Ninth Year of the Bakala Foundation’s Support for Talented Students at Universities Abroad

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Prague, 18 January 2018: Today, the Bakala Foundation launched what is the ninth year of its exceptional Scholarship Program. Several millions of crowns will be granted to the most talented students who wish to complete their bachelor’s or master’s degrees at some of the world’s most prestigious universities. This provides secondary school and university students with the opportunity to obtain financial aid for their studies beyond the borders of the Czech Republic. The level of financial support provided to the successful applicants depends on the type of the school that is selected as well as on the other financing options available to the students. If all of the Foundation’s conditions are met, the scholarship recipients will receive financial support for the entire length of their selected study program.


Thanks to Zdenek and Michaela Bakala, today one will find Czech students at seven prestigious American universities, ten such universities in Great Britain, one in the Netherlands, and one in Israel. Over the past nine years, the Bakala Foundation has helped to support 129 Czech students through its Scholarship Program. In the current academic year, forty-three students are receiving financial aid from the Bakala Foundation – sixteen of them received their first scholarship money in 2017, the others are continuing the studies they started in previous years. The majority of these students – 52% – have chosen a field in either the natural or the applied sciences. The social sciences and humanities are the field of choice for 44% of the scholarship recipients. The arts and associated fields have thus far been chosen by 4% of the successful scholarship applicants.


Behind each individual scholarship the Bakala Foundation has granted, there lies a fascinating story of a Czech dream, which, thanks to hard work, talent and courage, has come true. Those whose lives the Foundation has changed include a student of Roma heritage who completed a degree in piano at the Berklee College of Music and will perform at the renowned Carnegie Hall this February, a husband and wife team whose professional and private lives became intertwined during their science studies at Oxford and now use their information science and mathematics knowledge to perform cancer and cardiology research, and a computer and political science graduate from Yale, whose prototype photo processing application has been praised by many, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.


For students:

Interested students must use the electronic form on the website to apply. The application may be submitted starting today; the final deadline is April 30, 2018.


One of the required parts of the application consists of an essay written in English on one of three pre-defined topics. This year’s applicants may choose from one of the following questions: “Being, or having?”, “How do social bubbles, fake news and information overload affect our societies, and what is their impact on democracy?”, “What is the most fascinating example of progress in your field over the last 100 years and how can it influence the future of the field?”


The scholarship recipients are chosen through a two-round selection process. During the first round, the panel selects the students who have submitted the best applications and invites them to a personal interview. The interviews will be conducted in Prague during the month of September and the final scholarship recipients will be selected. Students continue to show great interest in the Scholarship Program. For example, last year 206 applications were submitted and twenty-two applicants were invited to participate in the interviews conducted by a selection committee comprising experts from various fields. The top sixteen students were given the opportunity to study at the foreign university of their dreams.


The Bakala Foundation

This is the ninth year that the Bakala Foundation is using its Scholarship Program to provide talented Czech students – all of whom have excellent academic results but cannot afford to finance their own studies – with the financial assistance they need. The program is intended for students under the age of thirty-three. A student who decides to study abroad must, as a rule, not only successfully complete the relevant entry examinations, but must also provide the selected university with information about how their studies will be financed. The annual tuition at the most expensive universities ranges from 40 to 50 thousand dollars (almost a million Czech crowns). Of course it is necessary to add the other costs associated with a student’s stay and studies abroad.

According to our long-term statistics, talented young people from all of the Czech Republic’s regions have shown an interest in obtaining a scholarship. Over the past few years, interest in studying in Great Britain has been on the rise, with 128 students applying for a scholarship to study in that country. Interest in the Ivy League and Oxbridge universities has remained at more or less the same level. Other applicants have shown a preference for studying in places such as Australia, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Israel, China, and the Scandinavian countries.


Should you be looking for an illustrative photo in print quality, there are some available here.

More information about the Scholarship Program is available here.


For additional information, please contact Zuzana Masná by sending an email to, or calling +420 601 593 949.