Prague, Nov 21 (CTK) – People interested in university studies in a foreign language may be able to study for free under an amendment to the higher education law the Czech Education Ministry is drafting, Milan Pospisil, the chairman of the Council of Universities (RVS), told journalists today.
At present, the law stipulates that students have to pay for studies in a foreign language, while in the future, the schools themselves are to decide on this. The universities would welcome the amendment, Pospisil said.
The change is mainly to relate to the foreign students who express interest in studying in the Czech Republic, Pospisil said.
“This is very important when it comes to gaining quality postgraduate students for the studies in the Czech Republic, which we consider a large contribution,” he added.
Pospisil said at present, mainly medical faculties used the payment for studies in a foreign language, especially on the level of the bachelor’s and master’s studies.
“For them, this is quite a good source of income, which is good,” Pospisil said.
However, other faculties often face difficulties with the compulsory fees for studies in a foreign language, he added.
“In technical and science studies, there are lots of students who would come to study to the Czech Republic if this were not paid,” Pospisil said.
Foreigners can already study without fees in foreign-language programmes such as in Germany and other Western European countries, he added.
The ministry has finished the draft of the amendment and now experts from inside and outside it will send their comments on it, Pospisil said.
However, most of foreign university students are Slovaks. 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 steeply. Most of them do not cover their studies either as they attend study programmes in Czech at public universities.
In the past decade, the number of foreigners at Czech higher education institutions surged from 8 percent to roughly 15.5 percent of all students, having reached about 44,800 last year.
Most of the foreigners studied in Czech, while 8,000 of them paid their studies in a foreign language. In all, there were 290,099 students in the latest academic year in the Czech Republic.