Half of international students stay in Czechia to work after graduation

International students strengthen the country’s population of qualified university workers while promoting Czechia in the world, say pollsters.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 29.06.2022 14:31:00 (updated on 29.06.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

New findings show that roughly half of the foreigners studying at Czech universities stay in the country to work after graduation – and according to pollsters, international students positively impact Czech society.

The Czech National Agency for International Education and Research (DZS) polled 4,500 foreign graduates of Czech universities last Nov. and Dec. Around 69 percent of them studied in the Czech Republic in a regular study program, and 28 percent studied during a short-term stay.

Nine out of ten respondents said that their studies in the Czech Republic were beneficial for their careers. About 45 percent of them stayed in the Czech Republic after graduation due to work.

Around 58 percent of graduates of full-time study programs in the Czech Republic remained in the field in which they graduated. A quarter of them worked in a related field after graduation.

Health and social care, business, administration and law, natural sciences, mathematics, and statistics were the most represented fields of study among the respondents. The vast majority of respondents to the poll are currently employed or run their own businesses.

Those studying in the Czech Republic primarily for purposes of career advancement said the most significant benefits of studying in Czechia were the qualifications and international experience acquired, competitiveness in the labor market, and prestige.

The most common reasons graduates gave for returning home were family and personal reasons, work, and unsatisfactory earnings.

“Finding a job as a person living in a foreign country is relatively easy. However, the variety of jobs is lacking. After a few years of experience, I managed to start my own company and have been doing it since 2017," said one of the respondents.

According to Jakub Tesař from DZS, 7 out of ten foreign graduates enrolled in a full program of study confirmed that they were already working in the Czech Republic at the time of their studies.

"Most of them will probably stay here and work here," he said.

According to Tesař, of those students who were on short-term stays, nine percent indicated they’d stay after graduation, while 69 percent of those in regular study programs had a similar opinion.

Tesař said the reason many foreigners decide to study in the Czech Republic is that they can work while studying. He added that finding a job was easy for 88 percent of Slovak respondents and 68 percent of other foreigners.

But Tesař emphasized that the make-up of internationals studying in the Czech Republic is changing.

While just a few years ago half of the international student body in the Czech Republic was from Slovakia, Slovak students now represent about 40 percent of international students with more students hailing from post-Soviet states.

An estimated 49 percent of Slovak graduates stay in the Czech Republic for work, compared to 41 percent from other countries. Last year, 16 percent of foreigners were from Russia and eight percent from Ukraine. Tesař said this will likely change as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Having international students in the Czech Republic strengthens the country’s population of qualified university workers while promoting Czechia in the world, Tesař said.

About 97 percent of foreign graduates in the survey said they would recommend studying in the Czech Republic. Two-thirds had a good relationship with the Czech Republic before coming to a Czech university. Similarly, a large number reported that their relationship with the country had improved as a result of their studies.

The favorable feedback was more pronounced among those on short-term study programs.

Tesař believes this has an important impact on the positive promotion of the Czech Republic abroad. It is in the Czech Republic's interest to attract foreigners, for example, to study IT, he said.

There are currently about 304,000 students at Czech universities, of which foreigners make up about 17 percent. The number of international students in the Czech Republic has been on the rise for twenty years, a pattern that didn’t slow even in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic.

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