Czech Education System

Education in the Czech Republic is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 15. In 1996, the gross primary enrollment rate was 104 percent, and in 1995, the net primary enrollment rate was 86.9 percent. Primary school attendance rates were unavailable for the Czech Republic as of 2001. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children’s participation in school. Ethnic Roma children attend school less regularly and attend “special schools” for mentally disabled or socially maladjusted individuals.

The Czech school system has four degrees:

  • Preschools (from 2 to 5 years old)
  • Elementary (from 6 to 15 years old, mandatory)
  • High schools, grammar schools, colleges and training colleges
  • Universities

Education in the Czech Republic is free, but there are some exceptions like preschools which are paid by parents, though only the last year before entering elementary school is free. There is also a long-standing talk about paying fees for attending university. However, as education is free, parents pay only textbooks, basic equipment and food if their child eats in a school cafeteria. The state pays health insurance for students up to 26 years of age.

Primary Schools

The primary school consists of nine grades which are divided to two sub stages. The first stage is usually referred to as a primary school and the second stage secondary schools. In towns and cities both stages are usually implemented into one school, however, some villages only offer the first stage and the older children have to commute to the nearest town. There is also an exception of grammar schools which are attended by children from the sixth to thirteenth grade. This type of school is usually meant as a route to universities.

Secondary Schools

At the age of 15 pupils can choose among a variety of secondary schools:

  • Grammar schools with general and rather academic education which prepare students for university study.
  • Special schools which include technical colleges, specialized in building, chemistry, engineering etc., business academies, agricultural schools, nursing schools, music and art schools which offer professional Education.
  • Vocational schools training would-be workers for practical jobs.

Secondary education usually lasts for 4 years and at grammar and specialized schools it is finished with a school-leaving examination which is required by all universities and colleges. This examination is taken in four subjects at grammar schools and in five or more subjects at specialized schools. The examination is held in May and is mostly oral except Czech language in which an essay is written about a month before. The oral part of the exam takes about two hours, half an hour for each subject. A student chooses one of 25 to 30 topics by drawing a number and after 15 minutes' preparation he/she speaks on the topic and solves given tasks. After the graduates have passed their school-leaving exam they receive the School-Leaving Certificate and they can apply for study at universities and colleges.

School Years

The school year starts on the first weekday of September and ends on the last weekday of June. It is divided into two semesters with exams at the end of each. Usually, the first semester runs from 1.9. to 30.1. and the second from 1.2. to 30.6., separated by a one day break and summer holidays. The actual dates, along with holidays and breaks, are announced by each school individually and may vary slightly.


Higher Education in the Czech Republic consist of public, state and private universities. Study at public universities is unlimited and free, but after the age of 26, the attendant will not receive the student status from social services and state would not pay his health insurance if he continue studying. For private Universities a fee falls between 2 000 and 3 000 euro and for BSBA and MBA study programs between 3 000 and 10 000 euro. Prestige and qualities of education and research of public and state universities is much higher than private ones. Private universities have undergone many scandals in last year’s. The Higher Education System in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has a long history of offering quality higher education. Over 600 years ago, the first University was established in Prague. The system of higher education in the Czech Republic has been adapted according to the Bologna Process with the introduction of a credit system compatible with the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). This system makes a degree from the Czech Republic internationally competitive and comparable. Institutions of higher education in the Czech Republic are divided into state, public and private institutions. The difference between non-university and university type institutions is that non-university institutions mainly offer bachelor degrees.

Higher education in the Czech Republic is offered at three different levels:

  • Bachelor study programmes (usually 3 years)
  • Master study programmes (usually 5 years)
  • Doctoral study programmes (usually 3 years)

The bachelor and master study programmes are available for applicants who have passed their secondary education and the doctoral study programmes are open to graduates of the master study programmes.

University Deadlines

The deadline for submitting applications to the higher education institutions of the Czech Republic is normally the end of February or March. To be admitted to higher education in the Czech Republic students need to have completed a full secondary or full secondary vocational education. Those who want to apply to a Master programme should generally have completed a relevant Bachelor’s degree. Students apply directly to the institution in question. If you choose to study in Czech language at a public or state university your studies in the Czech Republic will be free of charged. However, public institutions of higher education will charge a tuition fee for study programme that are taught in another language than Czech. The tuition fees will vary according to institution and faculty.


  • Autumn holidays- two working days around Independent Czechoslovak State Day (28/10), which is a public holiday
  • Christmas (winter) holidays - about 9 – 12 days (usually 22/12 - 2/1)
  • Mid-term break - one-day holiday (4/2)
  • Spring holidays - one-week holiday with the date varying according to the district (usually from the beginning of February until the end of March)
  • Easter holidays - three-day holiday (called Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Monday)
  • Labour Day - one-day holiday (1/5)
  • Liberation Day - one day holiday (8/5)
  • summer holidays - sixty-two-day holiday (1/7 - 31/8)

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