Recognition of foreign education in Czechia
Recognition of foreign education in any country has always been a lengthy process. Fortunately, by 2025, automatic mutual recognition of higher education will take effect in the European Education Area which will make the whole procedure much faster and improve learning mobility. However, until then, it’s still necessary to pass through a regular recognition procedure. How does it work in Czechia?
There are differences between transitioning from secondary school or if you’re already a university graduate. In both cases, you need to 1) submit an application to the university of your choice and 2) get your previous education officially recognised.
Transitioning from secondary school
Applying to a Czech university right from your secondary school is rather straightforward. You need to submit 1) the original or a certified copy of your graduation certificate and 2) a document describing the content of the education you completed. Please note that these documents must be professionally translated into either English or Czech.
Transitioning from university
If you’re already a university graduate and you wish to do your Master’s or PhD in Czechia, you need to submit 1) the original or a certified copy of your diploma and 2) a certified copy of your Diploma Supplement (or an equivalent list of completed courses). Again, everything needs to be translated into either English or Czech.
It’s not possible to change your major if you want to continue your studies. The university of your choice has to offer the same or very similar study programme. For example, you can’t study a Master’s programme English philology if your Bachelor’s degree is in Nursing. Sure, you can still apply for English philology if that’s what your heart desires, but you would have to start from the bachelor level again.
Why do they need to check your Diploma Supplement? The Diploma Supplement is a document you should automatically obtain with your diploma for free. It lists all your completed courses and its purpose is to improve the international transparency of recognised qualifications. It gives an overview of one’s learning outcomes, level, context and content of the subjects you studied.
Admin fees and processing time
This is probably the most important part. Before the automatic mutual recognition of higher education takes effect in 2025, the current process of recognising foreign education in Czechia can take up to two months so plan your time accordingly. The payment for this administrative proceeding is 3000 CZK.
How does the credit system work?
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a method how to make studies and courses transparent and easier when transferring. It allows courses taken in one country to be recognised in another and counted towards a qualification. The goal is to make national education systems more comparable internationally. This system has been adopted by most countries in the European Education Area.
Each course you take at university has a certain number of credits attached to it based on its importance and difficulty and you collect these credits when completing courses. 60 credits are a standard workload of a full-time student for one academic year. After three years, you should obtain 180 credits in total so that you can submit your thesis and be allowed to take the final exam.
Our advice? Don’t be afraid of paperwork!
We know that the whole process might seem daunting and pricy, especially if your documents aren’t in English by default and you need to hire a translator on top. It’s even more difficult for students outside the European Union, but don’t be put off. In the end, it’s just a matter of a few steps you have to follow and investing in your education will always pay off in the long run.
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