of European higher education is being shaped, with strong participation from Polish universities and institutions.

In 2022, NAWA assisted 6149 individual beneficiaries and completed 999 projects. We are receiving many positive signals from the academic community, indicating an increase in international collaboration as a result of our funding. We see it is necessary to assemble our former scholarship holders – alumni. After all, the most effective way of encouraging people to study in Poland is through alumni who have already completed the formal route and whose successful application to the NAWA programme has changed their lives. Presenting profiles of NAWA beneficiaries who have been successful in science, business and administration in their countries contributes to the popularisation of both NAWA and Poland as a place of high-standard higher education.

Over the past six years, NAWA has developed a wide range of programmes for students, researchers and institutions. Now is the perfect time to take stock of our achievements and set ambitious new goals. The NAWA Development Strategy for 2024–2030, adopted in September this year, is sui generis turning point in our further dynamic growth. On the one hand, it is an assessment of the activities to date, and on the other, it is an incentive to start work on a national strategy for the internationalisation of science and higher education.

When the whole of Europe was faced with challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic or the war in Ukraine, NAWA fulfilled its mission in a concrete way. Simply put, this mission is about supporting Polish science and higher education through academic exchange and international cooperation. Less than a month after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, we launched a support programme for Ukrainian graduate and postgraduate students. For their scientists, we are working with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the leading funding agency worldwide, on the IMPRESS-U program, which entails establishing trilateral US-Polish-Ukrainian research teams. The aim of this initiative is to align the Ukrainian academic community with international research standards.

While lectures for non-native students at Polish universities are given in the contemporary lingua franca, i.e. English (even though many Polish scholars also speak French, German, Russian, Spanish or Italian), we are actively engaged in promoting and popularizing the study of Polish as a foreign language at the university level. Notably, the NAWA Lecturers programme sends 82 lecturers to 39 countries on five continents to teach Polish as a foreign language at academic centres. These are people with passion and great determination to promote Polish culture and language even in the most remote corners of the globe, like China, Mexico, the United States or Thailand.

.For those with Polish roots, NAWA created the Polish Returns programme. To encourage the best Polish scientists to return to Poland, we offer attractive salary conditions, cover relocation costs, and enable them to establish their own research teams. Without the strong collaboration with the National Science Centre and the National Centre for Research and Development, the programme’s implementation would not be feasible. Respectively, the two funds support the components of basic research and applied research for returning scientists. Since 2018, 71 researchers have returned to Poland, including 20 from the UK, 18 from the US and 9 from Germany. Apart from the financial aspect, one of the main motivations for Polish Returns beneficiaries is to reconnect with relatives living in Poland and to use their skills for the benefit of their homeland.

Dawid Kostecki


The Banach NAWA Programme

.Get a scholarship from the Banach NAWA Programme! Come to Poland to take a Master’s degree in engineering, agriculture or science. Study in Polish or English – the choice is yours.

The Banach NAWA Programme provides free tuition and a monthly grant for living expenses during studies in Poland. If you are a citizen of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Montenegro, Moldova, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine or Uzbekistan, you can also choose to study humanities or social sciences (excluding philological courses in your native language).

Every year, several hundred people from developing countries receive a scholarship through the Banach NAWA Programme – seize this opportunity and join their ranks!

Click here to find out more about the Banach NAWA Programme: https://nawa.gov.pl/en/students/foreign-students/the-banach-scholarship-programme.

Poland My First Choice NAWA Programme

.Are you looking to study in a European country that is a member of the EU, in the heart of Europe, with a rich cultural and natural heritage, and a high-quality education at an affordable price? Study in Poland with an NAWA scholarship tailored to your needs!

Poland My First Choice NAWA programme is just right for you! It allows you to study for a second degree (Master’s) at a full-time basis at most academic institutions in Poland (studies at public universities are free of charge). You choose the university, field of study and language.

Graduates of the programme confirm it helped them complete their dream degree and find a job in their field – many stayed in Poland after graduation.

Find out more about how to apply: https://nawa.gov.pl/en/students/foreign-students/poland-my-first-choice-programme.

Ready, Study, Go! Poland

.Discover ‘Ready, Study, Go! Poland’ – the official campaign to promote studying in Poland, run by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange.

On the website and social media of the ‘Ready, Study, Go! Poland’, you can find out why Poland is attractive and worth studying, what courses and scholarships are available here, and how to find your way around Polish reality, culture and language.

‘Ready, Study, Go! Poland’ offers valuable information for those considering studying in Poland and helps them plan their student adventure from the start. The program also promotes understanding and respect for cultural diversity, fostering the exchange of experiences among students from various parts of the world. High-quality studies, interesting cultural experiences and a friendly atmosphere – all this is waiting for you in Poland!

Join the RSGP! Visit study.gov.pl/.

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