The government adopted a draft amendment of laws, which will enable the support for those studying abroad
About 100 exceptionally talented students per year will study in other countries as part of a government program - Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz announced on 17 February. The program "Studies for the Outstanding" will begin in 2016. By 2025, the government will spend 336 million zlotys on its implementation. Legal basis for the establishment and implementation of the program "Studies for the Outstanding" will be created by the amendments of the Law on Higher Education and the Income Tax Law. The draft amendment, submitted by the Minister of Science and Higher Education, was adopted on Tuesday by the Council of Ministers.
According to the Government Information Centre, the program is addressed to students with outstanding academic achievements, for whom "the only obstacle to obtaining knowledge and international experience is their financial situation". The program will be established in the form of a resolution adopted by the Council of Ministers. It will launch in the academic year 2016/2017 and cover approx. 100 students. By 2025, the government will spend a total of 336 million zlotys on this program, and in the year 2016 it will be 18.5 million zlotys - announced the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in a release sent to PAP. The program will benefit outstanding students who have completed the third year of uniform masters, and bachelor graduates. One of the conditions for obtaining the financing is an official document confirming admission to a foreign university. The person who will begin studies abroad, may receive funds from the program to cover the costs of recruitment, tuition, accommodation, subsistence, travel and insurance. "These benefits will be exempt from personal income tax. Aid of a similar nature, such as scholarships and social aid, is exempt from personal income tax" - announced the Government Information Centre.
Financial support granted under the program will have to be paid back, for example, if the studies are not be completed for reasons attributable to the participant, or in the case of the lack of academic progress. Program participant shall be exempt from the reimbursement of awarded funds if within 10 years of graduation from a foreign university he will work for a total of five years in Poland, paying social and health insurance premiums throughout this period. Another possibility to avoid refund is that after returning the program participant obtains his PhD in a Polish institution.
According to the Ministry of Science, funding will apply to studies at the best universities abroad. The list of universities will be prepared in accordance with the Academic Ranking of World Universities - the so-called Shanghai ranking. This list will include the top 15 universities in the overall ranking, as well as universities from specific rankings. As explained in the justification of the project, the planned regulation are a response to the commitments made by European education ministers in April 2009 in Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve, according to which by the year 2020 at least 20 percent students obtaining a diploma in the European Higher Education Area should have completed a period of study or training abroad. One embodiment of this assumption may be providing financial support to students taking up education abroad.
The new provisions will become effective after 14 days from the date of their publication in the Journal of Laws.