Lifelong learning has a rich tradition at Czech universities, and its importance and potential are growing all the time to meet the challenges of the modern world. Charles University offers a well-established system of continuing education, with a wealth of lifelong learning programmes building on its standard accredited degree programmes. The University’s philosophy of lifelong learning is based on the natural integration of degree programmes and lifelong learning programmes to create a system that is continually evolving. Thanks to its creative environment, renowned academic staff and excellent technical infrastructure, Charles University offers ideal conditions for lifelong learning, and is able to provide an exciting range of high-quality programmes. This added value is present throughout the University’s entire lifelong learning portfolio, making lifelong learning a viable alternative to our full-time programmes and enabling adult learners to take part in the education process without detracting from their careers or family life. The University offers a wide range of lifelong learning activities to suit various levels of ability, experience, proficiency, ambition and expectations. We also offer programmes targeted at international clients, including professional courses, preparatory courses and general-interest programmes.
The rules and conditions for lifelong learning are set out in the Lifelong Learning Code of Charles University (amended with effect from 1 January 2013), which is in accordance with the Higher Education Act. Lifelong learning is defined as any type of education which complements, enhances, refreshes or expands its recipient’s current knowledge, skills and qualifications. Lifelong learning may be provided as part of accredited degree programmes, or it may be offered separately. Lifelong learning programmes are offered in three modes of study: full-time study, part-time study (also known as ‘combined’ study as it offers a combination of face-to-face and distance learning), or distance learning. Some programmes are taught in English. Participants in lifelong learning courses do not have student status as defined in the Higher Education Act. The University offers a wide range of programmes for various target groups – applicants to study at the University, current students and graduates of the University, teachers, social workers, doctors, civil servants, international clients, and members of the general public.
Lifelong learning programmes can be divided into two types: professional programmes (focusing on participants’ profession or career) and general-interest programmes. This basic division is laid out in the Higher Education Act.
Types of Courses
Lifelong learning programmes include short-term and long-term courses plus a range of other events – excursions, seminars, film screenings, discussions and more. The programmes are divided into two basic types: professional programmes (focusing on participants’ profession or career) and general-interest programmes. These types may be further subdivided as follows:
preparatory programmes for University admissions and the ‘maturita’ higher secondary certificate
preparatory studies (courses offered as part of accredited degree programmes in accordance with Section 60 of the Higher Education Act)
long-term general-interest programmes – some of these programmes are offered as part of the University of the Third Age (U3A)