Scholarships, exchange programmes and European programmes - EU opportunities in education, culture and youth
Polish Government scholarships
The Polish Government offers a number of scholarships and fellowships intended for university students, researchers and lecturers for studying and doing research at Polish public universities and institutions under either bilateral international agreements or a decision of the Minister responsible for higher education. Foreign student scholarship applications falling within such a quota are sent by Polish consular or diplomatic missions to the BUREAU FOR ACADEMIC RECOGNITION AND INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE. There the applications are reviewed by the Bureau’s Section for Recruitment and Education of Foreigners in Poland. The final decision is taken by the Minister of Science and Higher Education. (SEE: www.buwiwm.edu.pl)
Scholarships offered by HEIs
Apart from the Polish Government scholarships, a number of Polish higher education institutions also offer their own scholarships. These scholarships are often related to a specific field of study or degree programme at a specific institution. Some higher education institutions have agreements with partner institutions in countries throughout the world. The available options have to be checked with particular universities.
European Union scholarships
Students can also come to Poland under one of the European Union programmes in which Polish HEIs are actively involved, in particular the Lifelong Learning Programmes (LLP), the educational programmes creating the opportunities for cooperation at all levels and in various fields. (SEE: http://ec.europa.eu/education/erasmus; www.erasmus.org.pl)
LIFELONG LEARNING PROGRAMME
The European Commission has integrated its educational and training initiatives under a single umbrella, the lifelong learning Programme. This programme enables individuals at all stages of their lives to pursue stimulating learning opportunities across Europe. It consists of four sub-programmes: Comenius (for schools), Erasmus (for higher education), Leonardo da Vinci (for vocational education and training) and Grundtvig (for adult education).
The Erasmus programme (comprising special programmes for students from EU/EEA countries and Turkey) promotes the European student exchange. The exchange programmes are coordinated on the basis of bilateral agreements between two universities or departments. The students can spend a study period of 3 to 12 months at a higher education institution in another participating European country. They do not pay fees at the foreign university and take home the course credits that they earn abroad. Student mobility for placements similarly enables students of higher education institutions to do a traineeship or internship in an enterprise or other type of organizations in another European country.
Erasmus supports increased mobility in higher education – particularly among students, but also among teachers and other staff. The aim is to foster a Europe-wide approach to higher education. Offering students exposure to other countries and cultures not only enriches their study experience but also promotes a more European-minded, flexible and mobile workforce that improves Europe’s competitiveness and innovation potential.
The Erasmus Mundus programme supports academic excellence and the attractiveness of Europe’s higher education worldwide, and fosters cooperation with targeted third countries with the objective of contributing to their development. Erasmus Mundus supports:
- joint programmes at postgraduate level, or the establishment of inter-institutional cooperation partnerships, between universities from Europe and non-EU countries;
- scholarships for study, research or teaching periods for individual students, researchers and university staff in the context of joint programmes at postgraduate level or inter-institutional cooperation;
- projects aimed at enhancing the attractiveness, profile, visibility and image of European higher education worldwide
LEONARDO DA VINCI PROGRAMME
The Leonardo da Vinci programme, another component of the LLP programme, provides financial support for student vocational training schemes and for the development of innovative training, educational programmes or teaching materials. This programme is targeted at young people in initial vocational training.
The Leonardo da Vinci Programme is helping European citizens to acquire new skills, knowledge and qualifications, and have them recognised across borders in order to improve their employability on changing labour markets. It also supports innovations and improvements in vocational education and training systems and practices.
Tempus is a programme that supports modernisation of higher education in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East countries. The programme allows universities from the European Union and the partner countries establish partnerships and offer scholarships for student exchanges within such partnerships.
Tempus is part of the EU’s “Neighbourhood”, “Enlargement” and “Development” policies, which aim to promote prosperity, stability and security in these regions. The Programme contributes to cooperation in higher education between the European Union and the partner countries. Tempus promotes the voluntary convergence of higher education systems in these countries with EU developments in higher education.
YOUTH IN ACTION PROGRAMME
The Youth in Action programme aims to inspire a sense of active European citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among Europeans from adolescence to adulthood. The programme promotes mobility within and beyond the EU’s borders, and encourages the inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social and cultural background. It helps young people acquire new competences, and provides them with opportunities for non-formal and informal learning with a European dimension.
The Bologna Process aims to create a “European Higher Education Area” to provide citizens with choices from a wide and transparent range of high quality courses, with smoother recognition procedures. Three priorities were defined to reach these ambitious goals: the establishment of comparable degree systems, a European dimension to quality assurance systems, and the recognition of degrees and study periods abroad. The Bologna Process has set in motion a series of reforms necessary to make higher education systems more compatible and comparable, more competitive and more attractive to citizens.