THE DEVELOPMENT AND REGIONAL DIVERSIFICATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN POLAND
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The paper examines the 'educational potential' of Poland's university-level schools. The authors analyze the main trends in the education system's development and identify regional differences in this area. The starting point for the analysis are the theories of human capital and endogenous growth. They highlight the importance of human capital investments in the education system and their role in the country's economic growth. The authors build taxonomic indicators to describe the condition and prospects of college education in individual regions. Analyses made as part of the research project show that Poland's higher education system underwent some significant changes during the country's transition from central planning to a market economy. There are also major differences between public and private universities in their educational strategies. Public colleges often use different standards of education, while private schools rarely develop cost-intensive programs. Poland's higher education system is strongly diversified regionally. Taxonomic analyses confirm that there are major differences in educational opportunities in individual regions. Mazovia and Western Pomerania provinces led the way in this area in 1999-2005, while regions such as Opole, Warmia-Mazuria, Lubuskie, Podkarpacie, and Kujawy-Pomerania lagged behind.
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