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    More and more international students come to Poland

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    A new report has indicated that by 2022, the number of international students in Poland had increased by 5.6 per cent from the year prior, reaching just under 89,500.

    The ‘Perspektywy’ Educational Foundation’s ‘Foreign students in Poland 2022’ report revealed that in the last academic year, foreign students made up 7.3% of the total student population in Poland.

    The report was compiled using figures from the Central Statistical Office (GUS) for the 2021-22 school year, the POL-on Integrated System of Information on Science and Higher Education, the organization’s personal inquiry and information from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), UNESCO and Project Atlas, a worldwide research effort that furnishes student mobility data.

    “In the 2021/22 academic year, 89,420 foreign students from 180 countries were studying in Poland, or 4,731 more than a year earlier (growth of 5.6 per cent),” the report said. “Foreign students currently account for 7.34 per cent of all students in our country.”

    The amount of students enrolled in higher education who are from ethnic minority backgrounds has risen significantly since 2005. In the 2016/17 academic year, 4.88 per cent of students were from ethnic minority backgrounds, compared to just 0.82 per cent 13 years prior. This increase in diversity has been a constant trend over the years.

    Ukrainians predominate over other nationalities

    For years, the most numerous nationality of foreign students in Poland has been Ukrainian, though their number has started to decline, having peaked in the 2018/19 academic year at 39,203, the foundation reported.

    Bianka Siwinska, head of the Perspektywy Educational Foundation, suggested that the drop in students from Ukraine is due in part to demographic changes, as both Poland and Ukraine have seen a decrease in the number of individuals aged 17-25. According to Siwinska, the war in Ukraine has also had an effect, though not entirely negative as it brought around 7,000 students to Poland who might otherwise have gone to Russia.

    The report found that the amount of African students is increasing, but when compared to other highly developed countries in the OECD, including China, Poland has a smaller percentage of foreign students.

    Siwinska said the most important limiting factor on foreign student numbers is visa policy.

    “For several years we could have had 8,000-10,000 students from India, but the consular service has effectively blocked that,” she explained.

    The report concluded that the growth trend can be expected to continue in the coming years.


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