Poland has signed agreements on bilateral cooperation in the field of higher education and science with nearly 100 countries in all regions of the world (see below). Cooperation involves exchanges of students, academic staff and experts and various activities aimed at sharing information, experience and good practices.
- Africa: Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Republic of South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia;
- Australia and New Zealand;
- Asia and Middle East: Armenia, Azerbaijan. Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Philippines, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Japan, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Palestine, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan. Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and United Arab Emirates;
- Europa: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, North Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom;
- North America: Canada, Mexico and the United States of America;
- South America: Argentine, Brazil, Chile, Columbia and Peru.
Detailed information about bilateral agreements is available on the following websites:
Ministry of Education and Science (information in Polish only)
Cooperation and participation in worldwide programmes and organisations
In addition to cooperation based on its EU membership, Poland pursues a policy of cooperation in the field of education and training within the framework of various international organisations.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Poland has been a full OECD member since 1996. In the field of education and training, it participates in the following main international surveys coordinated by the OECD:
- Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA): a survey which measures and analyses the performance of school students in reading, mathematics and science;
- Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC): a survey which assesses and analyses adults’ proficiency in three areas: literacy, numeracy and use of information and communication technologies;
See also: International statistics below.
International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)
Poland participates in the following main international studies coordinated by the IEA:
- Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS): a study conducted among primary school pupils which assesses their skills in reading as a literary experience and reading to acquire and use information.
- Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS): a study conducted among primary school pupils which measures educational achievement, including knowledge and reasoning, in mathematics and science.
Poland will also participate in the 2024 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). The survey is conducted among school heads and teachers and covers issues such as employment terms and conditions, performance appraisal, professional development opportunities, school management, and teaching practices.
See also International statistics below.
Council of Europe (CoE)
Poland joined the Council of Europe in 1991 and has 12 seats in its Parliamentary Assembly. As other member states, Poland has its representatives on the Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice, which oversees CoE programmes in the field of education and advises the Committee of Ministers on matters related to education.
United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO)
UNESCO was established in 1945 and Poland was one of its 44 founding members. The main aim of UNESCO is to maintain peace and security in the world through cooperation in the fields of education, science and culture. As part of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, UNESCO coordinates activities related to Sustainable Development Goal no. 4: ‘to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’
Like commissions in other member states, the Polish National Commission for UNESCO (information in Polish only) acts as a liaison between the Organisation and Polish government agencies and non-governmental organisations, coordinates its activities in the country and undertakes promotion and information activities (conferences, seminars and workshops). Currently, the Commission carries out three UNESCO programmes in the field of education:
- Education for All: various activities supporting the implementation of the UN agenda for universal and equal access to education;
- Associated Schools: a network of schools undertaking activities to support the achievement of the UNESCO aims and the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030;
- University Twinning and Networking / UNITWIN / UNESCO Chairs: 11 chairs currently operating in Polish higher education institutions. The UNESCO Chairs are engaged in innovative education and research responding to contemporary challenges; contribute to the development of education, science and culture policies; undertake various activities promoting UNESCO values in society; and, in broader terms, support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.
International statistics on education
The Central Statistical Office, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science, collects national data on education for the following three main international organisations: UNESCO, OECD and Eurostat. Statistics and other information are used, for example, in Eurostat publications and in "Education at a Glance", a publication regularly produced by the OECD.
Poland also participates in two thematic networks established under the OECD INES (Indicators of Education Systems) Programme. NESLI (Network on system level data collection) gathers and assesses descriptive data on educational structures, policies and practices at the level of education systems. LSO (Network on Labour Market, Economic and Social Outcomes of Learning) compiles data on education outcomes with regard to the labour market, economy and social life.