Czechia registers record-high number of international students

Almost one-fifth of all students in Czechia are from abroad, representing a sharp increase in the past 20 years.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 22.05.2023 15:34:00 (updated on 22.05.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

The number of foreign, full-time students in Czechia is continually increasing – almost one in five students nationwide was from abroad in 2022. Newly released data from the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO) shows that around 55,000 foreigners studied in the country last year – a year-on-year increase of 3 percent. Around half of all study in Prague.

In 2012, under 40,000 students from foreign countries studied in Czechia. This figure was at just 11,000 in 2002 when just one-tenth of students were from abroad. There are slightly more female international students than male students, and the vast majority are between the age of 20 and 24 years and doing a bachelor's degree. Around 6,000 students are over 30.

Slovaks, Russians, and Ukrainians the most frequent

People from 166 foreign countries studied at Czech universities last year. Slovaks remained the largest demographic group, accounting for 38 percent of all foreign university students. Students from Russia and Ukraine were the next-most common, with about 7,600 and 6,200 students respectively. 


  • 1.Slovakia
  • 2.Russia
  • 3.Ukraine
  • 4.Kazakhstan
  • 5.India
  • 6.Belarus
  • 7.Germany
  • 8.Italy
  • 9.China
  • 10.Iran
  • 11.Turkey
  • 12.Vietnam
  • 13.Israel
  • 14.US

    By order of student numbers

    Source: Czech Statistical Office, 2022 data

The release of next year’s statistics may reflect a sharp fall in the number of Russian students in Czechia following the government’s decision to limit the issuance of visas for Russian and Belarusian students. The opposite is true of Ukrainian students following the influx of young people from the country – between 2021 and 2022, the CZSO calculated a 43-percent increase in Ukrainian students.

Popular with Asian students

Kazakh, Belarusian, and Chinese students were the most frequent foreign students (apart from those aforementioned) who were studying a bachelor’s-level program. Of master’s students, the most common nationality was again Slovak, followed by Russian and Ukrainian.

Notably, Indian students were the fourth-most numerous foreign master’s students, totaling over 1,100 – a 28-percent increase year on year. Out of all doctoral programs in Czechia, there were more Indian students than those from Russia and Ukraine. German, Italian, Iranian, Turkish, and Vietnamese students are among those that made up the remaining share of foreign students, although their total numbers were all relatively low.

Which subject?

Incorporating data from domestic students, the CZSO noted that “in recent years, the number of students in the fields of natural sciences, IT, education, and healthcare has been growing the fastest. On the contrary, interest in studying technical and social sciences is decreasing.”

The majority of foreign students – about one in five – studied business, administration, and law. The least-frequently studied degrees were in education faculties as well as in agriculture and veterinary-related subjects.

Czechia had a total of 304,500 students in 2022 – 40 percent of whom studied in Prague. Although the number of students in Czechia has been increasing in the past decade, the number of graduates has been falling due to high numbers of students dropping out, which could be due to the country's increased cost of living. Almost 40 percent fewer students graduated in 2012 compared with 2022, despite thousands more students being enrolled last year.

The strong rise in the proportion of foreign students in Czechia underlines the country’s increasing appeal to people across the continent and world – reflective of better affordability, rising living standards, more job opportunities, and improved educational quality.

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