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Study in Hungary

A special feature of the Hungarian education system is that institutional structures and the structure of educational programmes are not aligned with each other. The system's institutional structure and the presence of programmes allowing early selection show similarities with Central European and ex-socialist countries. The system's content structure, the uniform and general phase of education has extended, and secondary level education may be characterised by increased opportunities for transition.

 The general phase of education lasts until the age of 16 in Hungary's education system. Participation in secondary education, offering a wide variety of programmes, is fairly high. Within secondary education, the proportion of students studying in programmes leading to a secondary school-leaving certificate and offering transition to tertiary education is around the international average.

Higher education

Higher education in Hungary dates back to 1367 when Louis the Great founded the first Hungarian university in the city of Pécs.

Higher education is divided between colleges and universities. College education generally lasts for 4 years, while university education lasts for 4 to 6 years depending on the course undertaken. Vocational curriculum usually last 2 years: they are opened to secondary vocational school's graduates, and eventually vocational school students (after 5 years of work in the desired field or after a two-year program leading to a "secondary school leaving certificate"). University PhD courses usually take 3 years to complete.

Before students get their degree, they must pass an intermediate level language exam in the foreign language of their choice. English and German are the most popular. The number of Spanish-learners has been growing in the last few years. Recently a high number of students chose Esperanto and Romani languages. Both are said to have a relatively small vocabulary and easy grammar.

Vocational schools

This school type (in Hungarian: szakiskola) typically provides general and pre-vocational education in grades 9 and 10, normally followed by three or two years of VET. At the end of their studies, students will acquire a qualification (ISCED 2C or mostly 3C).

Foreign students in Hungary

Hungary attracts foreign students from both EU and non-EU countries. Three quarters of the students arriving to Hungary arrive from just ten countries, while one quarter of the students arrives from another 100 countries. Among the countries sending most students are Germany, Iran, Norway, Israel and Sweden, while the majority of guest students are citizens of the neighbouring countries. In the 2008/2009 academic year, the total number of foreign students studying in Hungary was 16 916, while this number was only 14 491 in 2005/2006. The figures increases because of the following advantages:

  • Hungary offers affordable tuition fees and living costs in European Union and Schengen area;
  • Number of Nobel Prize Winners and scientific inventors got their education here;
  • Easier admission procedure and less documents for getting acceptance;
  • Hungary offers different type of scholarships for foreigners;
  • The cost of student accommodation in Hungary is lower than most Western European Countries and Scandinavia.
  • Lots of education programmes are offered in English and German;
  • Hungarian embassies issue education visas easier than other European Union and Schengen Member States;
  • Residence permit issued in Hungary for foreign students allows them to travel to other Schengen countries without any visa;
  • Number of low costs flights connect Hungarian cities to other countries and popular travel destinations;
  • Employment opportunities in European Union during education years and after graduation, etc.

Preparatory courses

Students interested in continuing their studies in Hungary will find preparatory courses in numerous universities from Debrecen to Budapest, from Budapest to Szeged, from Szeged to Pécs.

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