Located in the geographic heart of Europe, the Czech Republic is an achingly beautiful country with a long and twisted history. As a college student looking to study abroad, you could scarcely do better than spend a term or two studying in this gorgeous and storied place. Studying in the Czech Republic is a unique experience - first class education, great student support, diverse range of study programs, affordable tuition fees and lower costs of living, and last but not least, a colorful cultural experience and fascinating history.
More and more foreigners are seeking education in the Czech Republic which is free of charge for the Czech-language education. Nevertheless, growing number of students from abroad opt to study in English. Last year only, more than 4,000 foreigners paid for their education in the Czech Republic. As fees are significantly lower than in the United States or Western Europe, it became more and more popular for the Americans and Brits to study in the Czech Republic. The prices highly differ, from amount of 1,000 USD/year for Theology to 17,000 USD/year for the Medicine.
Most foreigners study at the Charles University, the biggest Czech university and the third oldest university in Europe, established in the 14th century. Currently, foreign students are establishing about 18 % of all students at the Czech universities. Above that, the Government of the Czech Republic annually offers scholarships within its Foreign Development Assistance Programme (so-called “government scholarships”) which support students from developing countries who would like to study at Czech public universities.
Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Philippines Mr. Jaroslav Olša, jr. explains that there is a simple reason why the Czech Republic is increasingly looking towards the Philippines for deeper educational cooperation: the Czech Republic, with its low unemployment rate of only 3,3 % (lowest in the EU!), is in need of new talented workers from abroad, especially in the field of technology, engineering, medicine etc. Therefore, Czech universities are striving to engage with Philippine universities and establish greater student exchange. Czech universities are also trying to harness the exceptional biodiversity in the Philippines and organize field trips to the Philippines to do the research here (such as entomologists, tropical agriculture experts, biologists, zoologists etc.) and introduce bilateral projects here in the area of environment protection, forestry, chemistry etc.
Number of bilateral university agreements between Czech and Philippine universities is rapidly growing, exceeding 30 agreements now. Among the most sought-after universities in the Philippines belong University of Philippines, De La Salle University, Ateneo de Manila and Mapua University of Technology - just to name a few. Apart from the universities coming to Manila, there are many more popular with Pilipino students – such as Charles University, University of Tomas Bata in Zlin, University of New York in Prague etc.
Czech universities already implement projects and research in couple of regions, such as Bohol, Negros, Mindanao, Leyte etc. For example, students of Mendel University of Brno together with DLSU Bacolod built up a sophisticated ecotourism hiking trail in Negros. Czech University of Life Sciences is pursuing cooperation with Visayas State University in identification of biologically active compounds, usable in pharmaceutical industry.
Arriving Czech universities have ambitious plans in the Philippines, e.g. University of Chemistry and Technology Prague will try to seal the cooperation with DLSU in biotech and food safety and brewing a beer (yes, it is a part of university education in Czech Republic!).