Hungary offers a variety of courses spread out across almost 70 universities, an impressive amount for a county with a population of less than 10 million. Most of these universities are public, but even the private institutions offer courses that have state support, making higher education quite affordable. Many of the private universities are charities, especially the ones that specialize in religion related subjects. Full list of universities. In the last few decades Hungary has shifted from the separation of Colleges and Universities, and most institutions in the country are currently labeled universities. The main difference used to be that, traditionally, in colleges you could only obtain bachelor’s degrees, and the right to offer higher levels of study was reserved to universities. While some colleges remain, most of them have merged with other colleges to form universities or transformed into universities by themselves. As it stands, every 8th student enrolled in higher education in the country is international. Since the introduction of a government program that aims to attract foreign talent to the country, institutions have begun a large-scale operation to make the education system as open as possible to students from other countries. This has resulted in a symbiotic relationship: The county receives an influx of top international talent, while the students receive high quality education in a low-cost, culturally and historically rich county.
The Bologna system, whereby the natural progression of study begins with a Bachelor’s (“Alaképzés”) and progresses to PhD (“Doktori képzés”) through Master’s (“Mesterképzás”) programs, is in place. However, traditionally, Integrated Master’s are a key component of the education system. Whereby, law, medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy courses are almost never offered in a split form, only in one, continuous course. Upon its completion, students receive a Master’s diploma. The exact length of these programs differs, but it is usually 10 semesters or 5 years. (Except for medicine, which is 6 years and 12 semesters). An academic year in Hungary is split into two semesters (félévek). After every semester, there is an examination period that is usually in January and June, each lasting a month and having a strong impact on the student’s grades. The application process begins in early winter and closes in February. There is not a de-facto universal application system for international students, but if a student wishes to partake in the Stipendium Hungaricum scheme (the government program that was mentioned earlier), in which they can receive a scholarship from the government to study in Hungary, they can apply through the program’s website. If applying for universities that do not participate in this scheme, applications can be made through the university’s own systems. References, a CV, and translated transcripts of high school/university grades are needed to apply in most cases. Almost all international qualifications are accepted. Most universities have many programs taught in English, and a few in German in addition to the traditional Hungarian degrees.
Most universities in Germany are public institutions and education is generally free. However, some costs apply per half year (Semesterbeitrag) to cover costs for a train costs and some maintenance. Usually those costs are around 200 Euros per half year. Furthermore, students have to pay for health insurance (usually around 100 Euros a month). While education is mainly also free for international students, some federal states such as Baden Wuerttemberg charge international students some costs. In contrast to public universities, private institutions are usually not free but charge a monthly rate which can vary between 300 and 800 Euros. For international students that are not eligible to participate in the Stipendium Hungaricum scheme, tuition fees change by the amount of equipment needed for the degree. Medicine being the highest, with around 6000 euros a semester on average, but most courses are in the 1000-2000 euro range. With the scholarship, however, these fees are substantially lower, or even 0.
Information for International Students
Living costs are incredibly affordable. In Budapest, the most expensive city, an average student can live off 400-500 euros a month. If opting to live in a dormitory, it can be as low as 300 euros, with transportation, food, sport and leisure included. Due to the low expenses, international students can easily have a great experience in Hungary, filled with great food, great nightlife and friendly and welcoming peers. The larger towns of the countryside tend to have lower costs compared to Budapest, but they are just as lively as Budapest, with large student populations. Campus universities are not common, most of them are in their respective city, resulting in great social life.