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Looking beyond Brexit - inward investment to Poland

What impact is Brexit having on Higher Education?

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How one UK university has embraced the challenge.

A UK degree is internationally respected, valued by business professionals, and one of the most popular among young students. The UK’s decision to leave the EU could have a significant impact not only on the decision-making of prospective students, but also on their future employment. However, one British university has taken steps to enable students to study for a UK degree in Poland – at Coventry University Wrocław.

The world of UK higher education before Brexit

Prior to October 2021, EU students were treated just like UK students. They benefited from lower tuition fees (international students pay on average 40% more than home students), and the option of applying for a student loan with preferential repayment rates. The UK also used to participate in the Erasmus Programme, which aims to broaden horizons through international student exchange.

For many, a UK degree may seem like significant financial investment. At Coventry University, tuition fees are currently around £9,250 per year for UK and EU students, and £15,000 for International students, depending on the course. Although this might seem a substantial cost for Polish natives, especially compared to the cost of public higher education in Poland, it’s important to remember that UK higher education is considered to be one of the best in the world. As a result, Coventry University Group currently teaches 13,000 non-domestic students, 4,000 of whom come from the EU.

Regardless of Brexit, studying in the UK remains possible, and appealing. However, Coventry University have gone one step further and made the important business decision to launch a new campus in mainland Europe to ensure UK degrees remain accessible for EU inhabitants.

Why choose Wrocław for a new campus?

Poland was a natural choice for the investment: located in the centre of Europe, and therefore attractive to both prospective EU but also international students; in close proximity to major European markets with stable economic growth; and with access to highly-qualified employees. The 2016 European Capital of Culture is a thriving industrial, commercial, and educational centre for the region, recognised globally as having a high standard of living and a fast-growing economy with particular strengths in IT, industry, manufacturing and logistics.

Coventry University Wrocław hopes to facilitate the region’s development encouraged by the commitment from the city’s council, global businesses located in the surrounding area, and the demand for higher education in the region. The campus provides students with the opportunity to study for a professional, career-focused UK qualifications locally, as well as offering businesses and universities its consultancy and research expertise.

Getting a UK degree in Poland

Successful students at Coventry University Wrocław will have the opportunity to earn a degree accredited by a high-ranking UK university, with tuition fees customised for the EU market. Instead of paying 76,300 zlotys per year, students can study the same course at Coventry University Wrocław for 24,995 zlotys and can also apply for the Academic Merit Award which could lower the cost even further. Students have access to all the research and knowledge of academics from across the Coventry University Group, which includes campuses in Coventry, London and Scarborough. The degrees are awarded by Coventry University, ranked in the top 15 UK universities for five years running in the Guardian University Guide (2016 – 2020). Prospective students can choose from a range of degrees which offer a unique set of skills to boost their career such as Business Management and Leadership, Digital and Technology Solutions, Cyber Security, and Aviation Management.

So what does a UK education really mean?

The courses on offer at Coventry University Wrocław put greater significance on learning relevant skills rather than memorising facts; the student is at the heart of teaching with their needs put first. This applies to every element of the degree, from the choice of degrees available to the creation of course content. Critical thinking is especially valued, since it is crucial to implementing theoretical concepts in real-life settings.

The employment-ready skills of graduates are also a key reason that UK qualifications are so highly valued among businesses. Coventry University Wrocław designs courses with industry collaboration in mind. Courses address the needs of the local market and the teaching programmes are constantly modified to stay up to date with current trends, methods and software. As a result, employability – so crucial to students – is the main focus with degrees designed to maximise students’ potential career progression. Students also benefit from placement opportunities which often result in permanent employment after obtaining a degree. As an innovative, enterprising, entrepreneurial and business-engaged university, Coventry University Wrocław continues to develop strategic collaboration with businesses on a local, national and global scale.

Despite its evident benefits to students, modular learning has not yet been popularised in Poland. Rather than dedicating time to learning the wide variety of subjects that are traditionally taught at Polish state universities, at Coventry University Wrocław students focus exclusively on one subject area at a time. This means they can give each topic their full attention, with confidence in its relevance to their future career. Students also benefit from a regular timetable of classes, allowing for greater flexibility to fit their studies around other commitments such as a job or family.  This is also the reason why the university is introducing multiple intakes; rather than invite students to join in September only, the institution offers multiple opportunities to begin studying throughout the academic year.

Coventry University Wrocław treats students as partners. This leads to a friendly atmosphere between students and academics, fostering good communication and active participation. Evaluation is conducted in assignments throughout the year, rather than using end-of-year exams. Although cramming for ‘sesja’ at the end of each semester is traditionally considered part of student life, other things are valued more – like the application of real skills in projects that might later be useful for a prospective employer.

Find out more about all Coventry University Wroclaw has to offer at https://www.coventry.ac.uk/wroclaw/.

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