Private and denominational early childhood and school education
The 2004 Education Act does not include the term ‘private school’, but does mention individual school founders:
The schools which are usually called private are those established by any legal person other than the state, region, municipality, or a registered church or religious association.
- Denominational schools are those established by a registered church or denominational association which were authorised to establish schools.
The Education Act stipulates rules for the registration in/deletion from the School Register of private and denominational schools. At the time of their establishment, private schools choose one of the legal forms offered by the Act on Commercial Corporations, e.g. limited-liability company (společnost s ručením omezeným), unlimited partnership (veřejná obchodní společnost) or joint-stock company (akciová společnost). Some take the form of a public benefit corporation (obecně prospěšná společnost) under the 1995-2014 legislation. Since 2014, registered associations (zapsané spolky) and registered institutes (zapsané ústavy) have been established according to the Civil Code. The 2004 Education Act introduced a new legal status of a school legal entity (školská právnická osoba); state, public, and private schools and school facilities can have this status. Nowadays this possibility is mainly used by churches, and most denominational schools have this legal status. In these cases, the Education Act also lays down rules for establishing and closing down school legal entities and describes their bodies, management, funding, etc.
The precondition for the performance of the activities of any provision, including private and denominational school or school facility, is registration in the School Register. Education acquired in private and denominational schools is equal to the education received in the corresponding public schools. The education is subject to evaluation by the Czech School Inspectorate. Placement of the institution in the Register of Schools and School Facilities is a precondition for any application for state funding.
The funding procedure for denominational schools is set down in the Education Act. According to this law, denominational schools and school facilities are funded on an equal basis with schools established by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, with the exception of expenditure on the acquisition or improvement of long-lasting assets that are not teaching aids.
The principles of the funding of private schools are laid down, in addition to the Education Act, by the Act on Providing Subsidies to Private Schools, Pre-school and School Establishments.
The funding of private and denominational schools is described in more details in Private education in Chapter 3.
Private tertiary education
Higher education and education at tertiary professional schools (vyšší odborné školy) are regulated by different Acts and regulations and the principles and mechanisms of funding differ for them.
Tertiary professional education
Tertiary professional schools can be established by private or denominational organising body. They follow the rules set for private and denominational education up to the upper secondary level. For the financing of private and denominational tertiary professional schools, see Private tertiary professional schools in Chapter 3.
Higher education institutions
The Higher Education Act of 1998 enabled the establishment of private higher education institutions (vysoké školy) and there has been a rapid growth in these since 1999. Usually, their founders had already had some experience with operating private upper secondary schools (střední školy), tertiary professional schools, or industrial institutes, and sometimes also with running public higher education institutions.
In 2022, there were 30 private higher education institutions recognised by the state, which means that these currently outnumber public higher education institutions. Most of them have a non-university status (they typically deliver accredited Bachelor's degree programmes); only four of them are universities.
The private higher education institutions usually have the status of a joint-stock company (akciová společnost), a limited-liability company (společnost s ručením omezeným), a public benefit corporation (obecně prospěšná společnost) and registered institutes (zapsané ústavy). Public benefit corporations (obecně prospěšné společnosti) are no longer emerging, but many schools have retained this form.
Concerning the field of study of private higher education institutions, according to the number of students following fields are mainly represented: economics, banking and entrepreneurship (more than a quarter of students), another more frequented are the fields of technical, hotel and tourism, juridical and administrative and artistic fields.
The funding of private higher education institutions is described in Private higher education institutions in Chapter 3.
Under the Higher Education Act, only a legal entity with (a) a registered office, or with the main seat of its entrepreneurial activity within the territory of one of the EU states, or (b) a legal entity which was established in accordance with the legislation of any EU member state and which has been granted state approval by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on the basis of consent from the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education may operate as a private higher education institution.
Apart from the usual formalities, an application for state approval must include the following:
a strategic plan for the educational and scientific, research, developmental, innovation, artistic, or other creative activities of the private institution
information on how its operations will be provided for in terms of finance, material, and personnel
proposals for study programmes
- proposals for study regulations governing the institution's operations and the status of the members of the academic community
The state approval does not confer entitlement to carry out any of the accredited activities, i.e. institutional accreditation, accreditation of a study programme, or accreditation of the habilitation procedure for appointing a professor. The state approval expires unless a private higher education institution submits an application for the accreditation of a study programme within three months from the date the decision to grant state approval was made, acquires accreditation within one year of that day, or at least one study programme starts within two years from the given day.
The ministry may withdraw state approval that has already been granted if a private higher education institution fails to fulfil its legal obligations in a serious way, if it violates its internal regulations, if, after one year from the day the state approval came into legal effect, the school has no accredited study programme, if the accreditation of a study programme has been withdrawn, if the accreditation of a study programme is no longer valid, or the school was informed that the accredited programme had been abolished and there is no institutional accreditation for another field of study, or if during one year accreditation for more than two study programmes has been taken away, or if institutional accreditation for at least two fields of study has been withdrawn. There are 23 non-active higher education institutions (May 2023). There may be different reasons, not only the withdrawal of state approval, e.g. another school has become a successor to the old one, two schools have merged, a private school has merged with a public school, etc.
A private higher institution is obliged to:
work out, submit to the Ministry, and publish an annual non-periodical report on its activity, and if it acquired a grant, on its economic management as well;
work out, discuss with the Ministry, and publish as a non-periodical publication its strategy plan and its annual fulfilment;
provide the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education and the Ministry, on request, within a set deadline and free of charge, with information needed for their activities and statistics according to the Higher Education Act;
carry out internal evaluation of the educational, creative, and associated activities of the school according to the Higher Education Act;
publish on its website a list of its accredited study programmes, including their type, profile, forms of study, standard study time schedules, and their availability to persons with health disabilities, and a list of study fields in which the school is authorised to carry out a habilitation procedure or a procedure for appointing a professor;
inform the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education in advance of changes authorising institutional accreditation and changes in actual study programmes;
publish on its website information about the limits or withdrawal of institutional accreditation, about the limits or withdrawal of accreditation of study programmes, or about the suspension or withdrawal of a habilitation procedure or a procedure for the appointment of a professor;
- publish on its website the internal registered regulations of the school, including data on their validity and effectiveness.
Different conditions apply to "foreign higher education institutions" that provide foreign higher education on the territory of Czechia; there are 22 of them (May 2023).
The list of higher education instutions (in Czech), including the public, state, active as well as non-active HEIs, and foreign HEIs, may be found on the website of the Ministry of Education.
Private and denominational education – Statistics
Proportion of private and denominational schools and number of their pupils by level of education (in %)
|Upper secondary schools||22.8||2.5||13.6||1.7||22.9||3.5||15.2||2.4|
|Tertiary professional schools||27.5||6.6||25.0||5.6||27.3||6.0||31.6||7.3|
|Higher education institution||62.9||--||14.5||--||53.6||--||9.3||--|