This chapter provides a thematic and chronological overview of national reforms and policy developments since 2021.
The introduction of the chapter describes the overall education strategy and the key objectives across the whole education system. It also looks at how the education reform process is organised and who are the main actors in the decision-making process.
The section on ongoing reforms and policy developments groups reforms in the following broad thematic areas that largely correspond to education levels:
Inside each thematic area, reforms are organised chronologically. The most recent reforms are described first.
Overall national education strategy and key objectives
Strategy for education policy of the Czech Republic 2030+
In November 2019, the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports published the document the Main Directions for the Education Policy of the Czech Republic's until 2030+, the initial analytical and value document for the new strategy prepared by an external expert group. On 19 October 2020, the government approved the Strategy for education policy of the Czech Republic 2030+ (hereinafter referred to as the “Strategy 2030+”). The Strategy 2030+ sets the direction of education development and investment priorities for the next ten years. The aim is to modernise the Czech education system in the field of regional education, leisure time activities and non-formal education and lifelong learning, prepare it for new challenges and at the same time solve the problems that persist in Czech education.
The Strategy 2030+ has two main strategic objectives:
Strategic objective 1: To focus education more on acquiring the competencies needed for active civic, professional and personal life
Strategic objective 2: To reduce inequalities in the access to quality education and enable the maximum development in children's, pupils' and students' potential
The strategic objectives will be implemented through five strategic lines, which indicate how to achieve the goals:
Changing the content, methods and evaluation of education
Equal access to quality education
Support for education staff
Increasing professional capacity, trust and mutual cooperation
Increasing funding and ensuring its stability
The implementation of the strategy will take place in three periods: 2020–2023, 2023–2027 and 2027–2031. In each of the defined periods, implementation will be based on the identification of five key measures that have the most significant potential to contribute to the fulfilment of the objectives of the Strategy 2030+ itself. These key measures will then be processed into separate measure cards with a defined structure. The cards of key measures for the period 2020–2030 are an annex to the Strategy 2030+.
Until 2023, the implementation document valid for the area of so-called regional education, i.e. all levels and areas with the exception of higher education, is, in addition to the newly created implementation cards of the Strategy 2030+, also the Long-term Plan for Education and the Development of the Education System of the Czech Republic (2019–2023) based on the Strategy for Education Policy until 2020. The new Strategy 2030+ takes into account the content of partial objectives and measures of this long-term plan.
The process of implementation of the first five key measures will be evaluated in 2023, at the end of the first period of implementation of the Strategy 2030+, and a selection of key measures for the following implementation period will be made. Measures for the years 2023-2027 and 2027-2031 will be developed and will become part of the long-term plans for education and development of the educational system of the Czech Republic for the next period.
The details are available also in section National reforms in school education.
Strategic Plan of the Ministry for Higher Education for the Period from 2021
The new strategic material in the field of higher education is the Strategic Plan of the Ministry for Higher Education for the period from 2021 (SZ2021+), which was approved by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in June 2020. SZ2021+ formulates in twenty points a general vision of higher education and its significance for society.
The long-term goal and task of the ministry is to create such conditions for all higher education institutions to:
provide quality education to students in the form of on-site courses, distance learning courses or in courses combining both forms, as well as through lifelong learning courses available to the general public;
carry out research, development, artistic and other creative and professional activities, the outputs of which will support the social, economic and cultural development of the country;
be themselves active actors in society, open to cooperation, discussion and knowledge sharing.
SZ2021 + includes the following six priority objectives:
develop competencies directly relevant to life and practice in the 21st century;
improve the availability and relevance of flexible forms of education;
increase the efficiency and quality of doctoral studies;
strengthen strategic management and effective use of research and development capacities at higher education institutions;
build capacity for strategic management of higher education;
reduce the administrative burden on higher education institutions staff so that they can fully devote themselves to their mission.
The individual priority objectives are developed at the level of operational objectives and specific measures.
A complementary document to the SZ2021+ is the Strategy for the internationalisation of higher education for the period from 2021, which formulates goals and measures to strengthen the international dimension of higher education institution activities. The priority objectives of this strategy are:
- Developing global competences of HE students and staff
- The internationalisation of HE study programmes
- Simplifying the process for recognising the education from abroad
- Creating an international environment at HEIs and promotion abroad
- Strengthening the strategic management of internationalisation
- Internationalisation activities of the national accreditation bureau
Details on both strategies are available in section National reforms in higher education.
Important implementation tools for achieving the goals set are financial programmes. The grant programmes for the regional (school) education announced by the Ministry of Education or the Government reflect the particular and current needs of the given area. The Programme to Support the Strategic Management of HEIs and the Centralised Development Programmes contribute to the development of the higher education institutions. Within the framework of and Operational Programmes projects across all educational levels are carried out. The European Education Area until 2025 is currently being implemented at EU level, which will have its own indicator set. It is linked to the ET 2020 (Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training).
Overview of the education reform process and drivers
In Czechia, the reform initiatives in education can originate, as in many other EU countries, from different stakeholders – government, regional and local authorities, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, employers and employee unions, and business. Most often, it is a political initiative launched by elected officials (members of Parliament) or Government Ministers, which is then put forward, mainly by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports as the national authority in particular through educational strategies. At present, it is the Strategy for education policy of the Czech Republic 2030+, including its implementation using cards of measures and long-term plans for the development of the education system, and in the case of higher education the Strategic Plan of the Ministry for Higher Education for the period from 2021, including measures to implement it. The implementation tool of this plan are the Plans for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for individual years. For more details, see above Overall national education strategy and key objectives.