Charles University in Prague was founded in 1348 and is one of the world’s oldest universities. Today it has 17 faculties (14 in Prague, 2 in Hradec Králové and 1 in Plzeň), 3 university institutes, 6 further centres for educational, scientific, research, development and other activities or for provision of information services, 5 university-wide special facilities and the Rectorate as the administrative centre of the whole university.
The university has more than 7,500 employees, 4,000 of these being academic and research staff. Over 51,000 students are studying at CU (which is roughly a sixth of all students in the Czech Republic), in more than 300 accredited degree programmes and 660 study disciplines. More than 18,000 are studying in bachelor’s programmes, 25,000 in master’s programmes and more than 7,000 in doctoral programmes. Over 6,000 students are from abroad.
Various courses in lifelong learning programmes organised by CU attract more than 15,000 people each year.
The university is dedicated to international co-operation with prestigious educational and research institutions. CU has signed a total of 450 bilateral agreements and 190 international partnership agreements with foreign universities.
Charles University is one of the world’s top universities, a fact that has been confirmed repeatedly by the international university rankings. In the Shanghai University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities, which evaluates 2,000 universities, Charles University was placed in the top 300 out of the total of 17,000 universities and colleges. Charles University is therefore among the 2% of the best universities and the 100 top European universities. It is the only Czech institution of higher education to be placed in the published list of 500 universities. The university fared just as successfully in The Times THES ranking, being paced 229th.
Science and Research
If a university wishes to be known as a research university today, it has to have science and research among its chief priorities. Charles University has many top research teams that work extensively with centres abroad. Their results are published in international journals and monographs and they have won prestigious international awards.
- Currently 29 major overall research plans started in 2005 are being implemented at Charles University. According to an assessment undertaken in 2007 by specialist commissions of the Ministry of Education, 19 were rated in Category A, i.e. the best.
- Another eight major overall research plans were initiated in 2007.
- At present Charles University is directing research involving other institutions in 13 research centres, while it is contributing to research projects in further 28 centres based outside the university.
- At Charles University the student/staff ratio is 12:1, which corresponds to the usual ratio in many of the world’s advanced universities.
- The building up of Charles University as a Research University – an important research institution in the Czech Republic and on the international scene.
- The involvement of students in science – research projects and application of research findings in teaching.
- The use of the funds of European Framework Programmes for the support of top research and research staff mobility.
- The systematic development of innovative activities at CU, especially in the framework of the CU Centre for theTransfer of Research Results andTechnologies