TERTIARY EDUCATION IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC – TRENDS AND REFORM
Charles University in Prague (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Tertiary education in the Czech Republic is traditionally offered by universities – on the ISED 5A and 6 levels. These may either be of university or non-university institutions. Higher vocational schools offering rather practically focused special education are relatively a new constituent of the tertiary education of the ISCED 5B level.
The proportion of the enrolled applicants for the attendance study of the tertiary education in the population of 19 year old students was 58.6% in the year 2008 – of which universities comprised approximately 90% and higher vocational schools 10%. The applicants who took the A level in the year 2008 comprised altogether 86.3% of those enrolled in the attendance study, or 49.3% enrolled in all forms of the study.
In January 2009, the Czech government negotiated the White Book of tertiary education which should provide a conception basis for the legislative changes in the tertiary education (the conclusions form a part of the forthcoming reform of the system of higher education).
The author analyses some basic indices concerning the tertiary education which are as follows:
● a smaller number of young people in the population at the age between 19 and 21,
● a higher number of studying at the age between 20 and 30,
● a permanent growth of interest in studying at universities, the decrease of activities
of higher vocational schools.
At the present time, the preparation of starting the reform of the tertiary education in the Czech Republic culminates. The reform reacts to the following indices:
● Little money (1.2%). The Czech Republic gives for the university education only 1.2% of its GDP while the average of OCDE is 2%. The reform is based on the precondition that there will not be more money for the school system at the time of permanent budget savings. That is why the authors of the reform try to divide at least the resources which are available.
● Few Bachelors (20%).The degree of Bachelor in the Czech Republic is sufficient for every fifth student, the others continue in their studies. According to the Ministry of Education this is one of the problems: the study lasts too long, which costs superfluous money. Therefore the bachelor programmes should be changed and made more attractive.
● Many colleges and universities (71 schools). There are 71 universities (private and public ones) in the Czech Republic. Based on the experts´ views, the number is too high and their qualities cannot be pursued. There are 115 universities in Great Britain the population of which amounts to 62 million. In Finland, having one of the most successful school systems in the world, are 16 universities per 5.3% million inhabitants.
The conclusion will present 6 most important reform suggestions how to improve universities.