The AAU administration sent an email on March 23 informing students of a tuition increase of 15,1 percent due to increasing inflation in the Czech Republic and worldwide. Students, confused by the email, wonder about the reasoning behind the increase as some express financial concerns. Many are confused as to why this is happening and what it means for students now and in the future.
Sarah Gido, a business student, understands the school’s need to increase tuition and states, “It’s valid considering what other universities are doing. They have to meet with inflation and the current market.” While an anonymous student has the opposite reaction saying, “I don’t know if I can afford tuition now, and I have to look at other schools. The tuition officers weren’t helpful when I asked for help.”
“I can fully understand students’ frustration,” AAU’s chief financial officer, Zdeněk Johanovský, “but it is important to mention that inflation has been increasing for some time.” AAU’s chief financial officer, Zdeněk Johanovský.
Johanovský encourages students to email the financial office or him directly with any questions or concerns about any financial issues. He also said that AAU management is looking into different ways to ease financial troubles for students, for example, more job opportunities for students, for instance, study assistants program, student ambassador program, student mentor program, and others.
“AAU also has to prepay for many of its services, meaning the increased financial burden had been existing as prices for various operation services went up for the entire 2022. This was also an important factor that must have been taken into consideration while deciding about the tuition increase,” Johanovský mentions.
There are also scholarships available. The merit-based scholarships (MBS) are the most accessible to all students and recently changed last year to allow more students to be rewarded. There were 27 students awarded MBS in Fall 2021, while 99 students in Fall 2022 after applying to the new MBS scheme. There were 25 students awarded MBS in Spring 2022, while 76 students in Spring 2023.
The Czech Statistical Office (CSO) reported a 15,1 percent inflation this year and AAU is increasing tuition and administration fees accordingly. Therefore, across the board, the tuition has increased by 15,1 percent, but depending on the year you were enrolled in AAU, the tuition being paid still varies.
The AAU contract allows for an annual increase of 5 percent unless the annual inflation rate provided by the Czech Statistical Office is higher than that. There are three different groups: students starting prior to 2016/2017, students between 2016/2017 to 2018/2019, 2019/2020 to fall semester 2022, which is what most of AAU students fall under. This is the same for all other programs, including the Masters program(MA) and law. Tuition was also increased last year, just not by as much, due to more favorable economic circumstances.
The spring 2023 newly enrolled students and newly enrolling students for fall semester 2023/2024 did not see an increase in tuition because of the separation between non-EU and EU students’ tuition, making non-EU students pay more, announced to this group in Fall 2022 (effective Spring 2023). They wanted to lessen the damage and the tuition is still higher than previously enrolled students.
Regarding the tuition prices for the next year, “tuition for AY 24/25 has not been determined yet, but considering the relatively high increase for AY 23/24, I find it ideal to open a discussion between Student Council and AAU administration to find a consensual mechanism how to make future tuition change for AAU students more predictable and manageable,” Johanovský stated.
For exact numbers, we will look at the group between the 2019/2020 to fall 2022 semester as most AAU students are in this category. The new price per semester for BA students is 106,080 CZK while last year it was 92,160 CZK which is a 15,1% increase. For MA students, the price per semester is now 113,940 CZK. Last year it was 98,990 CZK which is a 15,1% increase.