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Initial education for academic staff in higher education

Czechia

9.Teachers and education staff

9.4Initial education for academic staff in higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023

The qualification of the education staff at tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) is set by the Act on Education Staff. For the academic staff at higher education institutions (vysoké školy), the requirements are set by the institutions.

Tertiary professional schools

The staff of the tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) include teachers of general or theoretical vocational subjects, and teachers of practical education and work practice. They are not required to have completed teacher training.

Teachers of general and theoretical vocational subjects complete a Bachelor's degree, followed by a Master's study in the field of study which corresponds to the subject they will teach (or 4 to 6 year of undivided concurrent Master's degree study programmes, e.g. in medical programmes). The typical length of training of the future teacher of general subjects or teacher of vocational subjects is 9 years of a basic school (základní škola), 4 years of an upper secondary school (střední škola) with the Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška), 3 to 4 years of Bachelor's study programme and 1 to 3 years of Master's study programme at a higher education institution (vysoká škola) and the qualification gained corresponds to ISCED level 747/746.

Teachers of practical education and teachers of work practice are trained at higher education institutions, at tertiary professional schools or at upper secondary schools (střední školy) in fields of study completed by the Maturita examination. The length of their study and qualification gained are similar as for the teachers in upper secondary education.

Arts subjects can be taught also by an individual who was an art performer of fine art artist but has not a necessary education (qualification can be recognised only for subjects relevant to his/her specialisation and only at the particular school).

Since 2015 under certain conditions the school head can recognise a special qualification also to persons mentioned below who do not fulfil the basic prerequisites. Such a teacher can work only half-time and a part of the work in relation to the school he/she has to perform the activity of a trainer or the activity in the field in which he/she is a specialist. The exemption is recognised only during the time when all conditions are fulfilled. The prerequisite is recognised:

  • to persons with qualification of a coach and exclusively for teaching subjects corresponding to the qualification of a trainer

  • to a respected specialist in a field and exclusively for teaching a subject corresponding to the relevant specialisation

As for the education and training of students with special educational needs, education staff working with these students need not have a special pedagogical qualification because tertiary professional schools specifically designed for disabled students do not exist.

Higher education institutions

At a higher education institution (vysoká škola), teaching is provided by the academic staff, i.e. professor (profesor), associate professor (docent), extraordinary professor (mimořádný profesor), senior assistant (odborný asistent), assistant (asistent), lecturer (lektor) and academics involved in science, research and development who also perform the teaching activity. Other experts can participate in teaching as well, on the basis of an agreement of the work activities outside the contracts of employment. The status of a visiting professor (hostující profesor) and professor emeritus (emeritní profesor) is stated in the internal regulations of a higher education institution. Academic staff carries out educational activities as well as scientific, research, development and innovative, artistic and other creative activities. Academic staff are governed by the Higher Education Act.

In this law, the teaching qualifications of academic staff are not set; the higher education institutions themselves set the requirements for the qualification of academic staff. The minimum qualification required by the higher education institutions is usually the Master's or Doctoral degree. The details on lengths, general organisation and admission requirements can be seen in Chapter 7 on Higher Education. Academic staff on the position of the associate professor and professor is usually required to have the appropriate academic degree in general.

Concerning the students with special educational needs, higher education institutions generally integrate disabled students on an individual basis, but other forms are also possible; a group of hearing impaired students, for example, graduates from the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in the field of mime and creative drama every year. At the Faculty of Education of Charles University hearing impaired students can study a special pedagogy course; at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, hearing impaired students can attend a course named 'Czech language in the communication of the hearing impaired'. The lectures are translated into Czech sign language. Academic staff working with disabled students at these faculties must have a qualification in special education. However, such a qualification is only prescribed by internal regulations of the individual institution or faculty and is not generally legally valid.