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Students looking for an inexpensive city in Europe to do their master or doctoral studies will find that Brno in the Czech Republic ticks all the right boxes.

Mireia Diez Sánchez, a researcher for Speech@FIT (Faculty of Information Technology) — a research group in the area of data mining from speech — at the Brno University of Technology (BUT) knows this very well. Sánchez worked with speech-related technology during her studies at a university in the Basque Country and visited Brno on numerous occasions.

She enjoyed her FIT traineeship so much that she returned after her doctoral studies after winning the Marie Curie grant for talented young researchers. This enabled her to do research work on the automatic recognition of voices through the SPEAKER DICE project at FIT.

“Brno is a beautiful city; it’s a friendly place with a pleasant atmosphere. The public transport system is good, the food is great, and it offers many opportunities to travel. I guess I’m going to stay here for longer than I planned,” she says.

FIT is one of the Czech Republic’s top-rated Information Technology faculties. It is located in Brno, dubbed central Europe’s “Silicon Valley”. It is also the world’s sixth most popular university city — according to QS.

As a testament to its prowess, 95% of FIT BUT students find work within three months of graduating. What makes FIT BUT graduates in high demand by employers? The answer: practical work experience.

Strong industry partnerships for a better learning experience

There are many reasons to pursue a graduate degree at FIT BUT. For starters, the university boasts of top-rated facilities, while they consistently produced high-quality graduates — unsurprising, considering students learn from lecturers who are IT research leaders themselves. Tuition for an English master’s programme is just 3,000 Euros per year, which means students can enjoy an affordable education. BUT also provides financial aid to students.

There are also opportunities to work on industry topics for their school projects. FIT BUT works with key businesses in the industry to ensure students’ career-readiness. Their 40 active industry partners include Red Hat and Thermo Fisher Scientific for internships in software engineering, IT, data processing and image processing.

Students can also do summer internships and be involved in long-term cooperation on contractual research and development, as well as industry event collaborations such as WeLiveIT and Excel@FIT.

“Our faculty provides an excellent basis for future employment. For learning and research, we use the backdrop of a modern campus where classrooms and laboratories explore not only computer hardware and network technologies, but also fingerprints, audio and video processing, flight simulators and robots,” Pavel Zemcik, Faculty Dean explains.

FIT graduate Igor Potúček can attest to this. He has worked on his own projects during his studies and found his research experience invaluable. He applied his academic knowledge of image processing from camera systems and research project work to his own company, Camvision, which makes camera systems software.

As a result, his SportAvid video analysis service has been used by Feyenoord Rotterdam, a top-rank Dutch football club, as well as a camera system for rail vehicles in Lithuania and Russia. Igor credits his success to the JIC MASTER programme, which BUT is a founding member, along with the South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) and other technology-related partners.

During HIS six months’ study, Potúček received professional consultancy advice from JIC’s experienced IT consultants and external experts, who helped put his startup business in the right direction.

Unique programmes and support facilities

Students can find a number of master’s and doctoral programmes at the university. The English language-based Computer Graphics and Multimedia programme, for instance, will teach students to process data from cameras and microphones, get information from video and audio records, or design user interfaces. A whopping 99% of graduates find work within the month.

There are also master’s programmes such as Information Technology and Artificial Intelligence, which develops and deepens the knowledge and skills acquired at the bachelor’s level of Information Technology studies. Their doctoral tracks include Information Technology and Computer Science and Engineering.

There are also resources for aspiring entrepreneurs to bloom. Participants of the Star(t)up@FIT programme, for instance, will acquire business and project skills, and learn interesting experiences of successful companies.

Sterling credentials

Despite being a young university faculty, FIT BUT is internationally renowned. It has many academic collaborations and exchange programmes, while QS Graduate Employability Rankings has also given FIT BUT’s graduate employment rate an impressive 99.8.

Due to FIT’s intensive focus on science and research, and 20 research groups funded by Structural Funds, FIT has developed a strong reputation for applied research in AI, security, embedded hardware, verification and blockchain. FIT’s papers and projects have also won top honours.

Ultimately, FIT BUT serves as an excellent platform for aspiring master’s and PhD students who are looking to bolster their knowledge and skills in information technology.

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