Oct 19, 2020 / 15:48

Higher education for Vietnamese students - Why Poland?

The Hanoitimes - Students can start studies in Poland and continue elsewhere in Europe and vice versa.

Poland has appeared to be a modern and dynamic member of the European Union (EU) where teaching and training really count, offering an opportunity to foreign students who seek a country of long and rich tradition of higher education.

 Poland has a long and rich tradition of higher education

The Central European country has been familiar to generations of Vietnamese students and it is really attractive for young people aspiring to get a European degree recognized throughout the world.

Mr. Maciej Duszynski, Head of the Political and Economic Section, the Embassy of Poland in Hanoi, has shared with Hanoitimes about a broader approach to Poland’s tertiary education.

As an integral part of the European Higher Education Area, Poland has its own advantages that are favorable for foreign students. Would you please elaborate?

Mr. Maciej Duszynski: The advantages are as follows:

1. Very good quality of education; many Poles are winning international scientific competitions.

2. Low cost of living (among the lowest in the EU) due to Polish zloty, national currency, which has an exchange rate of 4/1 (4 zloty in exchange for EUR1).

3. Good quality of specialized education, such as medical, engineering, arts, music (piano!; homeland of F. Chopin) and sports (coaching) higher education; medical and music education are sought after all around the world, students from the US, Canada, Taiwan, China, Japan and many other countries seek for these majors in Poland.

4. Poland has relatively big Vietnamese diaspora – one of the biggest in Europe; there are about 30,000-50,000 people of Vietnamese descent living in Poland; there are many Vietnamese restaurants and shops where flavors of Vietnam are accessible in Poland. There are also Vietnamese trade centers.

5. Traditionally, many CEOs and leaders of Vietnamese provinces and cities, including former Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, government ministers, studied in Poland; also many Polish Vietnamese young graduates are very successful in Poland as major TV personalities and Polish Youtube stars, fashion designers, well-known actors, successful economists and lawyers in Poland.

How is the recognition of Poland-certified degrees in European countries? Is there any degree transfer system across the Europe that enables foreign students to continue their education elsewhere in the EU?

Mr. Maciej Duszynski: Yes, Poland, as a member of the European Union, takes part also in Bologna system. So you can start your studies in Poland and continue elsewhere in Europe, you can also continue in Poland studies already started in a different EU country. Also, Poland is of course a part of Erasmus and Erasmus+ programs.

Poland has helped train dozens of thousands of Vietnamese students, mostly in the war time and the hard time. Could you please brief the Polish support and the education cooperation between the two countries?

Mr. Maciej Duszynski: As we mentioned before, there was indeed the effort of Poland to help Vietnam in difficult times, historically. So we are traditional friends. There is a Polish saying that translates to: “a friend in need is your friend indeed.” Vietnamese diaspora also tries to be very helpful to other members of Polish society, they form one very well integrated community and one society together with Poles now. The sense of solidarity is omnipresent.

We hope that the great experiences of Vietnamese students and professors studying and doing research in Poland who had gotten their families to join them in Poland, from the last decades, will pave the way for more Vietnamese best talents to choose Poland! We believe Poland can become their first choice and prime destination for higher education and research.

Is there any agreement on education signed between Poland and Vietnam so far?

Mr. Maciej Duszynski: Yes, there was an agreement on education and training between the two countries for 2005-2008. Then, in November 2017, a new agreement was signed between the then Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland and the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam on cooperation in science and higher education.

Moreover, recently, in 2018, there was also an agreement signed by NAWA (National Agency for Academic Exchange) of Poland and Hanoi University (HANU) on providing Polish language instruction at Hanoi University. This agreement was then annexed in July, 2020 for the cause to be prolonged to next academic year, after the success of the initial year. It’s a great success, also of the Embassy of Poland, to reestablish the course after 30 years of its non-existence (the last edition of the course before reestablishing it in 2019, took place back in 1989).

We hope that from there, Polish language would be accessible for students and other interested individuals also at the other leading Vietnamese universities in other main Vietnamese cities.

There are also countless and numerous memorandums of understanding signed by particular Polish universities and their Vietnamese counterparts, some of them aiming even at creating full majors with double degrees.

Poland and Vietnam celebrate the 70th anniversary of the bilateral relations this year. What does education mean in the long-lasting multilateral ties?

Mr. Maciej Duszynski: Education is one of the main pillars and among the most stable yet dynamically growing part of our flourishing and shining bilateral ties. With the recent opening and continuity of Polish language course, existence in Vietnamese studies at the Poznan university, it will be shining even brighter. There is also rich and growing offers of fellowships, scholarships and summer schools in Poland provided to Vietnamese students and researchers by NAWA.

The iconic initiatives such as Virtual Fairs of Polish Higher Education conducted online at the address: https://www.facebook.com/events/920061181819595/ or https://rsgp.webexpo.pl/ (you can search for it also on the Polish Embassy’s website, or Facebook “Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Hanoi” and Twitter account PLinVietnam) on October 20, 2020 call for attention from every student and every candidate. Please check how many scholarships and wonderful educational opportunities Poland has to offer!

Where is the best place to learn Polish in Vietnam?

Mr. Maciej Duszynski: You can learn Polish at Hanoi University in Hanoi. Actually, the deadline for the intake for this year’s program is October 21 and we would like all interested to contact the International Office of Hanoi University at huyenhtqt@hanu.edu.vn.

Thank you very much for the interview!