Polish Universities Embroiled in Visa Scandal

Polish Universities Embroiled in Visa Scandal

A scandal is brewing in Poland’s higher education system, with several universities under fire for their role in a visa scam. Thousands of international students, mostly from countries like Rwanda, Turkey, and Zimbabwe, are enrolling in Polish universities not to pursue an education, but to secure a visa. Many of these students disappear after their first year, choosing to remain in the Schengen Area illegally.

While students bear some responsibility, the real culprits are the universities themselves. Desperate for the lucrative fees that foreign students bring, some institutions are neglecting to properly verify the qualifications of their international applicants. This lax approach allows unqualified students to be accepted and issued visas, which they use to work and live in Poland.

The problem is that many of these students don’t return home when their visas expire. Instead, they stay in Poland or other Schengen countries illegally. Three private universities are currently under investigation, and experts are calling for urgent reforms to address this issue. The Polish Accreditation Committee needs to step up its controls on universities admitting foreign students.

The numbers are staggering. A year of studies in English at a Polish university costs around €3,100, and some universities have alarmingly high numbers of foreign students. For example, 61% of students at the University of Management and Administration in Opole are foreign nationals, suggesting that universities are prioritizing profits over quality.

The Polish government has formed a working group to tackle the irregularities in the visa system, and an investigation is underway into IT companies that were supposed to bring foreign workers on work visas, but were found to have discrepancies between the number of visas granted and the number of foreign workers who actually arrived in the country.