Vojtěch Stehno – manager of CzechUniversities by Foreigners – has decided to sell the project. The reason is simple: Being the CFO and Co-founder of Foreigners, Vojtěch doesn’t have enough time to devote himself to this business as much as it deserves. He told us what the project is about and who the new owner should be.
What is the CzechUniversities project and since when is it working?
The project has started in September 2013 so it has been functioning for almost 5 years. The main goal is to help foreign students to be admitted to universities in the Czech Republic.
Who are the clients and from which countries they typically come from?
Usually, they come from all over the world. However, most of them are originally from Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We have set up a good cooperation with the local partner so the majority comes from there. The advantage is that more than 50% of Dubai-based students want to study abroad.
How is Foreigners involved in this project?
CzechUniversities is an independent project. Nevertheless, we use the synergy with Foreigners. The project focuses on helping students with the whole process, from choosing the right university to the period when the student is here in the Czech Republic registered at the selected university. Foreigners has experience with visas and all the issues related to relocation. So we help students with all the administration.
What exactly is your position at CzechUniversities?
I am the project manager and I have a colleague whose duty is to communicate with students. I am the one moving the project forward, which means, on one hand, dealing with universities, on the other hand, communication with partners abroad. Also, it is about setting the marketing strategy.
How do students get to know about the project?
Students can find us easily on the internet. The second way, the most important one, is our local office in Dubai. The third option is thanks to my personal activities in Dubai. I usually visit local high schools and do presentations for the last-year students. CzechUniversities has participated in Expo world fairs as well.
How many faculties and universities have been arranged for cooperation so far?
Counting faculties only, the number is 36. I am not sure about the universities, it could be around 15 or 20.
How many students contact CzechUniversities per month, on average?
Tens of students contact us per month. The peak season is from October to May. We receive applications also in June and July but it is too late so we cannot help these applicants.
How many students has this project helped to study in the Czech Republic until now?
Around 50 students.
You have decided to hand over this project to someone else. Why?
I feel that it is not my mission anymore. So far, I have had a soft spot in my heart for the project because I founded it. But I do not have enough energy for that anymore and the project deserves much more. That’s why I am searching for someone who can love both the topic and the project.
What will be the conditions of the sale?
We haven’t set any criteria. I am open to discussion. In general, we will pass the project to someone who will take it as his/her own business.
Will you share your know-how, contacts, advice with this person?
Yes, of course. The knowledge is the most important part. The first thing will be transferring all the contacts with universities and signed contracts. We will also share the contact with the local partner office in Dubai. All of this should help someone to successfully start the business.
Who should be the next manager of CzechUniversities? Are any skills recommended?
It should be someone who keeps pushing ideas forward. Having business experience will be helpful. The most important is to do good marketing and take care of the cooperation with partners.
Will the manager need to travel to Dubai?
It would be beneficial. Those people take me as someone who meets them but lives in the Czech Republic. At other agencies in Dubai, there are just people who have visited the Czech Republic two or three times. I can tell students and clients directly how is to live here.
Does it matter where the new manager is settled?
Well, in the Czech Republic or Dubai. The personal contact with students and faculties is required.
Does the person have to be Czech?
No. Although, this is the case that makes us different from other agencies. Most of them are operated by foreigners living in foreign countries. When I deal with universities the advantage is that we understand each other not only because of the language. We share the same culture.
Would there be still the cooperation with Foreigners after the sale?
I would love to. CzechUnivesitites is a prospective project. Moreover, CzechUniversities have clients from Foreigners.
Where to find more information and who to contact in case of interest?
Me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And then we will discuss. 🙂