Foreigners who are eligible to undertake studies on the same grounds as Polish citizens have the right to apply for scholarships paid from State budget. Available forms of material support are listed below:
- a maintenance grant;
- a special scholarship for disabled persons;
- a scholarship for academic or sporting achievement;
- a scholarship for academic achievement awarded by the Minister;
- a scholarship for outstanding sporting achievement awarded by the Minister;
- board scholarship;
- an accommodation scholarship;
- assistance grants.
Foreigners who are not eligible for any of the above mentioned scholarships may apply for:
- the Republic of Poland Government scholarships;
- other country government scholarships.
Based on bilateral agreements the Polish government awards scholarships to trainees and students. Republic of Poland scholarship holders do not have to pay tuition fees. The annual limit of possible scholarship holders is specified in international bilateral agreements. Scholarships are awarded by the Minister of Science and Higher Education, and managed by the Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange (BUWiWM), which is also the authority providing information on the scholarship offer. An application for the first Government scholarship to study in Poland has to be submitted through the Polish Diplomatic Post in the country of origin. Applications for the scholarship’s extension shall be submitted through the university. Currently, the scholarship amounts to 900 PLN per month. Scholarship holders may also apply for additional assistance grants:
- a one-time grant in exceptional personal circumstances (40% of a monthly scholarship);
- a one-time grant to write a thesis in the last year of studies (bachelor's, master's, PhD - 40% of a monthly scholarship);
- a one-time relocation grant to for persons permanently residing outside geographical Europe (including the Asian part of the Russian Federation) in the first year of studies (60% of a monthly scholarship).
Detailed information on the Republic of Poland Government scholarships and on bilateral agreements executed by Poland can be found on the Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange website.
There are also programmes dedicated to specific groups of foreigners. At present, the biggest one is the Konstanty Kalinowski Scholarship Programme. It is the largest in Europe programme supporting young Belarusians. It operates within the Centre for East European Studies of the University of Warsaw. The Programme's office started work in the summer of 2006. Main goals of the programme are:
- Supporting students deprived of the possibility of obtaining education in Belarus;
- Giving a chance to get an education in Western Europe;
- Engaging the best Polish universities;
- Passing on European values;
- Helping to return home.
More information about the programme can be found here.
It is worth mentioning scholarships for research purposes in Poland for people studying abroad, mainly for one semester or one year. Students studying in Member States of the European Union may participate in a popular student exchange Erasmus. Students studying in Central European countries may apply for a CEEPUS scholarship. University students from third countries may participate in the Republic of Poland Government scholarship programme for young scientists, dedicated to candidates from Eastern Europe, Russia, as well as from Central Asia and Caucasus.