Hungarian Universities Rank Among Top 5% Globally, State’s Secretary Says

Hungary Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Feb 14, 2022

The Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian universities are ranking among the top five percent higher education institutions in the world, the state secretary for education, Balázs Hankó, has revealed.

According to Secretary Hankó, modernizing Hungarian higher education institutions and turning universities into innovation hubs is the key to earning a spot on the global stage of best universities, reports.

“Globally, we rank highly in almost every field of training,” Hankó said, referring to the international rankings of Hungarian universities, before the deadline for students to apply to universities, set at February 15.

He also added that increasing the number of graduates is crucial for Hungary’s development, as 350 bachelor and 400 master’s programs are currently operating in 48 cities.

Regarding the model of how Hungarian universities are operating, Hankó mentioned that 21 universities have shifted from state-run to being managed by another foundation, pointing out that such practice provides them “a structure that allows them greater flexibility and autonomy,” which leads to being competitive both locally and internationally.

“This is why we have provided them with the appropriate legal framework, institutional profiles, and significant resources,” Hankó told Magyar Nemzet, also pointing out a 2.5-fold increase in central funding.

Hankó also noted that the Hungarian government this year has allocated 1.9 percent of GDP for spending on higher education, which, he said, “only a few [countries] in Europe can proudly say.” According to him, the government is also planning to spend €7.6 billion (Ft 2,700 billion) on university infrastructure development and building a network of science parks.

Last year, the Hungarian parliament adopted a law that permits public universities to shift towards a private foundation with 134 votes in favor.

Foundations that became private from state-run management are:

  • The University of Szeged
  • The University of Nyíregyháza
  • The University of Dunaújváros
  • The University of Pécs and Debrecen
  • The Hungarian Dance Academy
  • The Tokaj-Hegyalja University
  • The University of Physical Education
  • The Budapest University of Economics
  • The Semmelweis University
  • The Rudolf Kalman University of Óbuda

Statista, the data provider, reveals that the number of students in tertiary education in Hungary during the 2020/2021 academic year is diverse, with the highest number of students being registered in the Bachelor program – 127,600 of those, followed by the Master’s program with 59,600 students and Doctorate (PhD) students, about 9,000 of those. Moreover, tertiary-level vocational training counts about 8,000 students.

The same source shows that the number of international students in Hungary has increased gradually, starting from 14,300 in the 2009/2020 academic year and reaching its peak in 2019/2020 – 33,100, accounting for a gradual 131.4 percent increase. However, a slight decrease is noticed in the last academic year, dropping from 33,100 to 32,400 – marking a 2.1 percent shortfall.

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