The Social Committee of the Council of Ministers on the Student Plus programme and facilitating reconciliation of studies and parenthood

During the meeting of the Social Committee of the Council of Ministers, we spoke about student needs. We became familiar with the experience of members of local governments, who introduce an innovative program encouraging graduates to stay in the city where they studied. This is a particularly interesting initiative in the context of a threat of depopulation in some regions of Poland. In turn, student organisations showed us the areas where changes are needed to make it easier for young parents to study. These are very valuable insights as they come from the environment, which knows these problems best – said Deputy Prime Minister Beata Szydło, Chair of the Committee.

Photo: W. Kompała / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

Student Plus Programme

Vice-Mayor of Leszno, Dr Piotr Jóźwiak, presented the objectives of the programme which will start functioning in this city as from October. The assumption was simple. The local government finances scholarships – even PLN 1,000 per month – for students who will live and work in Leszno after graduating from their studies, said Jóźwiak. The scholarship will be granted during the academic year. The decision on granting the scholarship will be made by a committee composed of the city councillors and economic operators who know best what professionals are missing in the labour market. The programme does not include any preferred fields of study, it allows both intramural and extramural studies.

This initiative shows the great strength and cleverness lying in local governments. Now, the role of the Social Committee is to work on regulatory changes in the amendment to the Act on higher education and science, which will enable the smooth implementation of the programme. In fact, it can contribute significantly to addressing one of the major demographic problems of Poland, i.e. the outflow of young people from smaller towns and thus depopulation in some regions, explained Deputy Prime Minister Beata Szydło, Chair of the Social Committee.

Facilitating studies and parenthood

The Independent Students’ Association, Parliament of Students of the Republic of Poland and the Students for the Republic of Poland Association presented proposals for regulations facilitating reconciliation of studies and parenthood. The main demands of the academic environment include, inter alia, creation of the “Individual Course of Study for Parents”, introduction of the Parent Card, development of infrastructure dedicated to parents in universities, as well as a possibility of receiving credits online. I am very happy about the involvement of student organisations in dialogue on supporting parenthood in universities. Their opinion is all the more valuable because it results from the experience of mothers-students and young parents in universities. Also in this regard, the Social Committee of the Council of Ministers will develop regulatory changes to implement the proposed facilities as quickly as possible, declared Deputy Prime Minister Beata Szydło.

Situation of guardians of people with disabilities

In connection with the protest of the guardians of people with disabilities, ongoing at the Sejm, the plenipotentiary of the Government for people with disabilities, Krzysztof Michałkiewicz, presented the members of the Council of Ministers with the current status of negotiations. The representatives of the ministries of health and national declared their full support in developing proposals for solutions to improve the situation of the people with disabilities.

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