The POL-on system

What is the POL‑on system?

  • This system gathers data on science and higher education, some of which are made publicly available.
  • POL‑on enables the Polish Ministry of Education and Science to conduct fact-based policies. Other recipients: Statistics Poland (GUS), Scientific Excellence Council, National Centre for Research and Development, National Science Centre, Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange, Polish Academy of Sciences, ministries supervising universities, minister competent for family affairs, voits and mayors.
  • It facilitates effective spending of funds on science and education.
  • The operation of the system and the range of data to be gathered, as well as the role within the country’s IT systems are set out in relevant laws and regulations.
  • It enables universities to submit reports remotely.

What kind of information is stored in POL‑on?

Data on all Polish science and research entities which according to Polish law, must be publicly available, i.e.:

  • registers of universities and scientific institutes,
  • information on fields of study,
  • information about doctoral schools,
  • data on scientific research,
  • database of scientific publications,
  • aggregated numerical data on students, Phd students, researchers and many others
Over 500 universities and scientific institutions providing data (files, Rest API, GUI). Data exchange with Polon: databases (PBN publications, ORPPD graduate theses, POL-index citations) and service systems (SEDN, ELA, Radon, JSA, Electronic Voting System). Public institutions using data: ministry of education and science, culture and national hertiage, health, national defence. Other institutions: Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange, National Science Centre, National Centre for Research and Development, Poland Statistics, Committee for Scientific Evaluation, Council for Scientific Excellence, Polish Accreditation Committee, Łukasiewicz Research Network, Universities, Scientific institutions.

The most important thematic areas of POL‑on:

  • Essential data on universities, scientific institutions and federations of these institutions. This register reflects the structure of higher education and the science/research sector in Poland. The data in this register are collected for information purposes and are made publicly available.
  • List of fields, levels and profiles of study. It contains information about all degree programmes in specific fields, levels and profiles of study offered by Polish universities.
  • National student register. It contains essential data on newly admitted and existing students, both in full-time and extramural programmes. The register includes personal data, ECTS points and financial aid used. The register is prepared to monitor the allocation of financial aid and tuition payments.
  • Register of research staff and academic teachers.. This register enables the verification of the employment status of academic teachers and researchers in universities and research institutions and enables access to declarations made by academic teachers and researchers in connection with the scientific activity.
  • Register of PhD applicants. It contains the most important information about PhD students studying at doctoral schools and extramural students.
  • Register of doctoral schools. It contains key information on doctoral schools run by universities or scientific institutions, including the curricula of these schools.
  • Financial data of universities and scientific institutions. It contains information on expenditure on research in universities and scientific institutions, information on the sources of funds and financial results, information on revenues from research services and commercialization.
  • Register of patents and protection rights. It contains information on patents (data of the inventor, patent owner, scope of protection and others), protection rights for a utility model and exclusive rights to a plant variety.
  • Register of artistic achievements: contains data on the artistic achievements of universities and scientific institutions, including the type of achievement, its characteristics and its creator.
  • Register of research projects. It contains data on research projects carried out by universities and scientific institutions, including information on the scope of the project, its financing and management.
  • Register of investments. It contains data on investments carried out by universities and scientific institutions, including information on the scope of investments and related investment outlays.
  • Register of promotion procedures. It contains information on procedures for awarding a scientific degree or title, including data of the person applying for the degree or title and the status of the procedure, data of the doctoral dissertation and its summary, data of reviewers, as well as the reviews themselves.
  • Database of planning and reporting documents. It enables access to reports submitted by universities and scientific institutions, including financial reports, reports on the use of subsidies, information on employment of the disabled people and other.
  • Repository of written diploma theses. It contains the theses submitted by university graduates.
  • Reports for Statistics Poland. This register enables access to the reports for Statistics Poland submitted by universities and scientific institutions.

POL‑on timeline

  • 2011-2014

    The POL‑on system was built and is maintained by the National Information Processing Institute (OPI PIB). The system was developed in 2010-2014 as part of the project entitled “Creation of an information system on higher education”, co-financed by the European Union under the Human Capital Operational Programme, led by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. In 2011-2013, some of the modules were developed also with the participation of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computer Modelling at the University of Warsaw and Index Copernicus.
  • 2014 -2018

    The POL‑on implementation project, co-financed by the EU, was completed in 2014, with Marek Michajłowicz taking over as the Project Manager. The system was fully handed over to the National Information Processing Institute for use and maintenance. In the same year, the system was re structured following amendments to the Act on Higher Education. In 2015-2016, the system was adapted to the needs of public statistics (integration with the Central Statistical Office of Poland) within the project entitled “Integration of the Information System on Higher Education (POL‑on) with the Central Statistical Office”, financed from the Human Capital Operational Programme. Since 2017, POL‑on has been the only official source of data on university reporting to the Central Statistical Office of Poland, and an official source of data for the algorithm which distributes grants for higher education. In the same year, the system was used as the essential source of data in the evaluation of scientific/academic entities. In 2018, POL‑on was awarded the EUNIS Elite Award for Excellence in the category of information systems in higher education in Europe.
  • 2019 and onwards

    Starting from 2019, a complete reconstruction of the system was carried out in connection with the coming into effect the new Higher Education and Science Act. The access to information contained in the system was significantly expanded as part of the ZSUN project (Integrated Services for Science), Phase II ( The POL‑on system has been adapted to collect information for the purpose of evaluating the quality of scientific activity of universities and scientific institutions for the period 2017-2021. Due to the promotion of Marek Michajłowicz to the deputy director for software development at OPI PIB, Marta Niemczyk took over the management of the POL‑on project in 2022.