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Number of foreign students rising at Czech universities

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Prague, Feb 21 (CTK) – The number of foreigners studying at Czech universities and colleges has been rising and most of them do not pay for their studies, but the total number of university students has decreased since 2010, according to the Education Ministry’ statistics released on its website.

Last year, 334 more foreigners studied in the Czech Republic than the year before, totalling 43,831. About one-third of them paid for their studies in a foreign language or at a private school.

The others studied at public universities and colleges in the Czech language in the regular length of studies, and this is why free of charge.

As of the end of last year, foreigners made up some 15 percent of the total of 299,054 university students.

The state supports foreigners’ studies in the Czech Republic since it is advantageous in many respects, according to the Education Ministry.

If they stay in the Czech Republic after graduation, the country gets qualified labour force, while if they return home, they might strengthen international contacts and business relations, the ministry’ press section wrote to CTK.

The state earns some 150,000 crowns per foreign student on average, the ministry said.

Even the foreigners who study in the Czech Republic for free benefit the country’ economy since they pay for their accommodation, food and other living costs there.

Czech schools show the highest interest in students of the paid foreign-language programmes. The fees from them go directly to public universities.

The 2016 annual report on their financial management shows that universities thereby gained 1.16 billion crowns. Besides, the get a further bonus for the income from self-paying students and a contribution for international cooperation support, amounting to 250 million crowns.

The number of foreigners paying for their studies has tripled in the past ten years. Last year, it was 6,973, which was some 16 percent of all foreign students.

As a consequence of the demographic development, the total number of university students has decreased since 2010 when it was the highest or 96,925, wile the number of foreign students rose by 6,332 in the Czech Republic during the same period.

At the end of last year, 87 percent of foreigners or 38,142 attended public universities, while the rest, 5,765, paid their studies at private higher education facilities.

Slovaks made up roughly a half of all foreigners at Czech universities last year.

On the basis of a bilateral agreement, Slovaks are allowed to study in their mother tongue in the Czech Republic and vice versa. The Slovak and Czech languages are quite similar and people can understand the neighbouring country’s language without major problems.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia formed one state, Czechoslovakia, until 1993.

In the past few years, the number of students from the post-Soviet republics has increased most steeply. Most of them do not cover their studies either as they attend study programmes in Czech at public universities.

Students from these countries make up about one-quarter of all foreigners studying in the Czech Republic at present.

Last year, there were about four times more Russians and Ukrainians at Czech universities than ten years ago. Besides, the number of Kazakhs has risen five times.

Out of the 10,491 Russian, Ukrainian and Kazakh students at Czech universities in 2017, 605 were self-payers, and 2,661 studied at private schools.

On the contrary, 96 percent of British students paid for their studies, along with more than three-quarters of Germans, almost two-thirds of the Chinese and over a half of U.S. students in the Czech Republic.

About one-quarter of foreigners study economic programmes in the Czech Republic, slightly fewer of them have chosen technical and health-care fields. However, quite many of them study humanities and science as well.

Students from Slavic countries, but not only from them, often arrive in the Czech Republic a few months ahead of the entrance examinations and they pay for a Czech language course to be able to study without fees.

Foreigners from non-EU countries can get a job easier after graduating from a Czech university and they do not need a work permit then.

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