Our Polish neighbour is one of the most interesting partner for Germany’s Studentenwerke: a similar social infrastructure at Polish higher education institutions and more than 10,000 Polish students in Germany form the basis for long-standing good relations between the two countries.
Particularly with regard to accommodation, student advisory services as well as student restaurants and cafeterias, the student affairs departments at Polish higher education institutions share common interests with the Studentenwerke. Even demographic and university-related developments are moving in the same direction in both countries.
The aim of regular encounters is to develop a better understanding of student services in both countries, to work closely together, to overcome prejudice and to strengthen a joint sense of social responsibility among young people.
Deutsches Studentenwerk supports Polish-German exchange on several levels:
- Every two years, the Polish-German colloquium takes place allowing student services staff to exchange experiences, develop common strategies and learn from each other as regards social welfare support for students: what service offer, counselling and advisory services, and support will students need in the future? What are the demographic, economic and social challenges that Germany’s Studentenwerke and Poland’s higher education institutions are facing today? What can German Studentenwerke and Polish higher education institutions learn from each other in this area?
- The content of the colloquium is drawn up by a Polish-German working group that is open for the Studentenwerke’s Managing Directors and the vice-chancellors for student affairs in Poland. The working group discusses current developments and best practice examples, and initiates bilateral partnerships.
- Working with partners at Polish higher education institutions, Germany’s Studentenwerke have been organising Polish-German exchange programmes, e.g. cultural projects, for students and staff for a long time now. These projects are often funded by the German-Polish Youth Office (DPJW).
- Increased staff exchange: the offers for students in areas such as accommodation, student restaurants and cafeterias, advisory services and internationalisation are similar in both countries. Meetings with colleagues from Poland can open up new perspectives on one’s own work, spark international activities or establish new friendships.