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Czech-Republic:Main Types of Provision

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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

Continuing education and vocational training is secured by upper secondary schools and higher education institutions, employer organisations, public administration and self-government bodies and their educational institutions, non-profit organisations and professional and commercial entities.


Provision to Raise Achievement in Basic Skills

Courses Providing Basic Education

Courses of basic education (základní vzdělání; ISCED 244) are open to persons without the basic education, it means to those who finished their compulsory attendance at a basic school (základní škola) before completing the final year. However, the number of such persons is generally small in the Czech Republic (around 5 % in proportion to all school leavers in a given school year, including special basic schools). For this reason also the number of persons attending mentioned courses is small. The number of pupils in courses for completing basic education was 365 in the 2014/15 school year.

Both the basic schools and the upper secondary schools (střední školy) can organise courses aimed at acquiring the basic education. To run these courses, the upper secondary schools must be authorised by the regional authority. The basic schools may be authorised by the community.

Courses for acquiring the basic education level can be organised in an on-site form, with the number of hours decided by the school in accordance with the Framework Educational Programme for Basic Education. In a distance form it is organised as independent study supplemented by up to 180 consultation hours in a school year. The length of the course in both forms is determined by the school head on the basis of the level of prior education of the learner, for a maximum of one school year. The courses always start at the beginning of a semester.    

A successful learner who passed a course for gaining the basic education receives a certificate. A certificate can be obtained without attending a course by passing examinations.

Courses for completing basics of education (základy vzdělání, ISCED 244) are intended for people with severe learning difficulties who have not yet attained that level (see the chapter on Educational Support and Guidance).


Language Education

Language education of adults, carried out at language schools authorised to organise state language examinations, is subject to the Education Act. These schools are the part of the education system. The education objectives are identical with objectives of the relevant level of mainstream education. Language education is also provided by private training institutions.

The language schools authorised to organise state language examinations may be divided into departments of individual languages or departments of interrelated languages. A course is the organizational form of instruction at a language school. Courses may be divided into groups. The highest number of pupils in a group is 18.

A language school can offer the following courses:

  • basic course aimed at the acquisition of language basics in the total amount of 420 lessons;
  • intermediate course aimed at perfecting and extending the language knowledge in the total amount of 280 to 315 lessons;
  • preparatory courses for the state language examinations;
  • conversation courses;
  • special courses the content and scope of which shall be specified by the school educational program determined by the language school.

The language school specifies and publicizes the offered courses, criteria for admission and enrolment dates for individual courses. The language schools plan courses and set relevant admission requirements themselves.

The school year in language schools authorised to organise state language examination is usually set in a similar way as in basic and upper secondary schools (see the articles on Organisation of Single Structure Education and on Organisation of Upper Secondary Education). In case of private training institutions, the school year organisation is up to their decision. They often offer also summer courses.

The language school authorised to organise state language examinations assesses the pupils' educational results at least twice in a school year and it acquaints the pupils with this assessment.

Upon request, the pupil is given a certificate of successful completion of the course with his/her result indicated issued by the language school. The pupils' results are assessed by four grades:

1 – excellent;

2 – very good;

3 – good;

4 – failed.

A pupil who has been given the grade 4 – failed at the end of a school year may not be enrolled into a higher year.

There are two independent systems of certification in language education: the traditional Czech system of state language examinations used by the language schools authorised to organise state language examinations (they are the part of the education system), and adopted systems of international certification of individual languages, which are carried out by accredited (often foreign) institutions.

Education at language schools authorised to organise state language examinations may be completed by a state language examination, a general state language examination and a special state language examination. A state language examination may be taken even without previous education at a language school.
A certificate of the state language examination certifies that the relevant examination has been passed.

A state language examination consists of oral and written parts. The Ministry of Education specifies the written part of the examination and sets out the dates on which such examinations are taken.

State language examinations in individual languages are taken in front of an Examination Board. The Ministry appoints the Chair of the Board for state language examinations and Chairs for Examination Boards for individual languages. The head teacher appoints other members of the Examination Board. The Chair of the Examination Board for state language examinations and Examination Boards for individual languages must be a person having relevant professional qualifications and who has performed direct pedagogical activity for at least five years.

Some types of language education of adults are intended especially for the secondary school-leavers. This is the case of the one-year post-secondary foreign language courses following a school-leaving examination in the day form. These are run by legal and natural persons listed in the supplement to the Decree on Further Study. The courses have the character of post-secondary non-tertiary education (ISCED 454). The participants who successfully passed their school-leaving examination (maturitní zkouška) in the same year have the official student status. (For more details see the article on Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure.) Students are offered foreign language courses at several levels of difficulty and usually they can take a state or internationally acknowledged examination after completing the course. Apart from the chosen language, they are often enabled to study the second (subsidiary) language.


ICT

In the area of ICT, the European certification system of the ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) is used. Only accredited testing centres may verify the computer literacy according to the ECDL concept. Successful participants of the examinations may receive one of the ECDL internationally valid certificates. 

In the area of ICT, the Ministry of Education accredits retraining programmes aimed at personal computer use in general but also at concrete topics (such as web sites creation, computer graphics, management of operation systems).

In general, a lot of IT courses are organised by many private education institutions. These courses are not managed or monitored at the central level.



Provision to Achieve a Recognised Qualification during Adulthood

In the framework of adult education, the attention is paid to the vocational or professional education. It is also the most developed and supported area. The fact that the development of professional competences is very closely related to the competitiveness of the individual on the labour market plays a major role. On the national level, the vocational education is regarded as a factor of the international competitiveness on the global labour market. Vocational education is a very broad area which should always reflect the actual labour market demands.

Vocational education is largely provided by the employers, private education institutions and also by schools providing vocational adult education.


School-based Education

Schools may organize adult education courses leading to acquirement of the upper secondary education. It is usually organized in other than on-site form of education (see below); the aims are identical with the aims of the studies in the on-site form.

The majority of adult people attend courses at upper secondary level – ISCED level 3 (mainly in vocational and technical branches, not in general branches) and tertiary level – ISCED 6 or 7. This is because the overwhelming majority of young people successfully complete compulsory education so that the number of those at ISCED level 2 who are following a second chance option is very low. ISCED level 353 was always widely available, which is why the number of those studying at this level under the second chance option as adults is also insignificant. (For more details see the section on Provision to Raise Achievement in Basic Skills.)

Upper secondary schools (střední školy) most often provide the follow-up study (nástavbové studium) and shortened study (zkrácené studium).


Follow-up

The follow-up study extends the opportunities offered by the education system. After having attained secondary education with the apprenticeship certificate (střední vzdělání s výučním listem – ISCED 353), it is possible to upgrade the qualification in the follow-up study and to complete the secondary education with the school-leaving certificate (střední vzdělání s maturitní zkouškou – ISCED 354) which is a condition for several trades, and for access to tertiary education. For the follow-up study, individual courses and their connection to the 3-year courses of the secondary education with the apprenticeship certificate  have been set. (See the chapter on Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education.)


Shortened Study

The shortened study leads to extension of the qualification; it can be of two types:

  • shortened study to obtain upper secondary education with the school-leaving examination (zkrácené studium pro získání středního vzdělání s maturitní zkouškou) – ISCED 354 – the participants must have the school-leaving certificate in another  field;
  • shortened study to obtain upper secondary education with the apprenticeship certificate (zkrácené studium pro získání středního vzdělání s výučním listem) – ISCED 353 – the participants must have the apprenticeship certificate or the school-leaving certificate in another field.

The above-mentioned types of education are organised by schools which provide upper secondary education in the relevant fields of study. (See the chapter on Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education.)      

Fields of study of upper secondary and tertiary professional education provided in other than the on-site form are defined by the government decree which also lays out the fields of the follow-up study. The organisation of adult education depends on the interests of learners, on the long-term policy objectives of regions and on the capacity of schools. The right of a school to offer education in other than the on-site form or to organise shortened courses or the follow-up study begins when this offer is recorded on the school register (see the chapter on Organisation and Governance), which also authorises the numbers of pupils.

Upper secondary education provided by upper secondary schools in other than an on-site form is attended by c. 3 % of all learners at this educational level (except the follow-up study and shortened study). In the follow-up study and shortened study, more than half of all pupils (52 % in 2014/15) make use of other than on-site form of study.

Admission requirements for other forms of study at the upper secondary and tertiary professional schools offering a defined level of education are usually identical to admission requirements for the on-site study of the same level (see the chapters on Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education and on Higher Education).

The admission requirement for the follow-up study (ISCED 354) is the apprenticeship certificate (ISCED 353) from a three-year course of study in the relevant field.

The admission requirement for shortened study to obtain upper secondary education with the school-leaving examination (ISCED 354) is the school-leaving certificate (ISCED 344/354) in another field.

The admission requirement for shortened study to obtain upper secondary education with the apprenticeship certificate (ISCED 353) is the apprenticeship certificate (ISCED 353) or the school-leaving certificate (ISCED 344/354) in another field.


Teaching Methods and Forms

Generally, it can be stated that the teaching methods and forms should reflect the specifics of adult education and a type and content of the course to the highest possible extent. As in all education, the choice of teaching methods in adult education is the responsibility of the individual teacher.

In general, independent study plays an important role in adult education and learners' professional experience is also applied. The distinguishing feature of the different forms of adult education at upper secondary schools and tertiary professional schools is the amount of independent study.

According to the Education Act, adult education at upper secondary schools and tertiary professional schools takes one of the following forms:

  • evening courses (večerní studium) with regular classes several times a week totalling from 10 to 18 hours a week, usually in the afternoon and evening;
  • distance study (dálkové studium) from 200 to 220 consultation hours in a school year;
  • distance study mostly in the form of e-learning (distanční studium) – self-learning mainly via information technologies, supported by individual consultation;
  • combination of study forms (kombinované studium) – education using on-site and one of the forms of education mentioned above.

The duration of these forms is at most one year longer than on-site courses. Details are included in the relevant educational programme, which usually also recommends teaching methods.

In study programmes organised by schools, the learners are assessed continuously in regular consultations. Like the on-site students, learners in other study forms receive grades twice in a school year.

After passing the required exams, graduates of other than on-site studies (according to the Education Act) receive a certificate or a degree of the same value as that of on-site students (see the chapters on Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education and on Higher Education).  

The above-mentioned types of adult education are not considered as continuing education by the Education Act. Only vocational courses, courses in individual subjects and special courses following the school leaving examination (maturitní zkouška), which do not lead to a defined level of education, are regarded as continuing education. Students receive a certificate on completion of these courses.



Provision Targeting the Transition to the Labour Market

Retraining Courses

The most important measure in this area is the retraining courses. These are intended for persons with a defined status on the labour market: either the participant is registered as employment seeker (unemployed) at some of the Labour Office’s branches, or the course is prepared for employees of an employer, that is e.g. changing the production programme.

If courses organised by an upper secondary school or a tertiary professional school are to be recognised as retraining for registered unemployed persons, it has to be by agreement with the relevant Labour Office branch. Schools provide mostly such a type of further education that corresponds to their specialisation. Schools do not have to apply for accreditation in the fields they teach normally. In other fields of study they must apply to the Ministry of Education for accreditation. In general, the fields of retraining courses organised by schools or other institutions are influenced by labour market needs and they change over time and geographical area.

Retraining is one of the tools of active employment policy. In general, it focuses on the adaptation of the labour force to changes in the labour market, i.e. to acquire a new qualification or upgrade, extend, deepen or update existing qualifications. Most participants are employment seekers registered with labour offices and in these cases the general objective is employability, with the concrete aim of preparing them for a certain job, of supplying them with certain skills required by the labour market.

In retraining courses, the on-site, possibly combined form of study is preferred to a distance one, as the distance form does not help the socialisation of the trained person. The combine form of study is not possible to organise for skills training. Study material of high quality and effective feedback must be assured.

The leavers of all types of schools who did not succeed in the labour market are offered the so-called non-specific retraining courses, preparing job applicants for employment thus increasing their employability. The courses focus on computer literacy, management, marketing, accounting, banking, labour relations and preparation for private enterprise in combination with intensive foreign language training.

Also the project UNIV 3 – Support of Recognition Processes was related to retraining. The project was realized in 2012–2015.  


Other Education

The educational programmes aimed at supporting of specific social groups, which have more difficult access to the labour market or are at a risk of social exclusion, develop gradually. It regards the education of young people or for fresh school leavers, those who re-enter the labour market after a break caused by maternity leave or other reasons, persons from socially excluded background or the background at a risk of social exclusion, with insufficient knowledge of the Czech language, with physical disabilities, etc.

The project Internship in Companies 1 and 2, running in 2012–2015, can be an example. Its goal was to help improve the employability on the labour market. The project enabled the job seekers (e.g. the unemployed, graduates without work experience or those at risk of unemployment) to gain the work experience required to find a job. At the same time, it was a chance for the employers to train new employees in order that their skills corresponded to the requirements of the employer. 

Similarly, the project Internship for the Youth 1 and 2, running in 2012–2015, was designed for pupils in the last year of upper secondary schools and students of the last two terms of tertiary professional schools and higher education institutions. The project enabled the future graduates to take part in the internship which would have contributed to the increase of their employability and competitiveness on the labour market. 



Provision of Liberal (Popular) Adult Education

Adult education has a long tradition in the Czech Republic. Initially, it was rather a matter of individual interest. The beginning of edification activities dates back to the period of the enlightenment. In the course of the 19th century, many cultural-enlightenment institutions and associations were founded. Nowadays, it is generally provided by cultural institutions set above all by communities or by commercial organisations.

Education is a more or less regular element of the work of museums and galleries, including lectures or even courses and exhibition commentaries. Libraries organise a range of cultural activities (lectures in different fields, exhibitions, possibly also educational courses, etc.). The community culture centres traditionally organise lectures and courses in different fields (including e.g. musical instrument tuition, dancing and social deportment courses) according to people's interests.

Also higher education institutions can provide also lifelong learning courses in addition to their regular study programmes. The courses can be professionally oriented or aimed at personal development (e.g. the University of the Third Age, courses for public). Internal rules of individual institutions specify the conditions of such courses. (For more information see the section on Other Types of Publicly Subsidised Provision for Adult Learners.)

Admission requirements for interest education only apply in cases when it is organised as continuing education and prior knowledge is needed (e.g. musical instrument tuition).

Civic education helps people to adapt to historical and social changes (e.g. joining the European Union). It is generally of a cultural nature, with the aim of developing civic literacy, active citizenship or generally cultivating the public space. Civic education should definitely be in interest and supported by the State. However, it is provided mostly by different non-governmental and non-profit associations and institutions.



Other Types of Publicly Subsidised Provision for Adult Learners

Courses

The courses of adult education are provided mainly by the employers, by the sectoral and professional organisations, commercial institutions and schools.  
Vocational courses, courses of individual subjects and special courses following the school-leaving examination which do not offer a specific qualification are organised mainly in business studies, ICT, management and foreign languages.

The Labour Code (amendment in force since 1 January 2012) contains part Professional Development of Employees which sets the rights and obligations of both employees and employers in this area.

The employee is required to maintain, extend and update the qualifications. The employer is obligated to provide training to the employees without qualifications, or those transferred to another workplace or a new type of work for reasons on part of the employer. The employer is also obligated to assure a vocational practice to graduates who have less than two years of work experience. The employer is entitled to require the employee to develop the qualification (it involves maintaining and refreshing) and the employee is obligated to follow this. Upgrading of qualification involves also acquiring or extending the qualification.

Costs of training, vocational practice and qualification development are covered by the employer; employee receives a salary or wage. In case of the upgrading of qualification, the same rules are applied only in case that the study (courses or other form of training) is conformed to the relevant needs of the employer. Where the form of vocational training is expensive, the employer and the employee can conclude the so-called qualification agreement, which obligates the employee to remain in employment with the employer for a period up to five years (maximum), or reimburse the employer for the costs.

In-company or sectoral training, various continuing vocational training and language courses are organised for participants with various entrance levels of education and are individually defined by organisers or educational institutions that offer them.

In certain occupations, the employees are obligated to update their knowledge and skills and in given periods to undergo re-examinations set by special legal rules. Sectoral training with a high level of obligation for workers is typical in some sectors where there is continuous innovation (traditional examples are medicine and the health service as a whole and a range of technical professions) or for some employers (in education – see the chapter on Teachers and Education Staff, the judiciary, banking, public administration). Compulsory training takes place in the cross-sectoral fields of occupational safety and fire protection and also in some occupations, for example special technical professions.

In-company training is aimed at improving current performance or at the introduction of new tasks within the organisation. It is usually divided hierarchically (for management and for employees).

Courses organised by employers are most often in economics and accountancy, languages, information and communication technologies and their utilisation and in various technical branches, or in marketing, while courses for drivers are also common. Information and communication technologies occupy the first place among courses in the state administration followed by legislative education in the areas of public administration and EU standards, then economic and language courses, and personal skills course, especially in communication skills. Training is generally provided by specialised educational institutions.

Important role play the retraining courses, designated mainly for the unemployed, possibly also for those who wish to change their occupation. (For more details see the section on Provision Targeting the Transition to the Labour Market.)

A broad range of methods from lectures and seminars to workshops are used in further education outside schools. Interactive teaching methods such as playing roles, simulation, case studies, often based on the learners' experience are gaining importance. The use of e-learning is becoming more and more frequent.
Self-contained adult education systems (professional, sectoral), which are covered by legislation, have their own systems of certification, which are usually not transferable into other professions/sectors, but often nationally accepted.

Almost all institutions of further education certify their courses. Only the participants of accredited retraining courses and courses concluded by a professional qualification examination according to the Act on the Recognition of Further Education Results gain national certificates.

Providers of further education are not obliged to register or to report on the content of the courses, so such information is available from surveys. The Czech Statistical Office (Český statistický úřad) carries out regular Labour Force Surveys which are then provided to Eurostat. The Czech Republic took part in several repeated Eurostat surveys: Continuing Vocational Training Survey, Labour Force Survey and Adult Education Survey.


Legislation and Bibliography:

Labour Code



Lifelong Learning at Higher Education Institutions

In addition to their regular study programmes, higher education institutions (HEIs) can provide also lifelong learning courses. The courses can be professionally oriented (e.g. in-service training of educational staff) or aimed at personal development (see the section on Provision of Liberal (Popular) Adult Education). Internal rules of individual institutions specify the conditions of such courses. Lifelong learning courses are either paid or are free-of-charge.

Participants in lifelong education are not considered to be university students. However, according to the Higher Education Act, the HEI can recognise up to 60% of the credits necessary to obtain a degree, in case successful graduates of lifelong learning courses become students of regular accredited (degree) study programmes.

Within lifelong learning programmes (sometimes called 'Year Zero'), some higher education institutions (e.g. Faculty of Arts or Law Faculty, Charles University) accept applicants who passed an entrance examination but were not admitted to regular courses due to a lack of capacity. These students can take subjects according to the study plan for Year 1 and if they satisfy all prescribed study requirements, they can be excused from the entrance examination for the following academic year and become students of regular courses. The studies have the character of post-secondary non-tertiary education (ISCED 444). The participants (before being admitted to regular courses) do not have official student status.

Some higher education institutions and commercial education agencies offer preparatory courses for entrance examinations for many fields of study and in a broad scope for those applicants who were not admitted to regular study programmes. Education agencies also organise courses whose content is similar to the first year of higher education (these are sometimes called 'Year Zero'). Participants in these courses do not have official student status and cannot enjoy various student benefits. Some education agencies therefore offer courses combining one-year post-secondary foreign language courses and training for entrance examinations for the chosen field of study with student status maintained.


Other Education

If need be, courses can be organised for very limited target groups where the social status is the admission requirement. These can be e.g. courses to help homeless persons to get out of their situation, or educational courses in prisons.