Foreign students help economy

STUDENTS of the Masaryk University in the Czech city of Brno decided to explore how foreign university students impact the state economy, whether they are a positive contribution, or a burden.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

The result shows, according to the Hospodárske Noviny daily, that Slovaks who study in the Czech Republic bring more than €24 million a year to its economy – this is the amount they pay in taxes (for part-time jobs during studies), for accommodation, food and entertainment.

While Slovaks are the biggest group of foreign students at Czech universities, in Slovakia Czechs are the third biggest group, after Greeks and Norwegians.

Foreign students are also an asset for the Slovak economy, although there has not been a study to calculate this precisely. Apart from money spent on accommodation or food, those who study a foreign language also pay tuition fees. Only those students able to study in Slovak can do so free of charge. Annual expenses for a foreign student from a European Union member state who studies in Slovak are between €600 and several thousand euros, depending on the specific university, study course, the type of study, where they live and eat, etc, Spokesperson of the Education Ministry Beáta Dupaľová Ksenzsigová told the daily.

The crucial thing is whether foreign students decide to stay in Slovakia after graduation, the daily wrote. If they decide to stay to live and work here, it impacts the return of the investment the state rendered. Slovakia has one of the worst rates regarding integration of foreigners within the International Comparison MIPEX, however, expert on education from the Slovak Governance Institution (SGI) Renáta Králiková said. The crucial issue is to enable foreigners the same conditions for social and health insurance as Slovaks have, she added.

Foreign students support the competitiveness of a university, help secure good-quality students and lecturers, add an inter-cultural dimension, help eliminate xenophobia, bring cultures closer, support diversity and improve its image, vice-chancellor for international relations of the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Gabriela Miššíková, told the daily.

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