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The strategy of attracting international students

One of the most prospective clients for Polish universities are international students, especially in the situation of huge competition on the national educational market and the increasingly visible demographic decline in the country.

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In Poland, the vast majority of international students study in the largest and best academic centres: in Warsaw, Kraków, Lublin, Wrocław and Poznań. However, it is precisely in Lublin that a spectacular increase in the number of international students and the rates of internationalisation can be observed, which are slowly beginning to reach a relatively high level of some Western European countries.

The principal reason why selected Polish universities and several cities have stimulated their efforts to attract international students is the growing demographic decline, which will peak in 2018-2024. This process was accompanied by a variety of support provided by local authorities to local universities. As a result, the number of international students in Poland is gradually growing.

The strategy of attracting international students - as an essential element of Lublin's development strategy

The Lublin Development Strategy for 2013-2020, a key document defining the directions of the city's development, clearly indicates academicism as one of the four primary development objectives of Lublin (apart from openness, friendliness and entrepreneurship). Such clear prioritisation of the university sphere is not only unprecedented in strategic documents of other academic cities in Poland, but also a European phenomenon. This is also because the academic sector in Lublin generates 18% of local GDP, every fifth resident of Lublin is a student, and the presence of the academic sector has an impact on virtually every sphere of its activity.

The provisions of the Lublin 2020 Strategy, in its academic part, and in particular the section 'Internationalisation of universities', enable the city to undertake many operational and ongoing activities aimed at increasing the number of international students, in close cooperation with the Lublin academic and business ecosystem. The key city programme aimed at attracting and receiving foreign students is 'Study in Lublin'. Additionally, many activities for the benefit of international students are carried out in Lublin by the universities themselves, dozens of non-governmental organisations, business, government administration and state security services. It is crucial for the city authorities to support these processes, which support the internationalisation of teaching, as it will translate into an increase in the internationalisation of scientific research at Lublin's universities and thus in their total academic potential.

As a result of joint, strategic and operational activities undertaken since 2011 by the Lublin municipal administration in close cooperation with universities and other stakeholders, the number of international students in the city is growing very dynamically. In the academic year 2010/2011 there were over 1400 students, which at that time constituted only 1.7% of the total number of students in the city. This number increased significantly in the academic year 2017/2018 to 6,312, which accounted for almost 10% of the total number of students.

We would like to invite you to the conference 'Integrating international students: perspectives from cities, civil society and academia 2.0' which concerns the integration of international students. Check the information about the conference here or on the website

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