Czech students are sought after not just by local universities and colleges, but also by their European counterparts as student numbers dwindle across the continent. But while they are faced with more choice, Czech students also face a more difficult jobs market and the need to mark themselves out from the rest. Chris Johnstone looks at the evolving higher education market.
In related news, over 22.800 new firms were founded in the Czech Republic last year, the highest number in the last three years, according to a study by the Bisnode consultancy released on Monday. The total number of companies increased by 7 percent and exceeded 391,000. Entrepreneurs invested over 25 billion crowns in new companies, 57 percent of which went to share-holder firms. The renewed interest in forming new firms was a sign the Czech economy was recovering, the consultancy firm said.
Domestic meat production has been on a steady decline since 2001 and last year was no exception. According to figures released by the Czech Statistics Office overall meat production in 2013 was down by 2.4 percent year-on-year to 447,000 tons. Pork production slipped by 2.25 percent, beef by 1.4 percent and poultry by 3 percent.
The central banks forex interventions against the Czech crown have sent the price of food products up by ten percent and more with an increasing number of people now heading abroad to do their weekly shopping, novinky.cz reports. Basic food products are now reported to be cheaper in Poland, Slovakia and Germany, with people saving up to a 1,000 on a shopping trip. The internet news site says that many milk and meat products are significantly cheaper in Germany despite the fact that German wages are significantly higher –the average monthly wage in Germany is around 3,700 euros while the average Czech monthly wage is just around 900 euros.
The Office for the Protection of Competition on Friday approved the takeover of 22 Tesco locations in north Moravia by the Czech retail chain Hruška. Tesco Stores ČR acquired the network in 2011 but decided to sell them earlier this year. The firm, which operates 230 stores, 19 gas stations and seven department stores in the country, posted a loss of more than a billion crowns in the past fiscal year. Hruška, meanwhile, runs one of the largest Czech retail networks, and reported a profit of 131 million crowns last year.
Czechs are increasingly interested in discounts and 40 percent of Czech households study retailers´ flyers and compare prices before shopping for food, according to the results of a poll conducted by Incoma GfK. This is the highest number since monitoring started in 1997. The popularity of discount shops is on the rise, while interest in small shops is decreasing. Twenty-five percent of households say they shop exclusively at discount stores, 17 percent cite supermarkets, and only 12 percent of households said they buy food mainly in smaller shops, the lowest share since 1997.
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