In 2016 the 25th anniversary of functioning of private universities in Poland after transformation is celebrated, as the first non-state school was established at the beginning of the political, social and economic transformation in 1991. Of course, many private universities existed in Poland before I and World War II. During this period, private universities have played a very important role in the development of education in Poland at a higher level.
At the peak of the development of higher education every third student educated in a non-public university. These schools were created very often outside the traditional academic centers as a study place closer to students place of living. This was an important factor to take higher education, also by people from smaller towns, as well as from rural areas. The development of individual schools was dependent on many factors including such as the system of university management, its location, the support of local governments, local and regional competition. However, all private universities were forced to compete with strong state universities. State universities increased the number of places nearly five times in transition what caused private universities a lot of difficulties taking demographic decline and travelling of young people abroad also into consideration. Despite this, one of the schools met the criteria to become a university and several colleges received the right to confer academic degrees and earned the name of academic institutions.
25th anniversary of the operation of non-state universities will become a contribution to the reflection on the future and the creation of conditions for the functioning and development of private universities, which in later years may again become an important pillar of higher education in our country.
It is anticipated that the celebration of the 25th anniversary will take place during Central Inauguration of the Academic Year 2016/2017, which will be held in early October in the Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University.