Poland’s education responses to the influx of Ukrainian students


On 12 March 2022, the President of Poland signed a new act regulating the status and providing assistance for refugees from Ukraine in Poland. The legislation’s provisions included legalized stay during 18 months with a Polish national registry (PESEL) number, full access to the labour market and to health care, a one-time financial benefit of 300 PLN for the refugees, support to households hosting refugees (40 PLN per day for maximum 60 days), access to many social benefits available to Polish citizens.

In addition, the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) has prepared information in Polish and Ukrainian for parents of children coming from Ukraine on how to enroll a child in school and what rights their children have. It has also launched a helpline for Polish citizens studying in Ukraine and for Ukrainians coming to Poland and developed informational leaflets for income higher education students and scientists.

On 30 March 2022, the Ministry announced a special chatbot was created as part of the # SzkołaDlaWas, it allows Ukrainian speakers to obtain pertinent information in Ukrainian about the education system, schooling options available and application procedures.

Preschool and Basic Education 

According to the 12 March 2022 act, access to pre-primary and compulsory education is free and open to all up to the age of 18, regardless of their legal basis of the pupil’s stay in Poland. 

Additional preparatory classes are being organized for incoming Ukrainian students for grades 1-8 and in secondary schools, and textbooks on teaching Polish as the foreign language are being provided.  

To accommodate for the large influx of Ukrainian students, the government is creating additional teachers centers conducting educational and childcare activities. These centers will be organizationally subordinate to national schools or kindergartens. 

As of mid-March, of the 75,000 children of Ukrainian refugees that had joined Polish schools, 10% of them in preparatory departments, 90% of them in classes together with Polish children. 

On 30 March 2022, the head of the Ministry of Education and Science noted that while 150-160 thousands Ukrainian students joined the Polish education system, the vast majority of the incoming Ukrainian children remain outside the system. Many students are using the Ukrainian government’s distance education platform to connect to their classes. These students are exempt from compulsory education. To support distance learning, the Ministry is implementing the # SzkołaDlaWas initiative which collects and distributes several thousand used computer equipment to Ukrainian children studying online.  

Higher Education 

As part of the government program ‘Solidarity with Ukraine’, from March to September 2022, higher education students and doctoral students will be able to continue their studies in Poland and conduct work related to dissertations. The National Agency for Academic Exchange will be in charge of this program. In addition, the government is waiving the fee for the process of recognition of their level of education in Poland.  

The MoES has provided schools and teachers with information in Polish on offering psychological and pedagogical support to incoming Ukrainian refugee students. The information on how to talk to students openly about the crisis is both in Polish and Ukrainian. An ‘integrated educational platform’ also provides educational material to use in teaching preparatory/recipient classes, including textbooks for teaching Polish as a second language.

To support education, the MoES eased the rules on teacher overtime to accommodate additional students. It also eased rules on teaching so that Ukrainian teachers who migrated to Poland can teach in Polish schools as teaching diplomas obtained in Ukraine will be considered equivalent to Polish teaching diplomas through a recognition process.

Recognition of diplomas will happen through two procedures. For diplomas obtained before 20 June 2006, the confirmation of recognition of the equivalence of the diploma is processed by the National Agency for Academic Exchange. For diplomas obtained after 20 June 2006, the recognition is carried out through nostrification performed by authorized universities.

The MoES has also made becoming a teaching assistant more accessible for the school year 2021/2022 so that Ukrainians can support Ukrainian learners in the classroom. The condition for a Ukrainian to become a teaching assistant is to possess a good level of Polish in order to best mediate the inclusion of a non-Polish speaking Ukrainian into the classroom. The rule requiring specific documentation certifying the knowledge of Polish has been waived.

In 2022, the government will allocate additional funds from the state budget for the education of Ukrainian students, by increasing the educational component of the subsidies to local governments and increasing subsidies for children in preschool and subsidies supporting transportation to/from schools. 

The Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) will allocate 180 million PLN to local governments to support additional specialized classes offering psychological and pedagogical assistance for Ukrainian students. These funds will allow schools to offer some 3 million additional hours of classes for students.

The EU issued operational guidelines for the implementation of Council implementing Decision 2022/382, establishing the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine within the meaning of Article 5 of Directive 2001/55/EC, and having the effect of introducing temporary protection (2022/C 126 I/01). As such, EU Member States shall grant access to their education system to persons under 18 years old enjoying the temporary protection status under the same conditions as their own nationals and EU citizens.


Government Sources:

  • "Portal" Ministerstwo Edukacji I Nauki. Accessed March 22, 2022. Source
  • "Obecnie 75 Tys. Dzieci Ukraińskich Uchodźców Jest Już W Polskich Szkołach. Apelujemy O Tworzenie Oddziałów Przygotowawczych." Ministerstwo Edukacji I Nauki. Accessed March 22, 2022. Source
  • "Pomoc Nauczyciela - Zgłoś Się I Wypełnij Formularz! - Ministerstwo Edukacji I Nauki - Portal" Ministerstwo Edukacji I Nauki. Accessed March 22, 2022. Source
  • "180 Mln Zł Na Dodatkowe Zajęcia Specjalistyczne Z Zakresu Pomocy Psychologiczno-pedagogicznej." Ministerstwo Edukacji I Nauki. Accessed March 22, 2022. Source
  • "Wsparcie Dzieci Z Ukrainy Ze Specjalnymi Potrzebami Edukacyjnymi – Informacja MEiN / Підтримка дітей з України з особливими освітніми потребами – інформація Міністерства Освіти та Науки." Ministerstwo Edukacji I Nauki. Accessed March 22, 2022. Source
  • "Ustawa Z Dnia 12 Marca 2022 R. O Pomocy Obywatelom Ukrainy W Związku Z Konfliktem Zbrojnym Na Terytorium Tego Państwa." Internetowy System Aktów Prawnych. Accessed March 22, 2022. Source