Education System of the Czech Republic

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is responsible for the development of the Czech education system. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, municipal authorities, regional authorities, and Czech school inspectorate carries out the state administration of education that is governed by the Education Act. The administration body in the field of higher education in the Czech Republic is the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Higher education institutions are self-governing institutions. 

The Czech Education system comprises-
  • Preschools
  • Basic/Primary Schools
  • Upper secondary schools
  • Universities 
Children begin with preschool, and carry on to primary/basic, upper secondary schools, tertiary level education, and post-graduate education. This structure of Czech education conforms to the standards of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) that is approved by UNESCO. Public education in Czech Republic is free. 
Three acts are the base for the Czech education system: the Education Act, which regulates pre-primary, basic (compulsory), upper secondary and tertiary professional education; the Act on Educational Staff dealing with the teaching profession on the mentioned levels; the Higher Education Act covering higher education.

Czech Educational Background 

The Education in Czech Republic has always been valued.  The history of Czech education started in 863 with invitation from Rastislav of Moravia to Cyril and Methodius to come to Great Moravia and perform a liturgical service in the Slavonic language. The first university was set up in 1348 and the technical university in 1717. In 1717 compulsory education of 6 year came into force by law and from 1869 it was made compulsory for 8 years. Compulsory education was initiated in Bohemia in 1774 by the empress Maria Theresa.

Compulsory Education

Education in the Czech Republic is mandatory from ages 6 until 15. Students begin with the 9-year basic/elementary school comprising of two stages:

Stage 1 encompasses grades 1-5

Stage 2 encompasses grade 6-9

Nursery and Pre-school Education (ISCED 0)

The nursery and pre-school education in Czech Republic starts at the age of 3 and continues until 6. The pre-school is not compulsory and the costs vary for the same. There are many daycare services available for children in the Czech Republic that prepare them for a school learning environment.

Primary Education 

The primary education in Czech Republic begins at the age of 6 and is provided by elementary/basic schools (zakladni skola). The primary education lasts for 9 years and is split up into two stages:
  • Primary school (ISCED 1): The primary schools include grades 1-5
  • Lower secondary school (ISCED 2): The lower secondary schools include grades 6-9
Students at the age of 11 years, i.e. after grade 5 are given the option either to complete their studies at primary school, or move on to secondary education in vocational or academic skills. 

Secondary Education (ISCED 3)

Upper secondary education is offered by the secondary schools and it can be general and vocational education. Students at the age of 15 go for secondary education and can choose between the following upper secondary schools:
  • General secondary education: This form of education is of 4 years in duration and starts at age of 15 and goes on until 15. It concludes with a school leaving certificate. 
  • Technical secondary education: This form of education is of 4 years in duration and starts at age of 15 and goes on until 15.
  • Vocational secondary education: This form of education is of 2-3 years in duration and starts at the age of 15 or 16 and ends at 17.
Conservatories: Provides art education of 6 years in duration at the upper secondary and tertiary level or of 8 years in duration from lower-secondary to tertiary level.

Tertiary Education

Tertiary education is offered by tertiary professional schools, higher education institutions and conservatories.

Tertiary Professional Education (ISCED 5B)

Tertiary professional school in Czech Republic aims to develop and enhance the skills and knowledge gained at the secondary education level. It offers general education and vocational training. 

Higher Education (ISCED 5A & 6)

Higher education in the Czech Republic is offered by the public, private and state universities. 

Higher Education Institutions

Higher education institutions are of two types:

University: University type higher education institutions offer Bachelor, Master’s and Doctorate studies.

Non-university: Non-university higher education institutions offer only bachelor degree programmes.

The higher education institutions in Czech Republic are public, private and state. The public higher education institutions are free of charge, while the private institutions in the Czech Republic charge tuition fees. 

The public and private higher education institutions come under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, while the state higher education institutions come under the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of the Interior.  

Higher Education Degree Programmes

The higher education degree programmes in the Czech Republic are:

Bachelor’s degree: The bachelor degree programmes are of 3 to 4 years in duration, and are completed with a final state exam. 

Master’s degree: Master’s degree programmes in the Czech Republic may either follow on from Bachelor degree programme as follow-up Master’s programme that is of 1 to 3 years in duration, or do not follow on from a Bachelor programme, known as a full program that is of 4 to 6 years in duration.

Doctoral degree: These programmes are of 3 years in duration and require the candidates to hold a Master’s degree in order to be accepted into the programme.

Adult Education

Adult education and training is offered by basic schools, upper secondary schools, tertiary professional schools,  and higher education institutions; organisations; foundations, non-profit organisations; professional organisations, trade unions, churches, political parties, cultural institutions; organisations from the education sector; and commercial educational institutions. Retraining is one of the significant parts of adult education. The unemployed individuals registered as job seekers can go for programmes that are entirely financed by the Labour Office, on certain predefined conditions.

Admission Requirements

The basic and main requisite for entering the Bachelor’s degree programme or a full Master’s degree course of study is the completion of a full secondary general education or vocational education with a “Maturita” school-leaving examination. Admittance to a follow-up Master’s degree course depends on the successful completion of the relevant Bachelor degree programme or its equivalent. Admittance to Doctoral programme depends on the completion of a Master's degree programme. 

The specific admission requirements may vary depending upon the institution and course of study.

Students can apply at various higher education institutions and programmes. The dates and deadlines for the same vary. Generally, the deadline for submitting an application is February or March end. Also, at certain higher education institutions, students have to sit for an entrance examination. 

Maturita: School Leaving Examination

Students in the Czech Republic school after completion of the upper secondary schools are required to sit for a Maturita examination which is a school leaving examination. This examination determined the maturity level and knowledge of the pupils. Students who pass this examination are eligible to apply for Czech higher education studies.

Students, who haven’t passed a university entrance examination in their home country and want to apply for undergraduate studies in the Czech Republic, are required to take the Maturita exam. 

Entrance Examination

Students are required to sit for an entrance examination in order to gain admittance into the Czech universities. For a few of the study programmes, such as arts and architecture, students must pass an aptitude test. Some universities in the Czech Republic also accept the National Comparative Exams results. The entrance examination varies from university to university. 

Language Requirements 

Czech Language

Students who are applying for a study programme whose language of instruction is Czech, in that case, the students must demonstrate their Czech knowledge level by presenting a valid certificate in the Czech language

English Language

Students who are applying for a study programme whose language of instruction is English, in that case, you’re required to provide evidence of your command of the English language. Submit the scores of  either TOEFL or IELTS.


In Czech Republic, the government offers many scholarships to international students. Also, some Czech higher education institutions award scholarships to students. 

Education System At a Glance

 Education Level ISCED  School Type ExaminationDuration (in years)  Ages  (in years) 
 Pre-primary ISCED 0
  •  Nursery school
  • Preparatory schools
 No 3 3-6
 Primary ISCED 1 Primary school Entrance exam: Maturita assessment 5 6-11
 Lower Secondary ISCED 2 Lower secondary schools Entrance exam 411-15
 Upper Secondary ISCED 3 & 4
  •  General secondary schools
  • Upper secondary Technical schools
  • Upper secondary vocational school
 School-leaving examination: Maturita 2-515-19
 Tertiary Education ISCED 5 & 6 Universities Entrance exams 3-6 (Depends on degree level)19-23
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