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Number of foreign students continues to rise /14. 08. 2014/

The numbers of students from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Vietnam at Czech universities have increased steeply over the past 10 years, and one of the main reasons is that those studying in Czech pay no tuition fees, daily Právo writes today.

In 2013, 4,312 Russians studied at Czech universities, while it was 416 a decade earlier. As the Russian language is related to Czech, Russians easily learn Czech in one year, the paper writes. The number of Ukrainian students has been growing gradually from 458 in 2003 to 2,019 last year.

Ten years ago, there were only 75 students from Kazakhstan at Czech universities, but in 2013 their number reached 1,368. The number of Vietnamese and Belarusian students rose from 178 to 1,045 and from 183 to 617 in the same period, respectively.

As far as EU countries are concerned, most students come from the United Kingdom (505), Germany (436), Portugal (413), Poland (360) and Greece (355).

Other countries from which people have arrived to study in the Czech Republic are Norway (359), Malaysia (306), Azerbaijan (212) and Israel (134). But clearly the biggest group of foreign students is Slovaks, whose number has exceeded 20,000 since 2009. There were 23,434 of them in 2013.

However, Slovaks are not really considered foreigners, as the languages are so similar that they can speak Slovak at Czech universities, and the older generation of Czechs has a good command of Slovak because the Czechoslovak state split in two only in 1993. Slovaks comprised 6.36 percent of all students at Czech universities in 2013. The number of foreign students, not including Slovaks, was 17,402.

Foreign students other than Slovaks must prove that they can speak Czech. If they pass a language test, they can study together alongside Czechs for free. If students attend university in English, they have to pay tuition fees set by each university.

At Prague's Charles University, the highest tuition for studies in English is paid at the medical faculty, with a fee for dentistry being 360,000 Kč a year, while the lowest tuition is 50,000 Kč at the Faculty of Humanities.

In total, 4,631 foreigners paid for university study in the Czech Republic last year.

Source: Praguepost.com, 14.08.2014. Full article can be found here.

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