Validation and franchising – a new system for international degree expansion by Polish higher education institutions

Marcin Duszyński


Article presents a proposal for new systemic solutions permitting the overcoming of Poland’s national demographic low that causes a persistent student deficit in Polish HEIs, through new methodologies of international programme offer expansion, which would permit access to new clients without their need to come to Poland. Current international expansion methods permitted by legislation (distance centres and international faculties) have sizeable limitations not only due to the formal requirements facing the Polish applicant institution from national ministries, but also the organisational, financial and infrastructural challenges. Franchising and validation are two separate Anglo-Saxon programme expansion methodologies based on the transfer of organisational, academic and financial efforts to the foreign partner institution, enabling the Anglo-Saxon university to focus on quality assurance of the academic process and supporting the partner in operating the programme. Their diversification allows for the creation in Poland of a system where different types of Polish HEIs (professional, academic, university), will be able to offer their degrees abroad, while their differing levels of development/status will subject them to differentiated levels of Ministerial oversight and severity of formal requirements. Validation and franchising allow for the delivery of Polish programs at a foreign partner institution, while the students are not required to visit Poland for their studies, which will allow for a dramatic increase in the number of foreign students interested in the Polish academic offer. Implementation of this proposal will entail changes to the laws regulating Polish higher education and will pose considerable challenges to the governmental oversight institutions.


higher education; international expansion; international students; degree validation; degree franchising

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