09.10.2017 change 09.10.2017

The National Agency for Academic Exchange launched operations on October 1

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Supporting international academic exchange, disseminating information about Polish higher education and promoting the Polish language abroad are the main tasks of the National Agency for Academic Exchange. The new institution started operations on 1 October.

The National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA, Narodowa Agencja Wymiany Akademickiej) is a government agency that will primarily focus on supporting and stimulating the process of internationalisation of Polish higher education and science. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin, the establishment of NAWA will be an opportunity to attract scientists to Poland.

NAWA is supposed to complete the system formed by two other agencies: the National Science Centre and the National Centre for Research and Development. The Agency will replace the Office for Recognition of Education and International Exchange, and its budget will amount to approximately PLN 140 million. In the future, NAWA will also become an operator of EU funds, like the National Centre for Research and Development.

Persons eligible to apply for funds from the NAWA budget will be, among others, those preparing to start learning in Polish, persons sent abroad to teach Polish as a foreign language, universities and research units, non-governmental organizations and units of the public finance sector undertaking activities in support of the internationalisation of higher education and science.

Financial assistance will be available in various forms: grants, financing or co-financing of the costs of education and employment, financial aid and lump sums for travel, accommodation and accommodation, as well as financing or co-financing the costs of activities covered by thematic programs.

The Agency\'s activities will be supervised by the Minister of Science and Higher Education. At his request, the director of the Agency will be appointed by the Prime Minister. The tasks of the director will include management of NAWA, participation in the creation of the Agency\'s programs and supervision of their implementation and settlement. In the management of the NAWA, the director will be supported by the Council of the Agency - an advisory body, whose tasks will include preparation of proposals for the direction of the Agency\'s activities and development and evaluation of its activities.

NAWA\'s program will be addressed primarily to students, postgraduates and young researchers. In the case of students, the agency will largely continue the programs run by the discontinued Office for Academic Recognition and International Exchange, as well as several programs previously run by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (such as Mobility Plus).

Programs for visiting professors will also be an important part of NAWA\'s activities. The Ministry of Science wants these programs to help bring eminent scientists from abroad to Polish scientific institutions.

NAWA will take over the existing seat of the Office for Recognition of Education and International Exchange, but it will not be the permanent headquarters of the Agency. "We plan to move to a new office in mid-December" - told PAP the spokeswoman of the Ministry of Science, Katarzyna Zawada.

Although the Law on National Agency for Academic Exchange entered into force on 1 October - and the agency itself began to operate on that date - some of its provisions will become effective respectively on 1 January and 1 February 2018. (PAP)

Author: Katarzyna Florencka

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