Plzen, West Bohemia, June 2 (CTK) – University rectors are outraged by the draft education budget for next year and the Czech Rectors’ Conference (CKR) called on the academic community on Thursday to publicly disagree with this, Tomas Zima, CKR chairman and Charles University rector, has told CTK.

The rectors say the draft budget submitted by the Finance Ministry, the debate on which the government interrupted on Monday, cuts the universities’ budget for 2017 and the same envisaged for 2018 and 2019.

Zima said the draft state budget for 2017 “provides for a huge increase of seven billion crowns for renewable sources, four billion for defence, 1.7 billion for sport, but no increase for regional, elementary, secondary and tertiary education.”

He said this is completely at variance with the current discussion on education society and able people.

Zima said universities have this year 260 million crowns less than they had in 2015.

“The proportion to GDP is 0.44 percent and it continues to fall. He said rectors propose a 10 percent growth in the salaries in the sphere of education in view of the raising of pay in other professions, which would require an estimated 1.4 billion crowns.

On the other hand, the rectors welcomed the fact that the spending on science and research is to be raised by 3.7 billion crowns next year.

“This will make it possible to develop science at universities,” Zima said.