Chance for a job matching qualifications and support for schools in Poland

First Ukrainian refugees have completed their diploma recognition process and can now work in their field.

The Polish Center for International Aid Foundation (PCPM), in cooperation with CARE Poland and with the support of the Mosakowski Family Foundation, is helping female teachers and lecturers from Ukraine to complete and translate documents and contact universities as part of a joint program.

A condition for participation in the program was an appropriate education and diplomas obtained at universities abroad, in this case mainly in Ukraine, and a willingness to work in Polish educational institutions. In total, the PCPM Foundation will help 350 refugees with the recognition of their diplomas. The process is important because after its completion and confirmation of education obtained in a country other than Poland, such a person can apply for a position in accordance with their education.

“The changes that occur in the lives of female refugees thanks to the project can be spectacular. For example, we have a doctor of pedagogy who, after fleeing the war, started as an assistant in a kindergarten. Thanks to the recognition of her diploma, she can again look for work in her profession, at a university, but already in Poland,” says Ewa Grodek, project coordinator from the Polish Center for International Aid Foundation. “What this means for a person who is alone here and has a daughter and a sick mother to support is completely different opportunities,” adds Ewa Grodek.

Support for the Inclusion of Ukrainian Students in the Polish Education System

On the one hand, the program is a response to the needs of female refugees who found it difficult to carry out the recognition of their diplomas on their own because they encountered financial and administrative difficulties along the way. On the other hand, it is also support for Polish schools and kindergartens, which have taken in more children in the last two years, but are still struggling with staff shortages. From the new school year, in connection with changes in the law concerning the inclusion of Ukrainian children in the Polish education system (apart from the matriculation class), additional people in schools can be a significant support for the institutions.

“Polish schools and kindergartens have the opportunity to employ experienced teachers. Ukrainian teachers can also make it easier for Ukrainian students to adapt to Polish schools, through the community of language and experiences,” explains Ewa Grodek.

Previously, local governments and education offices drew attention to the challenges faced by female refugees related to the Polish language – the specific terminology used in school subjects. Therefore, the PCPM Foundation will organize specialized Polish language courses for those who apply to the program and obtain recognition of their diplomas. So that, for example, a biology teacher would know the terminology related to this subject in Polish.

What is Recognition?

Recognition is a process in which a state body or educational institution evaluates a diploma or certificate of education obtained abroad. The aim is to determine whether a given document meets the requirements in force in the country in which the person wants to use it. In the case of academic diplomas, recognition allows for obtaining equivalence with a national diploma.

Recognition of Diplomas in Poland

In Poland, the procedure for issuing information about foreign diplomas is regulated by the National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA). Persons who want to obtain information about their foreign diplomas must submit an application to NAWA. The application should include documents confirming education and a description of the curriculum that the person completed abroad.

After submitting the application, NAWA evaluates the documents and makes a decision on either recognizing the diploma or informs about the possibility of recognition or taking up second-cycle or supplementary studies. Recognition is carried out by scientific institutions. If the documents meet the requirements, the person receives an official confirmation of the equivalence of the diploma. This allows for the legal use of foreign qualifications in Poland.

The “Enhancing Employment of Ukrainian Professionals in the Polish Education System” project is implemented by PCPM Foundation and supported by CARE Poland and Mosakowski Family Foundation.