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Czech-Republic:Higher Education

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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

Overview of Tertiary Education

Tertiary education sector is divided into higher education (ISCED 645, 7 and 8) and tertiary professional education (ISCED 655). The term tertiary education is not defined in present legislation but is used in official documents. Higher education and tertiary professional education applicants qualify for entry if they have completed secondary education with a school-leaving examination (maturitní zkouška, ISCED 344 or 354) and met the admission requirements stipulated by a relevant institution.

Higher education is realised at higher education institutions (vysoké školy) which form the highest level of the Czech education system. Higher education consists of three cycles:  

  • Bachelor’s degree programme (ISCED 645), lasting 3–4 years;
  • Master’s degree programme (ISCED 7), lasting 1–3 years (ISCED 747), or 4–6 years in case of programmes not following bachelor’s programmes – non-structured study programme (ISCED 746);
  • Doctoral degree programme (ISCED 844) lasting, 3–4 years.

Higher education institutions are public, state and private. Under the Higher Education Act, they are classified as university type (24 public, 2 state and 3 private) which offer study programmes at all three levels of higher education and non-university type (2 public and 38 private) which offer mainly Bachelor’s programmes but may also provide Master’s programmes.

Completed secondary education with a school-leaving examination is the basic prerequisite for entry into Bachelor’s and non-structured Master’s programmes. Detailed admission requirements are set by a relevant higher education institution and usually include an entrance examination. Higher education can take forms of on-site courses, distance learning courses or a combination of both. Students have to follow a study plan within an accredited degree programme; accreditation is awarded  by the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education (Accreditation Bureau). If the higher education institution manages to gain institutional accreditation for one or several of the thirty seven areas of education defined by the Amendment to the Higher Education Act (Act No. 137/2016 Coll.), the institution can approve its study programmes in the given areas itself. Such study programmes are considered as accredited study programmes according to the Higher Education Act. Study programmes at higher education institutions cover almost all areas of science and arts. Each study programme is assigned to one of the 37 educational areas set by the Higher Education Act.  In case of combined study programme (i.e.  programme which belongs due to its specialisation to two or more educational areas) also the percentage of the share of the basic thematic areas, which belong to particular educational areas, to instructionis expressed. The profile of the Bachelor’s and the Master’s programmes is either academic or professional (see part Legislative framework, Higher education institutions). Creation and provision of study programmes is one of the recognised academic rights and freedoms of higher education institutions (see Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level), so their number and prevailing orientation changes in years.

In April 2016 the amendment to Higher Education Act was approved. One of the main issues is e.g. new rules for accreditation, including establishment of independent Accreditation Office, and a new system of quality evaluation of higher education institutions. For more information see the section onThe amendment to the Higher Education Act approved (2016)  in the Chapter 14 on reforms.

Studies are duly completed if students obtain their qualification through:

  • a Bachelor’s degree programme which ends with the final state examination, part of which is usually the defence of a thesis, graduates are awarded the academic title Bachelor (Bc.), in the field of art, Bachelor of Arts (BcA.);
  • a Master’s degree programme which ends with the final state examination, part of which is the defence of a thesis, graduates mostly obtain the academic title Master (Mgr.) or Engineer (Ing.). Graduates who gained a Master´s degree (academic title Mgr.), obtain in case of additional advanced study examination (rigorózní zkouška) in the same study area, another academic title (see section Second Cycle Programmes, part Certification)
  • a Doctoral degree programme which ends with the state doctoral examination, part of which is the defence of a thesis, graduates mostly obtain the academic title Doctor (Ph.D.).

As of 20 January 2016 the overall number of higher education students was   327 thousand. There were 194 thousand of students (58%) in Bachelor’s degree programmes, 82 thousand (25 %) in the follow-up Master’s degree programmes, 32 thousand (10 %) in Long-cycle Master’s degree programmes and 24 thousand (7 %) in Doctoral degree programmes (on-site courses, distance learning courses or a combination of both is the basis for calculating the number of students). The sum of the number of Bachelor’s, Master’s, Long-cycle Master’s, and Doctoral degree students is higher than the total number of head counts. This is caused by the fact that some students are enrolled in several degree programmes. (Source: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.) 


Tertiary professional education (ISCED 655) is provided at tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy).

Tertiary professional schools are public, state, private or denominational. Upper secondary education with a school-leaving examination is the prerequisite for admission. Admission procedure details are set by the school head and can include an entrance examination. The courses usually include both a theoretical and a practical part. They can take a form of day form, evening, distance, or combined studies (for more information, see the chapter Adult Education and Training, Vocational education, section Teaching Methods and Forms). The number of students in a study group is between 10 and 40 students. Educational programme is subject to accreditation from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports that is awarded on the basis of a recommendation of the Accreditation Commission for Tertiary Professional Education.

Education ends with a graduate examination (absolutorium), an examination consisting of a theoretical part in vocational subjects, an exam in a foreign language and a defence of a thesis. Graduates obtain graduate examination certificates, a diploma and the title “specialist with a diploma“ (DiS).

School-leavers from tertiary professional education do not have access to Master’s degree programmes (following Bachelor's programmes). Some higher education institutions, however, offer the possibility to acknowledge the subjects studied within a tertiary professional school programme and thus enabling the school-leavers to complete a Bachelor’s degree programme in a shorter period of time.

Tertiary professional education in conservatoire (ISCED 554) is acquired through successful completion of a six-year or eight-year educational programme. As the studies proceed continuously involving also secondary level of education, and because of the possibility to receive upper secondary education with a school-leaving examination (ISCED 354), the education is included in chapter Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education.

Bachelor’s degree programmes are described in The First Cycle Programmes, Master’s degree programmes following the Bachelor’s degree programmes in The Second Cycle Programmes, for non-structured Master’s degree programmes, see the relevant section and information on Doctoral programmes can be found in The Third Cycle Programmes.

Education at tertiary professional schools is described in Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure, at conservatoires in the chapter Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education.

Administration and governance of tertiary education at national, regional, local and institutional level is provided separately in the chapter Organisation and Governance.

Information on private higher education institutions and tertiary professional schools is dealt with separately in Organisation of Private Education.

General Objectives

Higher education institutions are supreme centres of education, independent knowledge and creative activity. The general goal of higher education is to provide students with adequate professional qualifications, prepare them for engagement in research and participating in life-long learning, make them contribute to the development of civic society and international, particularly European cooperation. They attain this goal by linking instruction with scholarly, research, developmental, artistic and other creative activities. 

The Higher Education Act oblige the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to issue, annually update and publish the Strategic Plan for the Scholarly, Scientific, Research, Development, Innovation, Artistic and Other Creative Activities of Higher Education Institutions

The priority goals of the higher education policy for the period of 2016-2020 encompass assuring quality, diversity and accessibility, internationalisation, relevance, quality and relevant research, development and innovation, decision making based on data and effective financing. The strategic document which specifies the priorities is the Strategic plan for the period of 2016-2020. For more information on the strategic plan see Chapter 2, part Fundamental Principles and National Policies.

Tertiary professional education develops and promotes knowledge and skills students acquired in secondary education and provides general education and vocational training for them to perform demanding professional activities. It is understood to be professional training. 

In line with the School Education Act, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports issues theLong-term Plan for Education and the Development of the Education System of the Czech Republic. The long-term plan sets plans, goals and criteria for the education policy at the education levels from the pre-primary up to the tertiary professional level (see also Chapter 2, Part Fundamental Principles and National Policies).  For the period 2015-2020, it is aimed mainly at equal opportunities in education with the emphasis on guidance and education of pupils with special educational needs. Another main goal is to make the assessment of pupils, the schools and the school system more effective and to improve the conditions of the education staff.



Legislation and bibliography:

Education Act

Higher Education Act

Strategic Plan for the Scholarly, Scientific, Research, Development, Innovation, Artistic and Other Creative Activities of Higher Education Institutions (2016 – 2020)

Long-term Plan for Education and the Development of the Education System of the Czech Republic (2015-2020)



Legislative Framework

Tertiary education field is regulated by two laws:

  • Higher Education Act
  • Education Act which regulates tertiary professional education in one part and in another one regulates education in conservatoires


Higher education institutions

The Higher Education Act of 1998 (with more than twenty amendments) sets forth the mission of higher education institutions, the academic community and academic freedom. It defines the position of public, state and private higher education institutions, their bodies or structure; for public schools it sets out rules for asset management. It also describes types of study programmes, accreditation rules and bodies, conditions under which an institution applying for the status of a private higher education institution can gain state approval. It regulates admission to a study programme, its course and completion, sets out the rules and duties for students and the policy for awarding academic titles. It regulates the position of academic staff and the relationship between higher education institutions and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Furthermore, it regulates recognition of qualifications and their parts acquired abroad. In a supplement to this Act, public and state higher education institutions are listed in detail and due the adoption of the last amendment, the Act No. 137/2016 Coll., also educational areas for which the higher education institution can acquire an institutional accreditation. The amendment to the Higher Education Act was approved in April 2016 and came into force on 1 September 2016. The amendment is extensive introducing e.g. new rules for accreditation, including establishment of the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education (Accreditation Bureau), and a new system of quality evaluation of higher education institutions. It stipulates several matters concerning the structure of higher education, e.g. it newly introduces profiles of the Bachelor´s and Master´s Degree Programmes, educational areas etc., organisation of the higher education institutions, changes some of the details of the admission procedure, and to certain extent also personnel matters, changes the conditions for the functioning of foreign higher education institutions and their branches in the Czech Republic. For more information see the section on The amendment to the Higher Education Act approved (2016)  in the Chapter 14 on reforms.

Activities of higher education institutions are also governed by their internal regulations that follow on from the Act and are subject of registration to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. For each higher education institution, tent internal regulations are mandatory and further regulations may be required by the school’s statutes (for more information see part 2.7 Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level, part Higher Education). Due to the adoption of the Amendment, the higher education institution have time until 1 September 2017 to register their internal regulations and submit them to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for registration. 

Admission proceedings are regulated in detail by the Decree on Procedure and Conditions for Publishing Details about Admission Proceedings at Higher Education Institutions. Following the amendment to the Higher Education Act new regulations were prepared, some of them coming into force in 2017. 

•    Government regulation on the educational areas in higher education
•    Government regulation on the accreditation standards in higher education
•    Decree on submitting statistical data by higher education institutions
•    Decree on submitting data tothe Register for managing the applications for recognition of foreign higher education and qualifications
•    Decree on submitting data to the registry of associate professors, professors and distinguished professors


Tertiary professional schools

The Education Act defines the goal and the level of tertiary professional education, its organisation and admission requirements, course and completion of study programmes, attained qualification and the manner in which accreditation of study programmes is granted.

Further particulars about types of tertiary professional schools, organisation of study, course of study and its completion, tuition and accreditation of study programmes are specified by a decree of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The system of tertiary professional education courses is governed by a government regulation.


Legislation and bibliography:

Education Act

Decree on tertiary professional education

Government regulation on the educational areas in higher education

Government regulation on the accreditation standards in higher education

Decree on submitting statistical data by higher education institutions

Decree on submitting data to the Register for managing the applications for recognition of foreign higher education and qualifications

Decree on submitting data to the registry of associate professors, professors and distinguished professors

Higher Education Act

Decree on procedure and conditions of publication of results of admission procedure at higher education institutions

Decree on the content of application of study programme accreditation



Organisation of the School and Academic Year

Organisation of studies differs between tertiary professional schools and higher education institutions.


Higher education institutions

Higher education can take forms of on-site courses, distance learning courses or a combination of both. The academic year lasts 12 months; the beginning is set by the Rector (rektor) usually for September or October. Studies are usually split into semesters, years or teaching blocks which cover periods of teaching activity, examinations and holidays. Most commonly, the academic year is split into semesters which have 14 weeks of teaching activity followed by a period of examinations. Summer holidays are in July and August, usually followed by an extended period of examinations. Details are stipulated in internal regulations of a relevant institution.


Tertiary professional schools

The school year starts on 1 September and ends on 31 August covering the period of instruction and a summer holiday. The teaching activity period lasts 40 weeks (32 hours of instruction, 6 hours of self-study and assessment and 2 weeks of time reserve) and is split into a winter term (1 September to 31 January) and a summer term (1 February to 31 August). The last period of the educational programme instruction lasts at least 14 weeks. During a summer holiday, schools can offer compulsory courses, professional practice, or examinations, however, students should have at least 4 weeks of free time. Details on organisation of the school year are set by the school head in accordance with the accredited programme of study.


Legislation and bibliography:

Higher Education Act

Education Act

Decree on tertiary professional education

Decree on organisation of school year