Czech higher education institutions are involved in complex system of international cooperation in the area of higher education, which is based on many international or interuniversity agreements. Their aim is above all supporting the student mobility and facilitation of the study conditions for foreign nationalities coming to the Czech Republic.
The education recognition means academic recognition (opposite to qualifications recognition) and it involves detailed comparison of the study plans followed by decision whether the education acquired abroad is equivalent to the education provided in the Czech Republic or not.
In the area of education recognition is the Czech Republic obligated to act upon the agreements which it has concluded with some countries. These are not only EU countries.
The most specified are the international bilateral treaties on the mutual recognition of equivalence of documents on education attained (so called “Equivalent agreements”). This has the Czech Republic concluded with Hungary, Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia and Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. These agreements mean in general that the students do not have to apply for recognition (with exception of Germany, where the education is implicitly presupposed, but the student has to get a certificate from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (MEYS)).
There are also many international multilateral agreements, which specify education recognition process in concrete states. One of the most important is Lisbon or Hague Convention.
The process of recognition of foreign education depends mostly on the fact, if the Czech Republic has with the student´s home state assigned an agreement (and what kind) or not. The process is described in Sections 89 and 90 of Act No. 111/1998 Coll., On Higher Education Institutions.
In case of existing bilateral agreement neither the certificate of recognition nor legislation of the document is needed in general. MEYS will issue a certificate of recognition of education only if it was acquired in a state with which an agreement on the recognition of document equivalence has been concluded and the ministry is authorized by this agreement to recognize a document, or if some doubt exists in the matter which public higher education institution implements a study programme of similar content and is thus appurtenant to decide on recognition. If the area of military science is concerned, recognition is determined by the Ministry of Defence in accordance with Section 95, Subsection 9 of the Higher Education Act; in the area of security services, recognition is determined by the Ministry of Interior.
If the student comes from the country which has assigned any multilateral agreement in the matters of mutual education recognition (mostly The Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region from April 1997 is meant here), certificate of recognition is issued by public higher education institution providing a degree programme that has similar content. If the public higher education institution discovers substantial differences in the degree programmes being compared, the request for recognition will be refused.
If the student comes from the country, which has not assigned any treaty with the Czech Republic in the matters of education recognition, the decision is issued primarily by the public higher institution, which organizes a study programme with similar content, and in case of doubts it is issued the MEYS.
Whether there is any treaty or not, it is recommended to have always a diploma or its authenticated copy and/or diploma supplement or its authenticated copy or full record of educational history available. Also the letter of attorney and the officially certified translation of these documents (preferably in Czech, but English is also possible) are recommended. Not only the higher education institution, but also some offices and other institutions may require it for any purpose.
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