Higher Education System in the Czech Republic
Czech education and research have a long history dating back to the 14th century. In 1348, Charles University in Prague was founded and became the oldest university in Central Europe. Today, Charles University is ranked 291st in QS World University Rankings and is followed by other seven Czech universities which have placed in the Top 1000.
The central governing body for education in the Czech Republic is the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The Czech system of higher education currently includes over 60 universities which offer wide range of study fields and majors within Bachelor, Master and Doctoral study programs as well as non-degree courses, and 1 non-university public institution of higher education which offers only Bachelor study programs and non-degree courses.
Bachelor’s degree programs usually last 3 to 4 years and constitute the first level of higher education. The fundamental requirement for enrollment into a Bachelor’s degree program is a successful completion of secondary education. The study program must be completed with a final state examination, usually including a defense of a thesis. Graduates are awarded with the Bachelor’s diploma and degree.
Master’s degree programs either follow on from the Bachelor’s programs as follow-up Master’s programs and last 1 to 3 years, or are full study programs with a duration between 4 to 6 years. Students in Master’s programs have to take a final state examination and publicly present and defend their thesis at the end of their studies.
Doctoral study programs are intended for graduates from Master’s programs. Students generally take 3 years to finish their PhD degrees in the Czech Republic. Doctoral studies are completed by a state doctoral examination and a defense of a dissertation work which must have been published or admitted for publishing.
There are also several other public and private academic institutions that offer Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, non-degree courses and lifelong study programs in the Czech Republic.
Most study programs offered at Czech public higher education institutions are taught in Czech and English language.
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By law, higher education at public and state institutions is free of charge for citizens of all nationalities. However, some fees might be requested (e.g. fees for administration of admission proceedings). Private institutions of higher education can fix their own fees. Study programs in foreign languages are usually subject to a tuition fee. These fees depend on the respective institution and study program and can go from 0 to USD 23,000 per year.