VSB - Technical University of OstravaVSB-Technical University of Ostrava is the place to be: The University attracts more and more students for short-term and long-term stays

VSB-Technical University of Ostrava is the place to be: The University attracts more and more students for short-term and long-term stays

More and more students choose to study at VSB - Technical University of Ostrava (VSB-TUO) year after year. Internationalisation is one of the key activities of the University. VSB-TUO supports international cooperation and strives to develop it, although this is not an easy task during the covid-19 pandemic. The University does not only send its students abroad, but also its employees (both academic and non-academic staff), and VSB-TUO also receives the same groups. Self-paying students are becoming more and more important.

Our foreign full-degree students, studying in English, mainly come from China or India, whereas Slovaks, Russians and Ukrainians join our study programmes taught in Czech. "We do not focus only on the East, students from South and Central America and also from Europe come to study here. For example, two German doctoral students have joined this academic year," explains Michaela Vráželová, Head of the University International Office.

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Faculty of Economics and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering usually receive the majority of application forms. "Other faculties are gradually expanding the number of foreign students, which shows the growing interest in VSB-TUO study programmes taught in English," adds Jakub Němec who is responsible for incoming students to English study programmes. He is pleased that the number of foreign students applying to study at VSB-TUO is still increasing. It is no different among students who come to Ostrava for a short stay within the Erasmus+ programme. "Every year we welcome about six hundred new students. The most we have had was in the academic year 2017/18, when over 730 exchange students joined us," adds Michaela Vráželová.

The biggest problem for applicants is to obtain a visa. "This obstacle can be insurmountable - new students often miss a large part of the first term because they wait several months for a visa," explains Michaela Vráželová. Students must also have their current foreign education recognised, whether high school or university, which is often a time-consuming process. Foreign ambassadors who are very interested in participating in the promotion of VSB-TUO abroad can help, and not only with the application. "The role of ambassador is mainly performed by doctoral students returning to their home country, who want to stay in touch with our University and perceive it as an honour that they can help in this way," explains Michaela Vráželová about the new project Students Ambassadors.

The University communicates with its future students before they arrive in Ostrava. "We help them with their application, we inform them of what lies ahead, we offer a helping hand in communication with the authorities, we recommend a bank," says Barbora Štivarová, International Relations Officer working at the International Contact Point. The International Contact Point is an office and meeting space dedicated to providing international students and academics with assistance services. It acts as a helpdesk for services such as duties after arrival, visa/residence, work permissions, intermediation of tax consulting, healthcare assistance (including psychological consultations), dealing with insurance companies and a variety of other issues. Through the VSB-TUO Career Centre, they can also help students find a job. A Student Relax Zone has been built for students, where they can meet, relax or prepare for their classes.

During the pandemic, when travel is limited, the University International Office has made several recruitment videos. "We have moved to a virtual environment. We use video chats, and we participate in online fairs. We are trying to develop bilateral relations with foreign partners, and we are preparing double-degree study programmes. We meet with partner universities online, but we look forward to being able to travel freely, without restrictions. We believe that we can motivate our students to go abroad, and also students from foreign universities to study at VSB-TUO, "concludes Michaela Vráželová.

Brought to you by