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Education

Scholarships in the Czech Republic

Can foreign students coming to the Czech republic count on a scholarship or study grant? There is no simple answer. Czech universities offer scholarships, but there are fewer opportunities for obtaining them in comparison with other countries. The reasoning behind it might be that, if done in the Czech language, higher education in the Czech Republic is free for both citizens and foreigners, so out of total state funds for education only 1.5% goes to support students. Here is what exactly students of Czech universities can count on.

More and more international students choose the Czech Republic as their destination for education. Over the past 20 years, the number has increased by more than 7 times. Czech Ministry of Education reports that in 2020 more than 50,000  foreign students from all over the world got into local universities. Roughly 90% of them study in public universities, most of them – in Czech, meaning for free. Compared to the total amount of students in Czech universities in 2020, which was 303,4 thousand, foreign students make one-sixth out of them.

Many factors play a part in the popularity of the Czech Republic as an educational destination. Firstly, education here is high-quality as well as available. In 2020, more than half of Czech public universities, namely 15, were included in the QS World University Rankings.

Secondly, Czech diplomas are recognized in Europe, as well as in the USA and Great Britain. Thirdly, Czech universities are a part of international student exchange programs, in particular Erasmus +, and willingly provide their students with the opportunities to study in other countries.

Moreover, the Czech Republic itself is an attractive place to live. A small picturesque country located in the heart of Europe with beautiful architecture and rich history. Living in the Czech Republic gives you the opportunity to move freely in the European Union.

The Czech Republic is a part of the Bologna Process — this is a concept of common learning space and learning mobility adopted by leading European countries. The Bologna system implies a three-tier higher education system: bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral studies, learning mobility and academic cooperation.

Education in the Czech Republic is free at all levels, whether you’re studying for a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate. This includes the standard period of study plus one year (with the standard generally being between 3-5 years, depending on the type of degree).

GoStudy provides you with the best way to prepare yourself for studying in the Czech Republic, with a range of preparation courses available to help you learn the language and pick the university and courses that are right for you. 

International students can enrol in programs in any participating university, some receive scholarships in case of studying in Czech. 

What types of scholarships are there in the Czech Republic?

Accommodation scholarship

Provided to students in bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programs who do not have a permanent residence in the area of ​​the university. It is designed for students who study full-time in the Czech language and have not interrupted their studies. Another requirement is good academic performance. As a rule, international students can also count on a scholarship for accommodation. The basic amount is 570 Czech crowns (Kč) per month (23 euro), the increased payment of the 2nd category is 1380 Kč (55 euro), the 1st category is 2352 Kč (93 euro) per month. These are the amounts for living that are paid to Charles University students. However, each university determines the final amount independently. University of Chemistry and Technology (UCT) in Prague pays its students at the rate of 27 Kč per day. And at the Prague University of Economics and Business, the monthly scholarship is 540 Kč (21 euro). No scholarship is paid during the summer holidays in July and August.

Merit-based scholarships

Each university makes the decision about the payment of a scholarship for excellent study results on an individual basis. These scholarships can be awarded one-time or monthly. The Czech University of Technology (CTU), for example, pays it to students who have received at least 60 credits in selected subjects. The College of Business and Law awards this scholarship on a one-time basis. Its amount ranges from 1000 to 3000 Kč (from 40 to 118 euro), depending on academic performance. University of Chemistry and Technology also compensates students for exceptional studies once a year, the amount ranges from 3000 to 7000 Kč (from 118 to 277 euro). While the Faculty of Science, Humanities and Education is the biggest one of the seven faculties of the Technical University of Liberec pays well-performing students from 2500 to 4500 Kč (from 99 to 178) per month.

Special achievement scholarship

An example of a special achievement scholarship is the scholarship of Professor Miroslav Vlcek at CTU, which is awarded to foreign students who, in addition to meeting their study requirements, have contributed to the propagation of the reputation of the Czech Technical University in the Czech Republic and abroad, and who actively participate in research, education or other useful activities. The Miroslav Vlcek scholarship at CTU is a one-time payment of 30,000 Kč (1 188 euro).

Masaryk University in Brno has established a rector’s scholarship to support student enterprises. Other Czech universities offer similar monetary encouragements. Their amount is approved by a special commission or the rector of each university independently. They are granted for outstanding scientific, research, development, innovation, artistic and other creative activities. 

Special scholarship

University of Chemistry and Technology pays a special scholarship of up to 30,000 Kč (1 188 euro) in two instalments to well-performing students who have participated in the national stages of the Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics or Biology Olympiads in the Czech Republic or Slovakia.

The University of Ostrava has been implementing a program for Belarusian students affected by the political regime since 2021. For the academic year 2021/22, the University of Ostrava accepted five Belarusians to study and pays them a scholarship of 15,000 Kč per month (594 euro).

Masaryk University in Brno supports foreign students studying the Czech language, literature and culture with a monthly payment of 8,000 Kč (316 euro).

Doctoral scholarship

As the name suggests, these payments are intended for doctoral programs students. At Charles University, the doctoral scholarship ranges from 10,500 to 25,000 Kč (from 416 to 990 euro). The specific amount is determined by the dean of the faculty after the resolution of the academic senate. In addition, the supervisor may offer to provide a doctoral student at Charles University with an additional 30,000 Kč (1 188 euro) as a one-time fee for excellent academic achievements.

At Masaryk University and CTU, the doctoral scholarship is set by the rector and amounts to 12,000 Kč per month (475 euro). At Mendel University in Brno it is 11,000 Kč (435 euro).

Study Abroad Scholarships (Erasmus+)

All Czech universities participate in international student exchange programs. The most famous of them is Erasmus +. Each student can apply for participation in the program and, in case of a positive decision, get the opportunity to study at a foreign university for a period from 3 months to 1 year. The scholarship covers living expenses in the amount of 400 to 700 euros per month, depending on the host country.

Government scholarship for foreigners from developing countries

The Government Scholarship is intended for students of master’s and doctoral programs, who come from countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Zambia. The scholarship is designed to “cover the necessary expenses for living and studying in the Czech Republic”. Currently, the scholarship for students enrolled in the master’s program is 14,000 Kč, for the doctoral program – 15,000 Kč. The deadline for submitting applications for 2022/2023 has already expired, the application forms were accepted until September 30, 2021.

The Ministry of Education also provides annual scholarships under intergovernmental agreements with countries such as Austria, Bulgaria, Egypt, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Albania, China, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia. The program is designed for university students or graduates who want to complete their studies or come for a research internship at a Czech university. Applications can only be made by responsible authorities of the respective country. For example, for Russia in 2022-2023, 15 scholarships were allocated at 9,500 Kč per month.

International Vysehrad fund programs

The Visegrad group includes the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. The Visegrad Fund is formed from the annual contributions of the participating countries. The Foundation provides grants and scholarships to promote closer cooperation between member countries in the fields of culture, science and research, education, youth exchanges, tourism and cross-border cooperation. Applications for Visegrad grants are submitted regularly three times a year –  on February 1, June 1 and October 1.

They are divided into inside-Vyshegrad scholarships for researchers on the territory of the member states. External scholarships are available for scientists or researchers from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine. And separately – for immigrants from the Western Balkan countries. The size of the grants depends on the project and, as determined by the paperwork, if the cost of a project exceeds 10,000 euros, it must undergo an internal audit.

In addition, twice a year the Visegrad Foundation awards grants to scientists, artists or journalists for research at the Open Society Archives (OSA) at the Central European University in Budapest on a competitive basis. The grant for access to the archives is 2,000 euros.

Social scholarship

The social scholarship is intended mainly for Czech citizens. Its value is set by the Czech Ministry of Education. In 2021, the amount of the social scholarship is 3650 Kč (145 euro) per month, which is a quarter of the basic living wage. The requirement to receive the scholarships is proof of family income not exceeding the minimum living wage by 1,5. The social scholarship is excluded from family income for calculating social benefits and is exempt from income tax.

Non-profit organizations providing scholarships

Olga Havel Foundation helps children with disabilities, from socially vulnerable families and from orphanages to secure a place in secondary schools and universities in the Czech Republic. The main partner of the project is the ČSOB bank.

The Jan Hus Educational Foundation was founded in the late 1970s in Oxford with the aim of supporting culture and education in communist Czechoslovakia. Until 1989, the foundation was based abroad, today its headquarters are located in Brno with branches in Prague and Bratislava. The foundation is aimed at novice university teachers and doctoral students working in non-applied humanities, social sciences and related fields.

Livie and Vaclav Klaus Charitable Foundation’s scholarships are awarded to students coming from difficult social conditions or with disabilities, as well as children from orphanages. Scholarships are provided for studies both in the Czech Republic and abroad. Since 2004, the foundation has financed about 200 students.

The ROMEA charitable organization has declared the rehabilitation of the Roma minority as its goal and provides scholarships for Roma students. The amount reserved for higher education is 25,000 Kč per year.

The Kellner Family Foundation was established by Peter and Renata Kellner. It provides funding for students of the Open Gate gymnasium, as well as grants for higher education in Czech and foreign universities. However, financial assistance is mainly provided to a socially unprotected category of students – students from children’s homes and other heavily socially disadvantaged environments. 

How do I receive a scholarship?

First of all, you need to submit an application and fill out a questionnaire. The websites of Czech universities have sections dedicated to scholarships. There, the registration process is described step by step and the documents that must be submitted are listed.

To receive a scholarship, you must open an account in a Czech bank.

Getting a scholarship at a Czech university is difficult, but it is possible. Independent foundations, intergovernmental organizations and universities annually announce programs to assist prospective students, researchers and future scholars. In order to secure a scholarship in time, regular monitoring of websites, correct application filling and completion of requirements is needed. Good luck!

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Alina Baeva 23 November 2021