Number of 'gymnasiums' could double under new plan

The number of 'gymnasiums' - secondary schools which prepare students for university - could double under a new plan by the Czech Ministry of Education. The proposal comes in response to increasing numbers of applications in recent years.

Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Jiri Havel said the number of Czechs taking university degrees would increase from the present 50 percent to 80 percent in the future. Mr Havel and Education Minister Petra Buzkova are to put the new plan to the leadership of their party the Social Democrats next week.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek says one or two international universities should be created in the Czech Republic in the years ahead. He said on Friday that existing Czech universities - which already operate at international standards - could be upgraded.

Author: Ian Willoughby