of the Czech Rectors Conference on the European Parliament Elections
Czech Republic higher education institutions are an integral part of the European Higher Education Area where more than 20 million students are currently studying. Higher education institutions prepare students for skilled occupations in the era of the so-called education economics, promote independent, socially responsible and critical thinking that is essential for the economic, political and cultural cohesion of European communities.
Czech Rectors Conference considers the May 2019 European Parliament Elections important for further development of education in the Czech Republic. Over the past ten years, education in the Czech Republic has benefited from European funds in a total amount of CZK 85 billion. The European Union supported especially the development of study programmes, first outside of Prague (Operational Programme Education for Competitiveness in the amount of CZK 16 billion), then in the whole Czech Republic (Operational Programme Research, Development and Education – CZK 37 billion). It also helped to create a modern scientific infrastructure base and employ top researchers (Operational Programme Research and Development for Innovations – CZK 32 billion). These projects have succeeded in modernizing the higher education system in the Czech Republic and contributed to the competitiveness of Czech Republic higher education institutions on an international scale.
Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus programmes have enabled tens of thousands of students and academics from higher education institutions in the Czech Republic to gain international experience. A total of 61,000 students had the opportunity to learn how education is realized at European and non-European universities or to complete internships abroad. Czech higher education institutions teachers used financial support from the Erasmus programme and the opportunity to give lectures abroad as well as integrate into international research within 13,000 trips.
It is extremely important for the Czech Republic to be represented by qualified and competent people in the forthcoming European parliamentary term, working together with representatives of other European countries towards creating a strong education system for the knowledge-based economy with the ability to succeed in growing global competition with large economic world powers asserting themselves more and more vigorously. Czech Rectors Conference, therefore, calls on all citizens, especially students and higher education institutions employees, to use their democratic rights, take part in the European Parliament Elections, and in deciding who to vote for choose from among those parties advocating for the development and deepening of European cooperation.
Jihlava, 25 April 2019
On behalf of the Czech Rectors Conference
Prof. Dr. Tomáš Zima