The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) for higher education is a description of qualifications attainable in the education system of a given country provided in the language of learning outcomes with reference to knowledge, skills and competences, which renders it transparent and comprehensible within the context of European countries.
The Polish Qualifications Framework (PQF) integrates systems of qualifications of all levels of education (including: in the system of education: primary and secondary schools), three of which refer to the higher education:
Level 6 – first-cycle degree programmes leading to the award of licencjat, inżynier or an equivalent degree.
Level 7 – second-cycle degree programmes and long-cycle degree programmes leading to the award of magister, magister inżynier or an equivalent degree.
Level 8 – third-cycle degree programmes leading to the award of the degree of doktor.
Referencing of the qualifications in higher education described in the Polish Qualifications Framework to the European Qualifications Framework shall enable comparison of learning outcomes attained and recognition of qualifications achieved in various European countries. Therefore, the PQF and its referencing to the EQF shall constitute an implementation tool of the European Higher Education Area and, at the same time, allow for retaining national autonomy of systems of education with regard to:
- The system allows for comparison and accumulation of academic attainment (ECTS – European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System), which facilities student mobility that is the completion of a part or an entire degree programme and creates a possibility of further education at a foreign university of choice,
- Owing to uniform principles of curriculum design, academic staff exchange between universities in Europe is facilitated,
- Owing to the possibility of comparison of diplomas/qualifications of graduates, student and staff employability in EU member states will be enhanced.
As a results of the reform of higher education in Poland, higher education institutions have gained autonomy in curriculum design. Except for a small number of cases, centrally imposed degree programmes and standards of education have been replaced with original degree programmes designed with reference to the National Qualifications Framework. This approach makes it possible for the Universities to take advantage of the latest achievements in education, adjust their degree programmes to the needs of the employment market, of knowledge-based economy, and to the demands, abilities and interests of students. These activities force Universities to introduce efficient and effective system of the assurance of the quality of education that will assure desirable quality of degree programmes, of learning outcomes validation, of teaching and learning.
Modernization of the National Qualifications System requires integration of two new instruments:
- Polish Qualifications Framework (referring to the European Qualifications Framework) and
- Polish Qualifications Framework Register
Qualifications assigned to a given PQF level shall be recorded in the Polish Qualifications Framework Register and their quality certified (owing to the applicable procedure) and supervised by duly authorized entities. In the long run, the system is expected to include qualifications attained in the process of lifelong learning - qualifications other than formal (awarded within the systems of education and higher education) that is non-formal (awarded outside the systems of education and higher education by government agencies and professional/trade boards) and informal qualifications (e.g. attained through self-education, professional experience etc.).
You can find more information about the National Qualifications Framework at: