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Czech-Republic:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

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Overview Czech Republic

Contents

Czech-Republic:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Czech-Republic:Historical Development

Czech-Republic:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Czech-Republic:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Czech-Republic:Political and Economic Situation

Czech-Republic:Organisation and Governance

Czech-Republic:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Czech-Republic:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Czech-Republic:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Private Education

Czech-Republic:National Qualifications Framework

Czech-Republic:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Czech-Republic:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Czech-Republic:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Czech-Republic:Funding in Education

Czech-Republic:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Czech-Republic:Higher Education Funding

Czech-Republic:Adult Education and Training Funding

Czech-Republic:Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Czech-Republic:First Cycle Programmes

Czech-Republic:Bachelor

Czech-Republic:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Second Cycle Programmes

Czech-Republic:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Czech-Republic:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Czech-Republic:Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Distribution of Responsibilities

Czech-Republic:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Czech-Republic:Main Providers

Czech-Republic:Main Types of Provision

Czech-Republic:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Czech-Republic:Teachers and Education Staff

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Management and Other Education Staff

Czech-Republic:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Czech-Republic:Management Staff for Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Educational Support and Guidance

Czech-Republic:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Czech-Republic:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Czech-Republic:Mobility and Internationalisation

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Czech-Republic:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in School Education

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Czech-Republic:European Perspective

Czech-Republic:Legislation

Czech-Republic:Institutions

Czech-Republic:Bibliography

Czech-Republic:Glossary

Bilateral Agreements

The Czech Republic has concluded more than 100 bilateral international agreements on cultural co-operation, including some in the field of education. These agreements are concluded for an indefinite term, as with agreements on the mutual recognition of proof of the level of education reached. Cultural agreements are complemented by executive documents, which outline the forms and conditions of co-operation in concrete terms. The numbers of students, duration of study visits and financial compensation are stated in the agreements (see Mobility in Higher Education). Within these agreements, the same rules are applied to foreign students studying in the Czech Republic as to Czech students (see the chapter Higher Education). Study places are awarded on a competitive basis. International contracts of a sectoral nature are concluded for a fixed period and for a concrete area of co-operation. These are particular contracts focused on teaching selected subjects in foreign languages at the secondary general schools (gymnázia) (e.g. agreements with Belgium, France, Spain, Austria, and Italy).

In 2009/10, agreements and protocols on co-operation in the field of education between the Czech Republic and the all the EU and EFTA/EEA countries, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia, FYROM and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina were in force. The agreement and protocol on co-operation in the field of education with Slovakia is, due to the historical links between the two countries, broader in scope than with other countries. In addition, agreements have been concluded with several Asian, African and American states.

An example of distinctive bilateral co-operation is the agreement between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Education of Saxony (Germany) on a two-nation bilingual educational cycle at the Friedrich Schiller secondary general school in Pirna (Germany), which started in the 1998/99 academic year. The course is intended for pupils from the seventh to twelfth years and has two streams: linguistic (Czech and German languages) and mathematical-scientific. Teaching is in one class with 15 Czech and 15 German pupils. The course ends with a final examination that is recognised in all EU countries. The programme is jointly funded by the Czech Republic and Germany.

The activities of Coordination Centres for Czech-German Youth Exchange – Tandem are another example of bilateral cooperation. The Coordination Centres have been in existence since 1997 in Plzeň and Regensburg based on an international agreement between the Czech Republic and Germany. Their aims include providing governmental and nongovernmental organisations that organise Czech-German exchanges of young people, pupils and students with counselling services, encouraging new forms and fields of co-operation and exchange, stimulating exchange projects and assisting involved institutions (schools, organisations, youth initiatives) in deepening mutual contacts. For more details on the activities see the web page of the Tandem.

Scientific and technical co-operation is also the subject of bilateral intergovernmental agreements.
One example of this co-operation is AKTION, a joint programme of the ministries of education of the Czech Republic and Austria. The AKTION programme was established in 1992 with the aim of promoting co-operation in education and science in the tertiary sector. In May 1997, a programme of scientific and technical co-operation between the Czech Republic and Austria was affiliated to the AKTION programme. The AKTION programme seeks to develop long-term bilateral co-operation in research and education in all scientific disciplines. The focal point of support is projects that are relevant to the current development of both countries and their historical roots, as well as projects which cannot be financed from other sources. The AKTION programme supports exchanges of students and young scientists through providing grants for study visits and research fellowships in the other country and for participation in summer language and technical schools. Details are available on the web pages of the Centre for International Services.

In November 2008, Governments of the Czech Republic and Poland agreed to establish a Czech-Polish Forum, aimed at promoting bilateral cooperation, which can be realized, inter alia, in the area of education, research, youth mobility and cross-border cooperation. Tendering for the first projects was launched in November 2009. For the supported projects in 2013 see the website of the Czech-Polish Forum.


Cooperation and Participation in Worldwide Programmes and Organisations

The Czech Republic joined the Parisian "Joint declaration on harmonisation of the architecture of the European higher education system" (the Sorbonne Declaration, 1998), and in June 1999 the Czech Republic, together with 29 other European states, adopted the so-called Bologna Declaration. Its objective is to create a European Area of Higher Education and to promote European higher education in the world. Conferences of ministers became milestones of further development. Czech higher education institutions (vysoké školy) are taking an active part in the Bologna process. Current developments in both Bologna and Lisbon processes are incorporated into principal strategic documents – the Strategic Framework of Higher Education Policy  and further in The Strategic Plan for the Scholarly, Scientific, Research, Development, Innovation, Artistic and Other Creative Activities of Higher Education Institutions for 2011-2015 and in all its annual updatings. Implementation of the Long-Term Plan is supported financially from Development Programmes of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

In relation to Bologna Process most study programmes have been restructured; since 1 January 2006 all students have received the Diploma Supplement (DS) automatically and free of charge, discussions on credit systems are under way (see chapter Higher Education). The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports informs the wider public on the process and its implementation on the special website of the Bologna Process.   

At  the last conference on the Bologna process (Bucharest 2012) a number of priorities at the national level was defined, e.g. ECTS a DS should be based on learning outcomes; and the agencies included in European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR), while respecting national legal standards, should be able to operate in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Concerning the implementation of  the National Qualifications Framework the priority for the Czech Republic for the next period remains working on the National Qualifications Framework for tertiary education; a schedule with specific milestones should also be determined.Priority is also to support mobility and eliminate barriers in implementation of common programmes (joint degrees).

The Czech Republic has been also involved in the implementation of objectives and tasks of the Lisbon process. The Lisbon process has been monitored more systematically and in detail since the beginning of 2003. At the end of 2002, Czech representatives participated in the activities of the European Commission working groups. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports drew up documents for the fields of Education and Research and development, which specified the objectives of the Lisbon process in greater detail and recorded the state of implementation of tasks in these fields. The 10th International Conference on progress in the field of lifelong learning and European cooperation in this area was held on 31 October 2012 under the title Modernisation of the system on recognition of professional qualifications: EU Internal Market without barriers. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports informs the wider public on the implementation of the Lisbon process on a special website of ET 2020.      

Since 2005, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has participated in aid programmes from EU Structural Funds, especially from the European Social Fund, and has focused on their effective utilization in the field of education. For the period of 2007-2013 it is the Operational Programme Education for Competitiveness, approved by the European Commission in October 2007.

The Czech Republic takes part in the work of Cedefop (European Centre for Vocational Training) through the network ReferNet which supports access to the exchange of information in vocational education and training. The work is administered by the National consortium established with the support of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in June 2004. Based on the rotation principle, the National Institute for Education (Národní ústav pro vzdělávání) is the National coordinator for 2012 (January to December) and the National Training Fund takes over this role for 2009-2010. The Czech Republic is involved in the partnership network for teacher training TTnet. The network supports the professional development of teacher trainers and lecturers working in vocational education at schools and in continuing vocational training of adults.

In the area of mutual recognition of evidence of formal qualifications, the Czech Republic has subscribed to the 1953 European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas leading to Admission to Universities as well as to subsequent conventions including the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region done in Lisbon 1997. In addition to these multilateral agreements there are special bilateral ones. The function of a European National Information Centre (ENIC) for purposes of the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region is carried out by the Centre for Equivalence of Documents about Education within the Centre for Higher Education Studies (Centrum pro studium vysokého školství). The Centre also includes the Czech National Academic Recognition Information Centre – NARIC, which is integrated into the NARIC Network associating centres of EU and EFTA countries and centres of candidate states.

The Czech Republic has implemented the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities, which was adopted by the Council of Europe in Madrid, on May 21, 1980, and bilateral agreements concluded with the governments of neighbouring states on cross border co-operation. Thirteen associations have already come into being under these agreements (Nisa, Labe, Krušnohoří, Ergensis, Šumava, Glacensis, Těšínské Slezsko, Praděd, Beskydy, Silesia, Bílé Karpaty, Pomoraví, Silva Nortica) and they also encourage international co-operation in education.
 

The Czech Republic is a member of following leading international organisations:

UNESCO
Czechoslovakia was one of the founding members of both the United Nations Organisation in 1945 and UNESCO in 1946. The Czech Republic became a member of UNESCO on 22. 2. 1993, almost immediately after coming into existence. The Czech National Commission for UNESCO was established by the government resolution of 1. 6. 1994 and serves as a governmental advisory body. The Commission’s main task is to facilitate the relations of Czech institutions and experts with UNESCO. For details on the activities and constitution of the Commission, see the web pages of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

One significant UNESCO project is the worldwide UNESCO Associated Schools Project, which Czechoslovakia joined in 1966 and has become increasingly involved in since 1990. The schools focus on environmental protection and the defence of human rights. Information on those schools’ activities in the Czech Republic can be found on the web pages of the Associated Schools Project.     

Council of Europe
The Czech Republic as an independent state became a member of the Council of Europe on June 30, 1993 and from the very beginning has taken a substantial part in a range of the Council's activities. The Czech Republic has seen the projects marked by the Council of Europe as a priority in the field of education at all levels. A great emphasis was put on democratic citizenship education and language policy. In April 1995, the Czech Republic subscribed to the Partial Agreement of the Council of Europe on the establishment of the European Centre for Modern Languages in Graz, Austria. The Centre's objective is to implement language policy in the field of foreign language teaching and learning. It organises meetings of language policy makers, experts in didactics and methodology of modern language teaching, teacher trainers, authors of textbooks and other experts from this field. The Czech Republic has a representative on the Governing Board which enables the Czech Republic to play an important part in developing the Centre's activities. Czech experts participate in all activities that are open to them. For detailed information on the Centre's work as well as an extensive documentation, see the website of the Centre. There are also representatives of the Czech Republic on other committees of the Council of Europe. Since 1995 the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has been organising seminars for education experts from member states of the Council of Europe under the name of the Prague Forum. The 5th seminar of November 2008 focused on the right to quality of education. Since the 1992/93 academic year, schools have become involved in the "Europe at School" activity, which is organised under the patronage of the Council of Europe. More information on this action is available on web pages of Europe at School (Evropa ve škole).

OECD
The Czech Republic has been a member of the OECD since 1995. The membership allows it to take part in multilateral co-operation of OECD member states, including in the area of education. There are representatives of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on the Education Committee, the Governing Board of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) and the programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education (IMHE). For a long time, the Czech Republic has been involved in two further activities in the field of education: the programme of Indicators of Education Systems (INES), which aims first of all to make a quantitative comparison between all member states and in many cases with non-member countries too, and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which aims to survey the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in their mother tongue, mathematics and science subjects. In 2008 another OECD project financially supported by the European Commission was launched: Programme for the International Assessment of Adults competencies (PIAAC). It is aimed at evaluation of the level of numeracy and literacy by adults in the age group 16 - 64 and their skills to solve problems in IT environment. Another major project is Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). It is an international research focused on teachers. The Czech Republic is also involved in projects Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes, Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) and Overcoming School Failure: Policies That work.

IEA
Since 2009, CR has also participated in the IEA project: International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS), which takes place in 38 countries. Its aim is to find out how young people are prepared for their role as citizens of a democratic society and how they perceive it. Since 2011, the Czech Republic has also participated in the project Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) proceeding in regular five-year cycles. It is aimed at the detection of the level of literacy by pupils in 4th grades of basic schools. Every four years (from 1995) there is also the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) aimed at determining the level of knowledge and skills of pupils in mathematics and science.  

Visegrad group
The Visegrad group is important for international cooperation in the region. The group was formed on February 15, 1991, when the Presidents of Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary signed a declaration on mutual co-operation in the full restoration of state sovereignty, elimination of the remains of the totalitarian regimes, the creation of a modern market economy and integration into European structures. Regular contacts were gradually established among some sectoral ministries. A new impetus to activities came in autumn 1998 when Slovakia also became a member of the Visegrad group (V4). Information on the Visegrad group development and on current meetings of representatives of V4 countries is available on the website of the Visegrad Group. Within the framework of the Visegrad group, the International Visegrad Fund was established in 2000 to promote activities in the area of education, science and research, culture, cross-border co-operation and tourism support.