Bakala Foundation to Provide Financial Aid to Eighteen Students at Universities Abroad

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Prague, September 17, 2018: This is the ninth year in which the Bakala Foundation has awarded scholarships to Czech students who plan to study at prestigious universities abroad. Out of the 200 applicants, the expert selection committee selected 18 new scholarship recipients – 2 more than last year, and the highest number ever in the entire history of this program. This year, the students showed more interest in studying at European universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, or ETH Zürich. The newly selected Bakala Scholars join the 129 students to whom the Bakalas have previously provided financial aid totaling over 115 million Czech crowns.

“The scholarship recipients are students from various fields who all have different plans, but they are all linked through their great talent, their dreams, and the courage to successfully face the demands associated with studying abroad. I am proud that we are able to support such talent, thus ensuring our country will have experts and leaders in many fields in the years to come,” says Michaela Bakala, Chair of the Bakala Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Bakala Foundation allocates five million Czech crowns to its scholarship program every year. One of the reasons for the record number of eighteen scholarship recipients this year is the fact that the majority of this year’s applicants wish to study at European universities, which are financially less demanding than universities in the United States.

“Each of the scholarships is made to measure for the specific student in relation to his or her own financing options and the expense associated with the university in question,” explains Václav Pecha, the Bakala Foundation’s Director. “If the student fulfills all of the required conditions, the Foundation will continue to support them for the entire length of their selected study program,” he adds.

Once again, a selection committee of experts selected the scholarship recipients, with the final meetings taking place on September 11 and 12. Of the twenty-one applicants who progressed to the second round, the committee selected ten students who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree and eight aiming for a master’s degree, all at universities abroad. The committee comprised: Michaela Bakala, Kristýna Borsodi, Pepper de Callier (Chairman of the Selection Committee), Irma Comstock, Lukáš Čermák, Michal Pěchouček, Radek Špicar, Vanda Thorne, Aleš Weiser, and Michael Žantovský.

“Every year I have been fascinated by the level of intellect, talent, and determination of all of the applicants, from all fields of study, who have progressed to the interview stage. And this year is no exception,” says Professor Michal Pěchouček, Director of the Artificial Intelligence Center at the Czech Technical University in Prague, about the selection procedure.  

The scholarships are not limited to any particular fields of study, and the Scholarship Program is open to all young people who have excellent academic results, are enthusiastic about their chosen field, and, in addition, are interested in the world around them. The majority of this year’s applicants are either still students of, or have completed, general education secondary schools. The greatest level of interest was in the natural sciences (50 %), followed by the social sciences (33 %) and the humanities and the arts (17 %). Five of the students are from Prague, with the remaining thirteen from eight other of the Czech Republic’s regions.

About the Scholarship Program:

This is the ninth year that the Bakala Foundation is using its Scholarship Program to provide talented and goal-oriented Czech students with the financial assistance they need to fulfill their educational dreams. The program is intended for students from the Czech Republic (under the age of thirty-three), who would like to complete an undergraduate or graduate program at a foreign university.

The scholarships granted under the Scholarship Program are not merely a one-way ticket to spending a semester or a single school year abroad. Students who have excellent academic results and are not able to finance their studies on their own receive support from the Foundation throughout the duration of their studies. The Czech Bakala Foundation administers the Scholarship Program in collaboration with its Swiss-based sister organization, the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala.

Photographs for use can be downloaded at: http://bit.ly/2NkNyN3

For more information, please contact the Bakala Foundation’s PR Manager:

Zuzana Masná, masna@bakalafoundation.org, +420 601 593 949