Access to education


Country Report: Access to education Last updated: 26/05/22



The situation does not differ from the situation of asylum seekers (see above Access to education). The situation of beneficiaries can be actually worse because the schools near the reception centres are more familiar with the challenges related to foreign pupils than other schools in the country.

Data on the number of foreign children is collected through the nationwide Educational Information System. On its basis, it can be concluded that in March 2021, there were 278 children with international protection status in elementary schools and 66 children in secondary schools. The analysis of this data and comparison with other information shows that the system of collecting information on foreign students is flawed and data is incomplete. This is mainly due to the difficulties in correctly determining the legal status of pupils by the school staff.[1]

A major challenge for the education of children with international protection status in Poland is the lack of appropriate policies – there is no formal long-term strategy involving all concerned partners (ministry, educational institutions, research institutions, expert organizations, representatives of schools and local authorities) to facilitate integration of beneficiaries through education. At the central level, there is no mechanism for monitoring and evaluating educational policy and the educational outcomes of children and teenagers.

During COVID pandemic, remote teaching required access to technical equipment which was problematic. Also, remote education was conducted only in Polish, which was a challenge to some families of beneficiaries.[2]

The main finding of the report from 2020 dealing with education of beneficiaries is that even though there are instruments stipulated by the law and designed for foreign children, such as additional Polish language classes, compensatory classes, preparatory classes and teachers’ assistants, due to insufficient funding their implementation is often inadequate. It turned out that the biggest shortcoming of the inclusion of refugee children in the education system is lack of trainings and methodological support for teachers who work with them.[3]

With regard to education of adults, the most important issues appeared to be learning of Polish language and recognition of education obtained in the countries of origin. It turned out that the attendance of beneficiaries of international protection in the courses is very low (approx. 35 percent) which results from either lack of the courses in some localities, inability to reconcile work with participation in a course due to the latter’s hours, or low attractiveness of the courses (i.e. their failure to meet the needs of refugees). The procedures of recognition of qualifications from the country of origin, are expensive and complicated. However, in order to enable continuation of education for refugees, many universities in Poland offered facilitation in the mentioned procedures together with providing scholarships that would ease refugees’ admission for studies.[4]

As reported in 2021, in Poland beneficiaries are neither provided with opportunities to learn the polish language sufficiently good to master it nor do they have a guarantee to work according to their professions due to the difficult procedure of recognition of diplomas. Furthermore, the possibilities for refugees to improve skills and qualifications are very limited. One explanation of such a situation is a fragmented integration policy that is dispersed among various public institutions, lacking a holistic approach.[5]




[1] K. Potoniec (ed), Comparative analysis of instruments supporting the integration of pupils under international protection in the educational systems of the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary, 2021,, p. 12.

[2] Ibidem.

[3] K. Sobczak-Szelc, M. Pachocka, K. Pędziwiatr, J. Szałańska, ‘Integration Policies, Practices and Responses. Poland – Country Report’, Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond Project (#770564, Horizon2020), available at:, 135.

[4] Ibidem.

[5] RESPOND Poland Policy Brief, Adult Refugees’ Integration in Poland, 2021,

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation