Capital of the Czech Republic

Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic and home to around 1.3 million people. Its rich historical heritage is reflected in the magnificent medieval architecture with many Czech sights known throughout the world. Who hasn’t heard of Charles Bridge, Prague Castle or the Astronomical Clock? Many Hollywood blockbusters were filmed in Prague: The Knight’s Tale, Casino Royale, Mission: Impossible, The Bourne Identity, The Chronicles of Narnia are just a few of them!  

Studying in the Czech Republic combines high quality education with the chance to live in an exciting and iconic European capital. According to the QS Best Student Cities ranking, Prague is firmly in the top 40 best cities for higher education in the world. At the same time, when asked to complete a short survey, students themselves ranked Prague the 8th best city for students.

There are currently fifteen Czech universities in the QS World University Rankings 2022: Top Global Universities | Top Universities, with Charles University ranking the highest out of a total of 1,300 universities. The following universities based in Prague are also included in the ranking:

  • Charles University (266)
  • University of Chemistry and Technology (373)
  • Czech Technical University in Prague (403)
  • Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague (801-1000)

Like all capital cities, Prague is a melting pot of different cultures and languages due to the increasing number of international students, who choose to study in Prague. In addition to the national Czech language, you can easily hear English, German, Russian, Hindi, and many other languages while walking around Prague.

Higher Education System in the Czech Republic

The Czech Higher Education system follows the Bologna process, which sets out an agreed qualifications framework, which is equally accepted throughout the 48 participating countries. The Bologna system consists of 3 levels of higher education: Bachelor’s degree (3-4 years), Master’s degree (1-3 years) and a Doctoral degree (3-4 years).

Czech university degrees are highly valued in many European countries and in the USA. In the USA Czech diplomas require to be officially recognised. This can be done through one of the official education evaluation service providers in the USA. National Association of Credential Evaluation Services is a good place to find such a provider.

International Students in the Czech Republic

Over 45,000 international students come to study in the Czech Republic every year. According to the official data from the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, 2020 saw a considerable increase in international student enrolments, with the total number of Russian, Indian and Iranian students going up by over 20%.

Top Universities in Prague

Czech education is traditionally considered to be of high quality. There are a total of 26 public and 44 private universities in the Czech Republic. 9 public universities and 36 private universities are based in Prague, which makes it the best Czech city to study in.

Charles University

Charles University is the oldest university in Central Europe. It was built in 1348 by King Charles IV. The university has a total of 17 faculties, with 14 of them based in Prague, 2 in Hradec Kralove and 1 in Plzen. Around 50,000 of students choose to study at Charles University every year including 7,000 international students. Political Science, Media, Sociology and Psychology are popular specialisation choices for international students. 

Prague University of Economics and Business

There is no better place to study economics and business in the Czech Republic than Prague University of Economics and Business, known in Czech as VŠE. The university was founded in 1919 and has six faculties, which are as follows: Finance and Accounting, International Relations, Management, Business Administrations, Informatics and Statistics and Economics. The university offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral and MBA programs with around 14,000 students choosing to study there every year. International students make up over 10% of the annual enrolments. The university has strong working connections with many universities around the world, offering its students participation in many exchange programs and welcoming international students in return. A growing number of study programs at the university are now offered in English as well as in some other languages.   

Czech University of Life Sciences Prague

Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague (CZU) is one of the leading universities in the world in the field of life sciences including Agrobiology, Forestry and Environmental Sciences. More than 18,000 students come to study at CZU every year, including around 1,800 international students. Many programs are taught in English language.

University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague

University of Chemistry and Technology (UCT) in Prague was founded in 1952. It was the first Czech University to offer a European Bachelor’s degree. UCT has one of the best research facilities in the Czech Republic and attracts students and academics from around the world. University has a total of four faculties: Chemical Technology, Environmental Technology, Food and Biochemical Technology and Chemical Engineering. UCT offers a wide range of Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral programs taught in English. 

Czech Technical University in Prague

Czech Technical University in Prague was founded in 1707. It is one of the oldest technical universities in Europe, which attracts over 17,000 students every year, including 3,500 international students. The university has eight faculties, offering Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programs, with some programs taught in other languages, including English. The university partners with over 400 international higher education institutions and has excellent working connections with many world-known companies such as Skoda, Siemens, Bosch, ABB, Honeywell, GE and many others. 

Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague

Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) is one of the most prestigious art schools in the world. It has a total of 6 departments: Architecture, Design, Theory and History of Arts, Fine Arts, Graphics and Applied Arts. The academy has 24 studios, where study programs take place, some of the programs are also offered in English. The academy partners with over 50 institutions in the Erasmus + exchange programs. 

How do I apply to study at a Czech University?

If you wish to study in the Czech Republic, you need to decide on the specialisation you want to study, the university you want to attend and decide on the language to study in. Programs taught in Czech at public universities are free of charge, whereas programs taught in English are fee based. 

You may wish to study in Prague or in a more tranquil location. 

So, provided you know what you want to study and where, and have a good command of Czech (minimum at B2 level), you are ready to begin your educational journey in the Czech Republic. If you have just finished high school and are looking to enrol in a Bachelor’s degree program, you will need to submit an application on the university website together with proof of completion of your high school education. This document will need to be nostrificated, which means recognised as equivalent to similar level of education in the Czech Republic. Public universities are usually able to accept documents for nostrification as part of their enrolment procedure. In some cases, applicants may need to sit a recognition examination if the provided education cannot be recognised. 

Once the nostrification is complete, depending on the university and specialisation of your choice, you may need to sit and pass some admission exams. If you are applying to study in Czech, there will be a Czech language exam or if you are applying for a program, which is taught in English, then all of the exams will also be in English. If you are applying to study at a private university then you will need to pay tuition fee for your studies, regardless of the language your program is taught in. 

If you are applying to enrol in a Master’s degree program, then you will need to follow similar process as above, but you will be required to provide your Bachelor’s degree certificate. And if you are applying for a Doctoral degree, then you will be asked to provide your Master’s degree certificate. 

Advantages of studying in Prague

One of the main advantages of studying in Prague is that you can study in the Czech Republic for free at a public university, even if you are an international student. The main condition is that you must have a good command of the Czech language (minimum level B2 of language proficiency is required) as all free public university programs are taught in Czech. Studying in English is also possible, but you will be required to pay for your studies.

Choosing to live and study in Prague also means that you are well positioned for any European travel, either for further study or work opportunities, or simply to get away from it all and spend a weekend away exploring new European destinations. 

And if you have an ISIC card, then be sure to use it in Prague. There are plenty of discounts on offer for the ISIC card holders! Who doesn’t like a good bargain! Whether you are dining out, renting a bike, going for a haircut or buying a new pair of glasses – don’t forget to check if your ISIC card gives you a discount!

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