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April 4, 2011

International student population quadruples

Czech Universities are by no means in want of fresh blood, as the international student population has grown by four times in the last ten years to nearly 38,000, according to the Institute for Information in Education.

As the Czech News Agency reported April 1, the institute found that of those foreign students, about one-third come to study economics and around 17 percent study technical fields. 15 percent come to do their medical training and around the same amount study humanities.

All total there are 400,000 students in the Czech Republic studying at one of the 26 public, 45 private or two state-run universities, or one of the 182 colleges.

In a time of austerity, the increase in demand will no doubt lead many universities to consider raising tuition fees for foreign students, but anyone interested in developing multi-cultural institutes of higher learning would caution against that, at least right away. Much like foreign companies investing in the Czech Republic for cheap labor, foreign students come because they can get a decent quality education for free or relatively cheap. While there is nothing wrong with those workers demanding higher wages or the universities demanding higher tuition fees, the quality of the service provided will have to increase as well.

David Beňák
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