So i'm a bit confused and would like some explanation. Im not starting this thread to criticise the education system in Polska just for the sake of criticising but im actually looking for answers that would help in deciding our kids' education.
There is no simple answer to your question as various factors decide about the so called "usability" of academic degrees. I don't have any direct personal experience in the UK job market or academia, but a few of my friennds were successful in both - a "magister" who got a cushy job with the Home Office, or another one who was accepted to a PhD prgram at Oxford. Generally academic circles (as opposed to the industry) are more open minded and do not assume anything negative before they ask and confirm their possible doubts.
I have some solid personal experience in the US (Ivy League) and Canada. Here are a few ad hoc cases I am closely familiar with:
- A Polish "magister" accepted to a PhD program in American Lit at Vanderbilt.
- A Polish "magister" accepted to a PhD program in English Lit At Fordham.
- A couple of Polish "magisters" offered positions of Associate Profs at various Canadian Universities, including Waterloo math department (one of the best in North America.
- A Polish "magister" offered a job with Agriculture Canada (ministry of agriculture) in a senior capacity.
- Three Polish doctors practicing locally where I live (Canada)
- A Polish "magister" trying to get into a college (below university level) was required to complete grade 12 of Canadian High School.
- Natives Poles with medical degrees had to go through many years of study, test and trial before finally getting their papers in the US, although when I still lived in Poland I met two Americans who studied medicine there. Both are practicing in California with great success and without even a fraction of the hassle experienced by Poles with the same qualifications.
Bottom line - your mileage may vary and will depend on those who decide whether your children get hired or not, on your children's qualification (mediocrity works only in countries where it has been attained), and as with anything, a lot will depend of sheer luck.
As for the extramural studies and 50 hours of study... what??? 50 hours is nothing. Perhaps in a secondary school.
But then, there are two different levels of study. One is for those who indeed get to the bottom of things, so to speak, and are really consumed by the subjects of their interest. And there are studies for those who have already achieved a degree pf professional success and now they merely formalize most of what they already know in practice and work towards getting credentials. I met a a guy just like that here in Canada. 20 years of experience in the field (electronics) so his studies was pretty much a walk in the park. He completed a 4 year curriculum in 18 months.
There are also no rules about the duration of graduate degree studies. A lot depends on the subject of the thesis. If one studies (as an example) social trends of some sort then good luck seeing them trends in any meaningful way in one year. If someone has a mountain of material to go through for the purpose of a thesis then even 200 hours a week won't help. It is possible to get Master's in a year and without research of any kind, but that often is rather learning than studying. Kinda, sorta a high school with thicker text books to be read by the sudents.
Extramural studies are pretty much the name of the game in most developed countries these days, as life and realities changed in the last few decades. Those already employed supplement their education with various course in community colleges and guess what! In terms of career goals this often counts more than a PhD who graduated 20 years ago and didn't take any course since. Education is not a one time deal anymore. The world is moving on and very fast.
I don't know much detail about your children so it's hard to tell how much time they have before decisions are made. If they are in their infant years then such detailed plans may be a little premature. In, say, 15 or 20 years things may change quite drastically and the question might (just might) be whether Poland recognizes Isalmic education dominant in UK universities ;-)