UP has more international students with every year

Photo: Vojtěch Duda
thursday 16. january 2020, 8:07 – Text: Milada Hronová

Currently, 4497 international students from 108 countries study at Palacký University Olomouc. Year-on-year their number has been growing, increasing by more than a hundred percent over the past decade.

Palacký University Olomouc is a modern educational institution with a wide range of study programmes and scientific activities. Today, more than 20,000 students are studying at its eight faculties, and the number of those coming from abroad is increasing year after year.

“The increase in the number of foreign students corresponds to the current strategy of our university. The key to success in the global world of quality university education is targeted, purposeful internationalisation,” said Martin Kudláček, Vice-Rector for International Relations. As a matter of fact, UP received the prestigious European Association for International Education (EIAE) 2019 Institutional Award for its successful international strategy.

In 2019, 4497 foreign students from 108 countries studied at UP. Compared to the previous year, it means 452 more students. If the numbers of foreign students are compared with 2008, there are 2355 more today. Within a decade, the number of foreign students at UP has increased by more than a hundred percent.

According to the head of the Foreign Relations Department, Dalibor Mikuláš, in comparison to 2018, there are currently more students from Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, Poland, France, Italy, Israel, Germany, Japan, China, Turkey, and Kazakhstan studying at the Olomouc’s university.

“In the last three years, we have actively participated in major international educational trade fairs in Europe, Asia, and North and South Americas. We are successful in the Erasmus+ KA 103 and Erasmus+ KA 107 programmes, so these programmes are responsible for the increased numbers of students from countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Turkey,” said Mikuláš. He added that the increase in the number of students from Germany is related to the attractivity of paid foreign-language study programmes. “Students from Japan prefer short-term stays, while Israeli students are strongly interested in studying medicine in English. Currently, we are pleased with the increase in the number of Polish students who come to UP mainly through the Erasmus and CEEPUS programmes. Students from other Slavic countries come to study in Czech, the main reason being the growing reputation and quality of our university,” explained the head of the university’s foreign department. According to him, the list of UP educational activities is also successfully complemented by summer and winter schools, organised primarily in English and attended mainly by students from Chinese universities.

In UP undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, foreign students are most interested in studying medicine. In the last two years, there has also been a huge interest in international development studies, and the demand for psychology has increased. In terms of exchange stays at UP, the most popular fields are all philology programmes often in conjunction with history, all kinds of education including special education, law, political science, geography, physical education and sports, and more.

“Personally, I am very pleased that there is a growing interest in UP from abroad, but we would like to strengthen our foreign-language Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes even more. We still have great potential in this respect. The aim of Palacký University is to be an international centre of education with a substantial and long-term contribution to the city, region, and in many ways also the Czech Republic,” concluded Mikuláš.

Total number of foreign students in 2019: 4497. Total number of countries: 108. Increase of foreign students compared to 2013: 72.7%. Increase in international students compared to 2008: 109.9%.