Majority of Foreign University Students from Post Soviet States

Prague, Dec 16 (CTK) – The number of foreigners at Czech universities who come from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan has been increasing and they formed nearly one fourth of the foreign students in the Czech Republic in 2016, according to the latest data of the Czech Statistical Office (CSU).


Last year, 14 percent of the undergraduates in the country were foreigners: over 43,600 foreigners studied at public or private colleges and universities. About half of the students were from Slovakia and some 10,400 were from the three above post-Soviet states.


The number of Slovaks studying in the Czech Republic has been decreasing since 2012, while the numbers of students from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan are going up.


If young foreigners study at public universities together with the local students, they have the same conditions as Czechs, which means that they do not pay anything for their studies. Tuition is paid for study programmes in foreign languages and at private colleges and universities.


In 2007, there were 27,600 foreign undergraduates in the country. Over the following nine years their number increased by 58 percent (16,000).


A slight majority of the foreign students are women (53.4 percent) and their share is gradually increasing.


Since 2011, the share of EU citizens among the foreign undergraduates has been lowering, mainly because of a decrease in the number of Slovaks. The number of students from outside of the EU has been steadily growing.


In 2016, 5,900 Russians, 2,900 Ukrainians and 1,600 Kazakhs studied at Czech universities. A majority of the students from outside of the EU were from these three countries.


Compared with 2015, the number of foreign undergraduates increased by about 1,500 last year – the number of EU foreigners by 200 and that of non-EU foreigners by 1,300.


Most of the foreign undergraduates (87 percent) study at public universities. They mostly studied medicine, pharmacy, life sciences and art. At private schools, foreigners most often studied economy and social sciences.


Fifteen percent of the foreign students (over 6,350) paid tuition fees last year, which is about 740 more than in 2015. Nearly all British (96 percent) and Portuguese (93 percent) students paid tuition as well as three fourths of German and two thirds of Indian students.


On the contrary, only 6 percent of the Russian and 0.5 percent of the Slovak students paid tuition in 2016.


Foreign students whose mother tongue is Slavic, which means close to Czech often undergo a Czech language course in the country before they start studying at a Czech university.


Non-EU foreigners who graduate from a Czech university do not need any work permission.