- February 8, 2013
Lithuanian students fourth in Poland
For the first time Polish universities participate in the “Studijos 2013” (“Studies 2013”) faire, dedicated to higher education. At the Polish stand information can be found about the ten Polish institutions of higher education which were willing to participate in the faire.
“It’s the first time we participate in the ‘Studijos 2013’ faire. We had doubts concerning our readiness to be included in such a difficult faire; a faire that promotes learning abroad. We constantly try to inform Lithuanian students that Poland is just “a stone’s throw away”. It is a very open and dynamic country, with many possibilities of development. We were particularly encouraged and motivated by the campaign prepared by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education,” said Małgorzata Kasner, the director of the Polish Institute in Vilnius.
Lithuania is the priority market
The Polish Institute in Vilnius together with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Foundation for the Development of the Education System prepared a leaflet in the Lithuanian language containing information about studies in Poland, such as: types of educational institutions, required documents, fees, acknowledgeability of diplomas etc. The faire is attended by ten universities from Poland: Maria Skłodowska-Curie University in Lublin, University of Silesia in Katowice, Medical University of Bialystok, Maritime University of Szczecin, University of Economics and Computer Sciences in Warsaw, Collegium Civitas, Higher School of Labour Safety Management in Katowice, Stanisław Tarnowski Higher School in Tarnobrzeg, University of Social Sciences and Humanities and Olsztynska Szkola Wyzsza im. Jozefa Rusieckiego.
“Lithuanian students constitute the fourth largest group of students in Poland, namely 939 people out of 24 thousand foreign students. Out of the 939 Lithuanian students, 713 is of Polish origin. Most of them choose undergraduate courses (536 people), 171 attend Master’s studies and 23 take up doctoral courses. Students from Lithuania most commonly choose social studies, economy and medicine. Our stand is extremely popular. Lithuanian students are very eager to know the specifics. They are not only interested in the general offer. The Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, under the campaign called “Ready, Study, Go! Poland” invited Polish universities to promote themselves on foreign markets. To us, Lithuania is one of the most important markets. This year, ten universities participated in the faire, but taking into consideration its scale and importance as well as the great potential of Lithuanian students, I am sure that next year we will return in larger numbers,” said Izabela Stanisławiszyn from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Below the belt
During the last five years the faire was attended by only one Polish university, the University of Białystok, which has its branch in Vilnius.
“Because of the demographic low in Lithuania and Poland, Polish universities are forced to seek students abroad. We’ve been participating in the faire for six years now and it’s the first time that we are not the only Polish university here. On the one hand he are happy that secondary school graduates will have a wider choice of Polish universities. On the other hand, however, it’s still competition, although the universities which participated this year declared that their offer was addressed mainly to graduates of Lithuanian secondary schools,” explained professor Jarosław Wołkonowski, the dean of the Vilnius branch of University of Białystok.
He emphasised that his institution is ready to compete on the basis of “fair play”, as opposed to the Agribusiness School in Łomża, which offered its potential students a 3-day excursion to Sweden as a “bonus”.
“I was actually curious about that trip. Students spend half a day on a ferry, then they go sightseeing for a day and a half, and then they come back. I do not support such a waste of Ministry’s money. On the other hand, as a potential student i would gladly join the ranks of a school which offered me visiting Sweden, since i haven’t been there yet,” said Wołkowski in jest.
The dean emphasised that part of students resigned from joining the school and chose his branch of University of Białystok instead. He also hoped that other universities would not resort to such blows “below the belt”.
The faire lasted until February 9th.
Tłumaczenie Aleksandra Christ w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Aleksandra Christ the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.