The Czech Ministry of Education has recommended that local universities limit the education of students from Russia and Belarus in technical specialties due to European Union (EU) sanctions that prohibit providing "direct or indirect technical assistance" to these two countries. This is reported by Aktualne.cz with reference to a letter sent to universities on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Education of the Czech Republic Radka Vildova.
The authorities decided that students should not study at universities and use technologies that Russia could later use in the war. This week, the list of "forbidden" professions was compiled by the Czech Technical University (CTU), which has 740 Russian and about 80 Belarusian students. Also, the presence of “sanctioned” professions was recognized at the Technical University in Brno.
The sanctions apply to training programs in the specialties of professional piloting, computer science, cybernetics and robotics, mechanical engineering, aerospace industry, bioengineering and applied physics. Students from Russia and Belarus, with some exceptions, cannot continue their studies in these areas at universities in the Czech Republic. Universities also called for a list of all specialties that would be limited for Russians and Belarusians. In order to continue their studies, such students need to write a motivation letter, which will be considered in the financial and analytical department at the Czech Ministry of Finance (FAU). They may also be offered to switch to another specialty or to an individual training plan with a delay in “dangerous” subjects. At the same time, the sanctions will affect not only those who are already studying in the Czech Republic in the listed specialties, but also applicants.
22-year-old Semyon from Yekaterinburg, who is a third-year student at the Faculty of Transportation at the Czech Technical University (CTU), said that he is studying intelligent transport systems. However, now he does not know if he will be able to complete his studies. “This situation is absurd. I don't know how else to describe it. They know very well that we are here to learn. We comply with all rules and laws, this can be easily verified. We study, we pay taxes, we do everything like ordinary citizens of the Czech Republic. In four years in the Czech Republic, I spent a total of four months in Russia,” the student explained.
The Czech Technical University has ordered that students from Russia and Belarus must apply to continue their studies by August 19 and can attach a "motivation letter" to it. University spokeswoman Katerina Vesela explained that in the letter the student must explain the reasons why he wants to continue his studies at the university, and why he wants to stay in the Czech Republic. All letters will be evaluated individually by faculty management. The cover letter is voluntary, but it can be an advantage for students, Vesela assured.
Lucia Orgonikova, head of administration at the university, told DW that the university is trying to find a way to comply with sanctions against Russia while allowing Russian students to continue their studies. “We definitely want to prevent the forced return of students to the Russian Federation due to sanctions,” she said.
Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the government decided that Russians and Belarusians will not be able to receive Czech visas and residence permits until the end of March 2023. At the same time, the Czech Republic will continue to issue humanitarian visas. In addition, the decision will not affect those who already have a residence permit and want to extend it, as well as their family members. The Czech Republic stopped issuing visas to Russians on the day the war began, February 24. The country also withdrew the work permits of the Russian consulates in Brno and Karlovy Vary and temporarily closed consular offices in St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.