Czech Republic: Education in the Czech Republic

Last Updated: 13 November 1997
The educational system in the Czech Republic historically has always been highly developed. The first university in Central Europe, Charles University, was founded in Prague by the Czech king Charles IV. in 1348 .

  • The high level of general education and long tradition in engineering and manufacturing underpins the high quality of the labour force and its amenability to training.
  • For generations the Czech education system has produced very high class, technical problem-solving skills in environments which have not always enjoyed easy access to standard solutions.
  • Prior to the Second World War, Czechoslovakia was one of the key manufacturing centres in Europe and that proud tradition is still apparent today. Engineering and science is highly regarded in the country. In 1993, the OECD was able to report that of total university graduate output, the former Czechoslovakia produced the highest percentage of science and technical graduates in the world with 50% graduating in those fields. The emphasis on science and technical education continues in the Czech Republic.
  • Around 10% of the Czech population is now highly computer literate largely on account of the educational system graduating some 5,000 computer-literate people every year.
  • The Czech Republic has traditionally been internationally strong in electrical engineering, electronics and computing disciplines and the government is committed to sustaining these skills by protected public funding in these areas.
  • The Czech education system, due to its similarity with Germany's long standing Western European education benchmark, readily facilitates vocational education and training.

TECHNICAL EDUCATION - KEY FACTS AND FIGURES

There are three general levels of technological education and training:

  • Basic workplace training and education, through apprentice schools where young people study for up to four years, passing out with a certificate.
  • Vocational education and training through industrial colleges which take students up to "master" level, including experience in relatively advanced work with computers and engineering design environments.
  • Advanced education in technical universities, which award bachelor, masters and doctorate degrees.

The Republic currently has over 30,000 technological university students in total. Bachelors degrees are awarded after three years of study, but most students stay for a further two years to take the masters degree.

Prague CVUT, Europe's second oldest technical university, is the largest with around 15,000 students.

Besides CVUT Prague, there are 3 more technical universities located in Plzen, Ostrava and Brno.

With 6,000 students, 500 academic and 120 technical support staff and a Computing Department that stands up well to international comparison in terms of hardware, Electrical Engineering is the largest of CVUT's five faculties. Main area of studies include computer and information studies, telecommunications and power electrical engineering and all students now must study two foreign languages as part of their bachelors course.

Research and publication have consistently been very strong in the Electrical Engineering Faculty, particularly in informatics, radioelectronics, cybernetics, telecommunications techniques, electronic design (including VLSI), operating systems and compilers. The Faculty has well-established links with many other universities throughout Western Europe and the USA. Recently the Faculty was awarded IEEE/ACM approval by a visiting US academic team and favourably benchmarked with MIT, Boston.

High standards of education are not confined only to universities. The number of people who successfully complete secondary level of education is also extremely high. The combination of high skill levels and low labour costs provide a powerful incentive to consider the Czech Republic as an investment location.

Graduate output is normally a good barometer reflecting the intellectual capital that will enter the job market. Due to the growth in demand for personnel in business, marketing, financial and personnel management fields from new enterprises, enrolment in technical programs has decreased since 1989. However, the Czech Republic's technical and scientific graduate output remains very high, comparatively higher than Germany and Japan as a percentage of total graduate output. (OECD "Education at a Glance" 1995)

GRADUATE OUTPUT

Another plus point is that the student population within institutes of higher learning increased by around 2000 between the academic year 1993/94 and 1994/95.

KEY DATA

Line of Study      1993          /1994          1994        1995
                   Students      Graduates      Students  Graduates 
                   total         in previous    total     in previous
                                 academic year            academic yr

Overall total      127,137       18,193         129,453     18,509
Technology          38,799        6,279         38,281       5,709
Natural Sciences     7,430          707          6,974         969
Agricultural, 
forestry & vet.      8,100        1,824          8,099       1,447
Medicine and
  pharmacy           11,510       1,643          11,054      1,769
Social Sciences      58,106       7,400          62,061      8,168
Sciences of Arts      3,192         340          2,984         447

Further information - refer to 'Statistical Yearbook of the Czech Republic 95'
There are a number of foreign schools for foreign dependants in the Prague area.

ENGLISH

The largest and oldest school for English-speaking children is the International School of Prague, where students between the ages of 4-18 follow an American curriculum. There is also an English as a second language program for children not already fluent. Mylnerovka 2, Prague 6 (tel, fax: 2431 0223).

The British International School of Prague, opened in 1992 as a pre-school, rapidly grew to a full British nursery and primary school serving the needs of all children from the international community between the ages of 3 and 13 and following the National Curriculum for England and Wales. The language of instruction is English, but extensive E.S.L. support is available for non-native speakers. Belgicka 25, 120 00 Praha 2 (tel: 25 68 50, fax: 2424 7025).

The Prague Pre-School of English, also established in 1992, offers English language tutoring in a kindergarten environment for children ages 3-7; native English-speaking children are also welcome. Villa Alice, 192 Tiche udoli, Roztoky u Prahy (tel: 39 61 72).

The English College in Prague was opened for children ages 13-18 in September 1994. It provides a broad and balanced education in English for 300 boys and girls of whom over three-quarters are Czech nationals, the remainder being English-speaking expatriates. Students at the English College can sit for the International Baccalaureate, which is widely accepted at universities throughout Europe. Admission is on an academic basis, but scholarships are available. Facilities include a theatre/cinema, sports hall, and tennis court. Contact: Mr Hubert Ward MA, The English College in Prague, Sokolovska 320, Praha 9-Vysocany (tel: 82 69 67, 82 69 73, fax:82 75 81)

GERMAN

Similar to the International School, this school provides instruction for German-speaking children ages 3.5-16. Contact: Hans Dieter Oths, Na jeneralce 173, Prague 6 (tel: 30 11 03).

FRENCH

Dating back to 1949, Ecole Francaise de Prague is recognised by the French Ministry of Education and offers regular kindergarten (for children from the age of 4) and primary education. Secondary education is provided by distance learning with regular tutoring and finished with a Baccalaureate (taken in Vienna). The whole educational programme follows the French curriculum. Contact: Stepanska 35, 111 21 Prague 1(tel + fax: 32 28 72).


JAPANESE

In 1980 a Japanese school was opened, providing instruction in Japanese from elementary to junior high school level. Contact: Krcska 47 Prague 4, tel. 429 3752. As of Feb. 15, 1996 the school will be located at Slunna 8, Prague 6.

For further information contact CzechInvest at Politickych veznu 20, 112 49 Prague 1, Czech Republic Phone (420-2) 2422-1540 Fax: (420-2) 2422-1804

NOTE: Although we have made every effort to ensure the reliability of our sources, CzechInvest does not assume responsibility for its accuracy.

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