30 October 2015

Recognition of foreign school certificates and diplomas in Poland

I. GENERAL RULES

As of March 31, 2015 came into force new rules on the rules and procedures for the recognition of foreign educational qualifications:

As of September 1, 2016 came into force the following amendment:

Foreign school certificates, diplomas or other educational documents may be recognized in Poland automatically (see: II. AUTOMATIC RECOGNITION) or in result of an administrative recognition procedure done by a province education superintendent (see: III. RECOGNITION PROCEDURE…).

ATTENTION! If you intend to enrol at a primary (szkoła podstawowa), lower (gimnazjum) or upper secondary school (liceum, technikum or zasadnicza szkoła zawodowa) in Poland, you needn`t to apply before to an education superintendent for the recognition of your foreign mid-term certificates or exam marks. In such case you have to contact directly the headmaster of the school you are going to attend. The above mentioned rules and procedures for the recognition of foreign educational qualifications will not be applied in these cases.

II. AUTOMATIC RECOGNITION – WITHOUT ADDITIONAL PROCEEDINGS

Certificates, diplomas or other educational documents that confirm the completion of secondary education in the European Union, European Economic Area (EEA) or OECD member states as well as the right to apply for higher education programs in the country of issue shall be recognized in Poland by operation of law (i.e. automatically). The owners of such documents have a right to apply for studies at a Polish university or HE institution. Such regulation has been valid from 31 March 2015.

The recognition by operation of low (automatic recognition) means that the owners of certificates, diplomas or other documents that are recognized in Poland by operation of law may be filed directly with a university, HE institution or employer without being asked by a Polish authority for an additional recognition confirmation or proceedings.

DOCUMENTS RECOGNISED BY OPERATION OF LAW IN POLAND

  1. Each certificate, diploma or another document issued within the education system of one of EU, EEA or OECD member states that entitles to apply for admission to a higher education program in the state of issuance. This rule concerns the following states:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA.

  1. IB (International Baccalaureate) diplomas issued by the International Baccalaureate Organization in Geneva.
  2. EB (European Baccalaureate) diplomas issued by the European Schools in accordance with the Convention defining the Statute of the European Schools drawn up in Luxembourg on June 21, 1994. (Dz. U. [the Journal of Laws] for 2005, No. 3, item 10).
  3. Certificates, diplomas and other documents issued abroad by schools or educational institutions in accordance with the principles laid down in bilateral agreements on mutual diploma recognition (http://www.nauka.gov.pl/uznawanie-wyksztalcenia, link: akty prawne dotyczące uznawania wykształcenia).

If a certificate or other document entitles to apply for admission only to specific higher education programs in the state of issuance, it shall be recognized as a document giving a right to apply for admission to such higher education programs in Poland which are identical or similar in terms of curriculum.

Tips and advices for the owners of a school certificate or diploma recognized by operation of law

The Polish act on education system sets up the general rules of the recognition of foreign school certificates, diplomas and other educational documents. As far as the automatic recognition(i.e. by operation of law) is concerned, further details (marks, exams levels, school achievements) are not mentioned in the act. However, each Polish university defines its own admission requirements, so it would be useful for a candidate with a foreign diploma to contact directly with the chosen HE institution in Poland .

When applying for studies in a Polish university, candidates with recognized foreign certificates or diplomas shall i.a. prove their right to apply for a higher education programs in the country where the document was issued.

The education superintendents don’t conduct proceedings on recognition of certificates or diplomas that are recognized by operation of law (i.e. automatically), furthermore they don’t issue any statement or opinion concerning such documents.

III. RECOGNITION PROCEEDINGS BY PROVINCE EDUCATION SUPERINTENDENTS

IIIA RECOGNITION OF SCHOOL CERTIFICATES/DIPLOMAS

The body competent with respect to the proceedings for the recognition of a school certificate or other document issued abroad – that is not recognized by operation of law – is the education superintendent (kurator oświaty), having jurisdiction:

  • over the place of residence of the applicant or
  • over the registered office of the institution to which the applicant intends to submit the application or other document issued abroad (if the applicant does not have a place of residence within the territory of the Republic of Poland).

The education superintendent may:

  • recognize a foreign school certificate or other document by way of an administrative decision as a document which confirms the completion of primary, lower secondary, basic vocational or upper secondary education and
  • confirm the entitlement to continue one’s education, including the entitlement to apply for admission to a higher education program, taking into account the scope of rights granted in the state of issuance of the certificate or other document.

Foreign school certificates or documents may be recognized in Poland only if they are recognized by the state within the territory of which or in the education system of which such a school operates.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED in the recognition proceedings

  1. Application for recognition
  2. Certificate – with apostille or legalized:

a) original of the certificate or its duplicate or notarized copy with apostille placed on or attached to the document, if the certificate was issued by a state which is a party to the Hague Convention or

b) legalised original of the certificate or its duplicate – if the certificate was issued by a state which is not a party to the Hague Convention (the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, drawn up in the Hague on October 5, 1961).

Certificates may be legalized or receive an apostille by:

– the consul of the Republic of Poland having jurisdiction with respect to the state in the territory of which, or in the education system of which, the given certificate was issued, or

– the educational authorities of the state in the territory of which, or in the education system of which, the given certificate was issued, or

– a diplomatic representation or consular office of the state in the territory of which, or in the education system of which, the given certificate was issued, accredited in the Republic of Poland or in any EU, OECD or EEA member state, where the said certificates or documents confer an entitlement to apply for admission to a higher education program in the states in question.

3. Documents to be appended if the certificate does not contain information about the course of education:

a) a list of grades received in the course of examinations required for completing the school or educational institution or the given stage of the educational program;

b) a list of subjects and other classes completed in the course of the given stage of education, along with the grades received;

c) information on the completed curriculum pertaining to the contents thereof, the planned duration of tuition as well as the grade scale applied;

d) information on the conferred entitlements to continue education at an appropriate level in the state in the education system of which the given certificate was issued, including the entitlements to apply for admission to a higher education program as well as on the scope of the entitlements in question.

4. The documents mentioned in 3 a-d should be issued or confirmed by the school or educational institution which issued the certificate or by educational authorities of the state on whose territory or in whose educational system the certificate was issued.

5. The translation into Polish of documents, attached to the application, shall be done or confirmed by::

a) a person entered on the list of sworn translators by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Poland, or

b) a person registered as a sworn translator in any EU, OECD or EEA member state, or

c) the consul of the Republic of Poland having jurisdiction with respect to the state in the territory of which, or in the education system of which, the given certificate was issued, or

d) a diplomatic representative or consular office of the state in the territory of which, or in the education system of which, the given certificate was issued, accredited in the Republic of Poland.

e) If the translation of the documents into Polish causes substantial difficulties, the education superintendent may agree for the applicant to present a translation performed by another entity, provided that the credibility of such entity is beyond reproach.

6. The decision may be appealed against to the Minister of National Education through the education superintendent within 14 days from receipt.

7. In the proceedings the provisions of the Act of 14 June 1960 – Code of Administrative Procedure (Dz. U. [the Journal of Laws] 2014, Item 283, as amended) have to be applied.

Further details can be obtained in the educational superintendents’ offices (kuratoria oświaty), see chapter IV.

SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS FOR CONFIRMATION OF EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS’ LEVEL

The educational superintendent may confirm the level of educational qualifications obtained abroad by a person:

a) who was accorded refugee status or supplementary protection or holds a permit for temporary stay in Poland or

b) who has suffered a loss as a result of an armed conflict, natural disaster or other humanitarian crisis, whether of human or natural origin

and

c) who because of the circumstances mentioned in a) or b) has significant difficulty with the provision of an original (or duplicate) of a certificate or the authentication of such certificate.

In such case the education superintendent may confirm by way of an administrative decision the primary, lower secondary, basic vocational or upper secondary level of educational qualifications and the entitlement to continue one’s education in Poland, including the entitlement to apply for admission to a higher education program.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED in the confirmation proceedings

  1. Application
  2. Certificate (original or duplicate)
  3. Other documents (if they are):

a) a list of grades received in the course of examinations required for completing the school or educational institution or the given stage of the educational program;

b) a list of subjects and other classes completed in the course of the given stage of education, along with the grades received;

c) information on the completed curriculum pertaining to the contents thereof, the planned duration of tuition as well as the grade scale applied;

d) information on the conferred entitlements to continue education at an appropriate level in the state in the education system of which the given certificate was issued, including the entitlements to apply for admission to a higher education program as well as on the scope of the entitlements in question;

or

e) documents which make it possible to determine, indirectly, the level of educational qualifications or entitlement to continue education, including, in particular, documents which confirm the professional qualifications, job position, internships or work placements obtained,

and

f) a declaration of the applicant concerning the educational qualifications obtained, the schools, educational institutions or stages of education completed abroad or the entitlements to continue education or, alternatively, the declaration of the applicant.

4. Persons who do not hold Polish citizenship shall, in addition, are obliged to attach to the application a document confirming their right to stay within the territory of the Republic of Poland.

5. The documents attached to the application, shall be accompanied by a translation thereof into Polish.

6. The translation into Polish of the documents shall be done or confirmed by:

a) a person entered on the list of sworn translators by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Poland, or

b) a person registered as a sworn translator in a EU, OECD or EEA member state, or

c) the consul of the Republic of Poland having jurisdiction with respect to the state in the territory of which, or in the education system of which, the given certificate was issued, or

d) a diplomatic representative or consular office of the state in the territory of which, or in the education system of which, the given certificate was issued, accredited in the Republic of Poland.

Where the translation of the documents into Polish in accordance with section 1 causes substantial difficulties, the education superintendent (kurator oświaty) may agree for the applicant to present a translation of the documents in question performed by another entity, provided that the credibility of such entity is beyond reproach.

7. The decision may be appealed against to the Minister of National Education through the education superintendent within 14 days from receipt.

8. In the proceedings the provisions of the Act of 14 June 1960 – Code of Administrative Procedure (Dz. U. [the Journal of Laws] 2014, Item 283, as amended) have to be applied.

Further details can be obtained in the educational superintendents’ offices (kuratoria oświaty), see chapter IV.

The proceedings:

  1. for foreigners who received refugee status or supplementary protection or a permit for temporary stay in Poland: are conducted by the Masovian education superintendent in Warsaw (Mazowiecki Kurator Oświaty):

a) Jerozolimskie 42, 00-024 Warsaw, tel.+48 22 551 24 00 int. 5081

b) kuratorium@kuratorium.waw.pl

c) http://www.kuratorium.waw.pl/en/nostrification-of-certi/8177,Recognition-ofcertificates.html

  1. for other applicants: may be conducted by education superintendents having jurisdiction:

a) over the place of residence of the applicant or

b) over the registered office of the institution to which the applicant intends to submit the application or other document issued abroad (if the applicant does not have a place of residence within the territory of the Republic of Poland).

PROVINCE EDUCATION SUPERINTENDENTS (KURATORIA OŚWIATY) – DIRECTORIES

  1. BIAŁYSTOK kuratorium@kuratorium.bialystok.pl
  2. BYDGOSZCZ kurator@bydgoszcz.uw.gov.pl
  3. GDAŃSK kuratorium@kuratorium.gda.pl
  4. GORZÓW kuratorium@ko-gorzow.edu.pl
  5. LUBLIN kurator@kuratorium.lublin.pl
  6. ŁÓDŹ kolodz@kuratorium.lodz.pl
  7. KATOWICE kancelaria@kuratorium.katowice.pl
  8. KIELCE kurator@kuratorium.kielce.pl
  9. KRAKÓW kurator@kuratorium.krakow.pl, http://bip.malopolska.pl/kokrakow/Article/get/id,390656.html
  10. OLSZTYN wmkurator@ko.olsztyn.pl
  11. OPOLE kontakt@kuratorium.opole.pl
  12. POZNAŃ sekretariat.wko@ko.poznan.pl
  13. RZESZÓW kuratorium@ko.rzeszow.pl
  14. SZCZECIN kuratorium@kuratorium.szczecin.pl
  15. WARSZAWA kuratorium@kuratorium.waw.pl, http://www.kuratorium.waw.pl/en/nostrification-of-certi/8177,Recognition-of-certificates.html
  16. WROCŁAW kuratorium@duw.pl
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