Publication date: 
The Czech Technical University in Prague strongly objects to article published on the iDnes server under the title "Despise war, or don´t study. The Czech Technical University wants a letter from the Russians for which they are threatened with imprisonment" on 9 June 2022 . In his article, the editor Dominik Stein presents completely misleading data, manipulates facts and does not use the information provided by CTU in Prague.

One example is the cover letter, which he writes in the introduction, "This is one of the new obligations for students from Russia and Belarus." This is not true, and the editor knew that the cover letter was not compulsory.

Nor is it true that the question of how individual applications will be assessed has not been answered. From the CTU's reply to the editor Dominic Stein, we quote, "The application may be accompanied by a motivation letter, which should include the student's motivation for further study at CTU and for staying in the Czech Republic. Each application, whether or not it includes a motivation letter, will be assessed individually by the management of the individual CTU units/faculties." It was added that "the student's application may be supported by a statement from a member of staff of the faculty/institute at which the student is studying, who knows the student personally and can confirm the above facts, or a representative of the student organisation or a member of the academic body." However, Editor Stein quoted only this portion of the response with the false comment that his original question had not been answered. Instead, he quoted a student who claimed that his "fate will be decided by some official who doesn't even know me." However, this is completely untrue and the editor knew this.

Simultaneously, the CTU presented information about the offer of assistance from Belarusian organizations, headed by the Office of Sviatlana Tsyhanouska, in the form of a goodwill card for Belarusian students. In response to a follow-up question by Stein about such assistance to Russians, the CTU said that "if there were such activity on the part of Russian students, we would welcome it, because it would make things easier for everyone." However, this message, which can significantly contribute to the evaluation of individual applications, was not discussed in the article.

The CTU also emphasized that any cover letter cannot be misused: "Cover letters will be treated as confidential personal material and cannot be provided to third parties, except to the Financial Analysis Office, due to the assessment of the exemption for study in critical degree programs. In other cases, cover letters may serve as a source of information that will enable CTU to support the student in, for example, obtaining a visa. Certainly a cover letter will be a help, not a threat." Yet the editor presents the voluntary cover letter as an unavoidable risk for any student. He also ignores the fact that the Financial Analysis Office has been designated by the state as a responsible institute.

The CTU - like other higher education institutions - follows the rules set by the European Directive; the Rector Vojtěch Petráček's order is in line with this Directive. And it was set with the utmost care so as not to harm any of the students and to make it clear that the CTU rejects a blanket solution.

At the same time, we told the editor that "we are trying to ensure that the sanctions, which prohibit, among other things, technical assistance to the Russian Federation and Belarus, do not unfairly harm anyone.  We would also like to emphasise verbatim that we are not terminating anyone's studies. In some justified cases, it will be interrupted at most."

Full text of the iDnes editor's questions and CTU's answers that makes it clear what the facts are - and how one can deliberately handle them.

Contact person: 
Mgr. Ilona Chalupská