There are no national programmes or initiatives supporting mobility of adult learners. Mobility opportunities are offered only by the EU Erasmus+ Programme (2014-2020; 2021-2027) and the Education Programme under the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism. The programmes are administered in Poland by the Foundation for the Development of the Education System (a new English-language website under construction).
Projects in Action 1 (Learning mobility) of the Erasmus+ Programme are targeted at adult learners with fewer opportunities, and, in particular, low-skilled learners. Participants must be enrolled on an adult education programme in the sending institution. Projects can include group mobility (2 to 30 days) and / or individual learning mobility of adult learners (2 to 30 days).
As part of group mobility, learners can benefit from innovative formal, non-formal and informal learning approaches in the receiving institution abroad (for example, peer learning, work-based learning, volunteering). Projects focus on key competences and / or issues such as inclusion, diversity, digital, environmental sustainability and participatory aspects of the programme. As part of individual mobility, adults undertake a learning period at a receiving institution abroad to improve their knowledge and skills. An individual learning programme combines various formal, non-formal and informal learning methods (for example, in-class learning, work-based learning, job shadowing).
Short-term mobility opportunities are also available to adult learners under various types of Erasmus+ Action 2 projects. Mobility in Action 2 is linked to the objectives of a given project. For further details, see Chapter 13.6 ‘Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training’.
The Education Programme (2014-2021; final Call for proposals in 2021) as part of the EEA Financial Mechanism is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The component ‘Institutional cooperation for the improvement of quality and relevance of education’ offers grants for the exchange of experience and good practice and joint initiatives with the donor countries, including seminars, education events and intensive training for learners and staff in adult education and other formal and non-formal education sectors.
There are no specific national regulations on the recognition of mobility periods for adult learners. However, nationally regulated mechanisms are in place for the validation of learning outcomes achieved outside formal education, as part of non-formal or informal learning. For example, adults may take so-called extramural exams (for individuals who take them as ‘externals’) conducted by the Regional Examination Boards. Those who have passed such an exam obtain a certificate at the primary or secondary school level and / or a vocational certificate or diploma, depending on the type of exam taken. At the higher education level, HEIs that comply with the requirements laid down by law may validate learning outcomes achieved by learners applying for admission to a first-, second- or long-cycle programme. As a result of a validation process, an HEI may recognise up to 50% of ECTS credits allocated to classes or courses included in a curriculum. The Integrated Qualifications System also comprises various partial qualifications which may be awarded to adults through the validation of learning outcomes.
Other useful information
Education of foreigners
Pursuant to the Law on School Education of 14 December 2016 (as subsequently amended) (Ustawa – Prawo oświatowe z 14 grudnia 2016 r. (z późn. zm.)), specific groups of foreign nationals have access to education in public schools for adults, and can take vocational qualification courses offered by public institutions as part of continuing education in non-school settings, under the same conditions as for Polish nationals, that is on a fee-free basis. These groups include, for example, nationals of the EU Member States, member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – signatories of the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement and the Swiss Confederation, and members of their families holding a residence or permanent residence permit; and other individuals holding specific types of residence permits or specific status, for example, refugees.
Other foreigners have access to education in schools for adults or continuing education in non-school settings either as holders of a scholarship awarded by the competent body (for example, the Minister responsible for school education, a local government body administering a given type of school or institution, the head of a school or institution) or on a fee-paying basis. In the latter case, the body administering a given school or institution sets the level of fees and can grant full or partial fee waiver.
Teacher and Trainer Mobility
There are no national programmes or projects providing mobility opportunities to adult education teachers or trainers. They can undertake a mobility period within the framework of the EU Erasmus+ Programme, the Education Programme of the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism and the Knowledge-Education-Development Operational Programme (PO WER) co-funded by the EU and the national budget. The three programmes are administered in Poland by the Foundation for the Development of the Education System (a new English-language website under construction).
Projects under Action 1 (Learning mobility) of the Erasmus+ Programme can involve teachers, trainers and other staff working in adult education. Projects offer three types of mobility opportunities to adult education staff: job shadowing (2 to 60 days); teaching or training assignments (2 to 365 days) and courses and training (2 to 30 days). All projects can include blended mobility, combining physical mobility (with the minimum and maximum duration limits as indicated above) and virtual mobility.
Short-term mobility opportunities are also available to adult education staff under various types of projects in Erasmus+ Actions 2 and 3. Mobility in Action 2 and 3 is linked to the objectives of a given project. For further details, see Chapter 13.6 ‘Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training’.
The Education Programme (2014-2021; final Call for proposals in 2021) as part of the EEA Financial Mechanism is funded by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. Under the component ‘Professional Development of staff’, staff working in the adult education sector (and other formal and non-formal education sectors) can undertake study visits to the donor countries and participate in intensive training courses run by trainers / experts from these countries. The component ‘Institutional cooperation for the improvement of quality and relevance of education’ supports mobility of staff in various formal and non-formal education sectors, including adult education, related to the development or updating of curricula and the exchange of experience and good practice (for example, seminars, conferences, education events, intensive training).
In the area of adult education, the Knowledge-Education-Development Operational Programme (PO WER) (information in Polish only) aims to enhance key competences and professional skills of staff working in non-vocational adult education. Grants are awarded to projects which received a positive assessment under Action 1 (Learning mobility) of the Erasmus+ Programme (see above) but could not be funded due to the limited budget of the Action. Mobility is based on the same rules as in the Erasmus+ Programme.
Teachers working in adult education institutions within the school education system are subject to the same national regulations as school education teachers. The legislation specifies only general in-service training leave entitlements, while not referring directly to international mobility. Like teachers in schools for children and young people, adult education teachers working in the school education system undergo periodic performance appraisal. Appraisal takes into consideration, among other things, the teacher’s involvement in professional development activities, including those undertaken abroad. For further information, see Teacher mobility in Chapter 13.1. There are no specific national regulations or recommendations on the recognition of mobility periods for adult education teachers or trainers.