Open letter to the Prime minister and the minister of finances

ČAD z.s. is writing an open letter to the Prime minister and the minister of finances and stresses the importance of budget increase for the public universities

Czech Association of doctoral students is a registered union that gathers PhD students in doctoral studies in the Czech Republic.

Open letter to the Prime minister and the minister of finances

Press release

ČAD z.s. is writing an open letter to the Prime minister and the minister of finances and stresses the importance of budget increase for the public universities

Prague, 30 May 2017 – Czech association of doctoral students (ČAD, z.s.) issues an open letter to call for action of the Prime minister and the minister of finances to increase the financial resources for public universities in accordance with the accepted resolution of the Chamber of Deputies in the Czech Republic and the government resolution and by doing so comply with the requirement of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MŠMT).

ČAD, z.s. reacts to the proposal of the Ministry of finances to allocate 100 million CZK to public state universities as opposed the total amount of 4.5 billion CZK that is required by MŠMT. One billion out of the required sum should have adressed the issue of doctoral scholarships and double the monthly average amount from 7500 CZK to 15000 CZK.

The purpose of this open letter is to highlight the need to increase the financing of public university education, mainly regarding the doctoral students, should the much-needed reforms begin. It also serves as a reminder of the pre-election promises about the advancement of Czech science, research and innovation to the leaders in government because the main condition of upholding these is the successfull development of new research generation.

„State university education suffers from the long-term lack of finance. The doctoral scholarship is an alarming example. The received amount remained unchanged for the past 15 years. This results in a situation where the present doctoral students in exchange for their highly skilled and qualified jobs receive financial compensation lower than the minimal wage and hence their income is below the poverty line in the Czech Republic. The average monthly scholarship is equal to 7500 CZK. Doctoral level does not mean to be only a student, but it is primarily about conducting research that requires a university diploma. It seems disgraceful and impossible to demand excellent research and teaching performance in exchange for scholarship lower than the minimum national wage. A sufficient investment towards future scientists is a usual practice by the governments of Western countries and for example, the Slovakian government realised the importance of doctoral students and are offering funding of 545 euros per month until the thesis is handed in and afterwards increases to 636 euros. The current financial situation of doctoral students hence endangers the future development of science and research in the Czech Republic.

Doctoral education does not produce “only” scientists, but also generally a highly qualified work force that attracts further investment. Hence, the increase of financial resources forms not only an expense, but also very much-needed strategic investment. The preservation of the current state would be economically non-strategic. We are convinced that the increase of funds for doctoral students forms an effective investment towards human capital. This might fortify the effort of the Czech Republic to become a developed knowledge-based economy and a more confident country overall.” All the previous statements are written in the open letter available below in the attachment.

If you are interested in an interview or more information about the activities and requirements of ČAD, please contact Mrs. Kateřina Cidlinská, 728 026 891,