Over 90 percent of Czech students work alongside their studies

A high cost of living has made work a necessary element of many Czech students' university lives – often to the detriment of their learning.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 14.11.2022 15:18:00 (updated on 14.11.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

A European study has found that Czechia has the third-highest proportion of students that supplement their university studies with a part-time job.

Research firm Eurostudent found that 92 percent of university students in Czechia work alongside their studies. Surprisingly, over 60 percent of those students who are employed have reported working during their lecture or teaching hours. 

On average, 78 percent of students in the 26 countries covered by the study reported working alongside their studies. Only Romania and Turkey have a higher share of working students than Czechia.

No choice but to work

"In order for their family budgets to support their university studies, students have to earn extra. Housing costs have also increased in recent weeks and months, and inflation is rising,” PAQ Research Analyst Karel Gargulák said, according to news server iDnes.cz.

Working during university may be detrimental to a young person’s educational future. Gargulák noted that work commitments can cause a student not to complete their university studies. The Eurostudent study found that about 10 percent of Czech students working over 20 hours weekly considered dropping out of university. 

When giving reasons for working during their studies, 77 percent of Czech students said they do it “to afford things that they would otherwise not be able to buy,” Aktualne.cz reports. Many Czech students simply do it out of necessity: in the study, one in three Czechs agreed with the statement that “without my job, I wouldn’t be able to afford to study.”

This is also highlighted by the fact that fewer than half of Czech students have a job that is related to their field of study.

Tuition fees would worsen the scenario

Studies at public universities in Czechia are free, but loans, grants, and scholarships issued to students in the country are relatively low. A 2021 study from the Institute for Democracy & Economic Analysis concluded that “only a very small proportion” of students received scholarships, which provide “only minimum” financial help.

The government's National Economic Council has recently proposed the introduction of tuition fees at Czech public universities. This would, ostensibly, improve the level of teaching.

In light of Czech students’ financial struggles, however, critics have responded negatively to the plans. “Students might not want to try to study at university,” Minister of Education Vladimír Balaš said, according to Aktualne.cz. He added that introducing further costs would make life almost impossible for Czech students. 

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