Poland is situated in the center of Europe, Poland is among the largest and most populous countries in the region – ninth-largest in Europe by area, and sixth in the European Union (EU) by population. Poland has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years, particularly since joining the EU in 2004; in the midst of the economic crisis of 2009, Poland was the only European nation to report economic expansion.
With a history dating back for over a thousand years, Poland’s cultural heritage is incredibly rich. This includes its longstanding traditions in the higher education sector, with the first university in Poland founded in the 14th century.
For many of those who choose to study in Poland, the country’s appeal is augmented by its relatively low living costs, which remain below those of most EU members. University fees are likewise relatively affordable, typically no more than US$4,500 per year.
Universities in Poland
To name, there are more than 500 universities in Poland, most of which are within the private sector. The country prides itself on having produced many notable university alumni, including the first ever woman to win a Nobel Prize, Marie Curie, and the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Six universities in Poland feature in the QS World University Rankings® 2018, while 22 rank within the top 300 in the QS EECA University Rankings 2018 – a dedicated ranking of the top universities in Emerging Europe and Central Asia. Here are some of the highest-ranked universities in Poland:
University of Warsaw
Located in the Polish capital, the state-funded university is currently ranked sixth in the EECA rankings. Founded in 1816, it’s Poland’s largest university, with 54,800 students enrolled across its 21 departments. The University of Warsaw’s long history is also packed with interesting events and legends. During World War II, for instance, the campus was turned into a military barracks by German soldiers, so academics established the so-called “Secret University of Warsaw” and continued educating students in various hidden locations.
The country’s oldest university, and one of the oldest in Europe, this is another of the most prestigious universities in Poland, ranked joint 14th in the EECA rankings. Established in 1364, it has a long tradition of educating the country’s future leaders. Among the numerous notable alumni of the university are John III Sobieski (King of Poland until 1696), Nicolaus Copernicus (famed for formulating a model of the universe with the sun at the center), Pope John Paul II and two Nobel Prize winners, Ivo Andrić and Wisława Szymborska. Today Jagiellonian University teaches about 38,500 students at its campus in Krakow, Poland’s second-largest city.
Warsaw University of Technology
This institution is also features in the QS EESA WORLD RANKING, in which it’s ranked 19th among universities in Emerging Europe and Central Asia. It claims a place among the leading technological institutes in Europe, and is one of the region’s largest providers of technical education. Located in the Polish capital, the university has about 36,100 students and 19 faculties, which cover all fields of science and technology. Founded back in 1899, the university was one of the first universities in Poland to teach engineering. In recent years, its graduates have become known for making up an impressively high percentage of Polish managers and executives.
University of Wroclaw
Another historic university – founded in 1702 by Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor of the Habsburg dynasty – the University of Wroclaw is ranked 52nd in the EECA rankings. It’s the largest university in the region of Lower Silesia, currently teaching over 40,000 students and around 1,300 doctoral students across 10 faculties. The university’s main focus is scientific research and its alumni include nine Nobel Prize winners.