Why should I study in Hungary?

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How to Study in Hungary

Hungary is located in Central Europe and neighbors Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. More than 9.8 million people live here. At the same time the largest city and the country’s capital, Budapest counts more than 1.7 million inhabitants. Hungary is divided into 19 administrative divisions plus Budapest.

Hungarian higher education system

There are currently nearly 70 higher education institutions. The great part is public or clerical institutions, with international institutions in the clear minority. The main divide is between universities for academic studies and vocational colleges. As usual in the European Higher Education Area, the degree-structure is three-tiered for the overwhelming part of subjects/programmes: bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. Bachelor degree duration is 3-4 years, master’s usually 2 and doctoral studies 3 years. Medicine programmes take about 6 years to complete.

Hungary’s Higher Education System in International Comparison

In this section, we highlight the overall performance of Hungarian universities on the institutional level per U-Multirank dimension. The table below shows the national breakdown of Hungarian universities and how they stand across the spectrum of above average (receiving a score of ‘A’ (very good) or ‘B’ (good)), versus below average (receiving a score of ‘D’ (below average) or ‘E’ (weak)). In doing so, U-Multirank offers a clear picture of the country’s strengths and areas for improvement. It becomes apparent that in general Hungary’s Higher Education Institutions perform particularly well in regional engagement as well as in international orientation and research.

National performance: Hungary

Percent of all Universities 100% 80% 60% 40% < below Average above > 40% 60% 80% 100% Teaching & Learning 15% 40% Research 37% 42% Knowledge Transfer 71% 22% International Orientation 25% 50% Regional Engagement 32% 41%

How much does it cost to study in Hungary?

In Hungary, the tuition fees vary depending on the institution, study programme and level of study. Also, there is a difference between EU citizens and non-EU citizens. Tuition fees can vary from 600 € up to 8,000 € per semester. Mostly these fees must be paid prior to enrolment. Students must also pay additional fees for application, exams, and registration, which are typically between 100 € and 150 €.

Addition of information on fees and financial support

Source: Eurydice 
Reference year(s): 2020/2021

Fees

In this section we highlight the fees for studying in Hungary. The fees are shown in the national currency and address all fee types: tuition, enrolment (part- or full-time, etc.), certification, or other administrative costs. Students that are exempt from fees are also described, as well as information on international student fees if they differ.

  • There are two main financial statuses for students: state-funded students do not pay fees, and self-financed students do. State-funded places, available for both full- and part-time students, are awarded through a centralised admissions procedure primarily based on academic performance (some weight is also given to disadvantaged and disabled students).
  • Higher education institutions (HEIs) set fees for self-financed students for the different levels and fields of study within the fee range set by the government. Fees for full-time students range from HUF 230,000 to 4,800,000 in the first cycle and from HUF 450,000 to 2,900,000 in the second cycle. State-funded students whose academic performance is poor or who exceed the regular length of studies may be placed into a fee-paying category/status. Similarly, very successful students in the same programme in the fee-paying category can gain state-funded places.
  • For full-time and part-time short-cycle higher education programmes, the fees vary from HUF 140,000 to 400,000.
  • International students, defined as non-EU/EEA students, typically pay fees. Some international students, as defined in legislation, may have the same rights as home students.

Source: Eurydice - National Student Fees and Support Systems in European Higher Education – 2020/21.

Financial Support

In this section we highlight the financial support system implemented in Hungary. The types of support covered in this section include: grants, loans, tax benefits for students' parents (or students themselves) and family allowances.  How these terms are defined, are outlined below:

  • Grants are provided in the national currency and are differentiated between merit-based and need-based (or universal, where applicable). All main public financial support that does not need to be paid back is included, with the exception of grants for study abroad (i.e. mobility grants). Information is also presented on the proportion of students (in the short, first and second cycle) who receive grants.
  • Loans: information focuses on the existence of a student publicly-subsidised loan system and the percentage of students that take out a loan. Information on the interest rate and modalities for the repayment of loans may also be provided.
  • Tax benefit is any tax relief that is granted to parents whose child is a higher education student or to students themselves. The information aims to cover the amount of the tax relief, how it can be claimed and who is eligible to apply.
  • Family allowances for students' parents: this part provides information on their amount and the eligible population.
  • Grants are provided by the state and managed by HEIs.
  • Need-based grants are paid for 10 months/year. HEIs can decide whether both full-and part-time students are eligible. The annual amount ranges from HUF 4,000 to 1,192,780. 18.7% of first-cycle and 17.8% of second-cycle full-time students received such a need-based grant in 2019/20. Regulations stipulate that for students with one living parent and those under legal guardianship until the age of 18, the grant is a minimum of HUF 128,520 per year. For multiple disadvantaged students, orphans, students supporting dependents or those from a large family, it is a minimum of HUF 257,040 per year.
  • Disadvantaged students can also apply for the Bursa Hungarica scholarship jointly financed by municipalities and HEIs with an average value of about HUF 22,000 per semester. Both fee-paying and state-subsidised students are eligible. In autumn 2019/20, 9.16% of full-time first- and second-cycle students received this scholarship. One-off initial and emergency grants are also available.
  • Merit-based grants are available to state-funded students, and a maximum of 50% can receive this support. The annual amount ranges from HUF 1,180 to 3,274,000. 38% of state-funded students received merit-based grants (around 24.26% of all full-time students) in 2019/20. In addition, certain public grants aim to promote studies in certain types of programme (such as teacher training, and second- cycle nursing programmes).
  • Two government-subsidised loans are available to students under 45 years of age. Student Loan1 is a general purpose loan, with a state-subsidised interest rate (1.99%), and a maximum duration of five and a half years. The maximum amount of this loan is HUF 350,000 per semester. 5.8% of first- and 4.9% of second-cycle students took this type of loan in 2019/20. Student Loan2 is a fixed-use interest-free loan for fee-paying students exclusively for the payment of the tuition fee. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is the tuition fee. 7% of first- and 3.9% of second-cycle students accessed this type of loan in 2019/20. Fee-paying students can take out both loans simultaneously. Loan repayment must start four months after the end of studies and the latest at the age of 45, with repayment linked to personal income.
  • Tax benefits for students' parents and family allowances are available if the dependent child is studying for the first time in a first short-, first-, second-cycle or one-tier programme. The fixed amounts (both tax benefits and family allowances) depend on the number of dependent children. There is no age limit.

What are the entry requirements for Hungarian Universities?

To be admitted to a bachelor’s degree in the Hungarian higher education system, you need to possess a high school diploma which has to be translated into English or Hungarian. Sometimes you also have to pass an entrance exam.

For doing a master’s degree in Hungary, you have to submit a photocopy of your bachelor’s diploma. If you want to obtain a Ph.D. degree in Hungary, you have to have a master’s degree or a university degree which is equivalent to a master’s degree.

If you want to access an English-speaking study programme in Hungary you have to provide a proof of your English skills. In general, you need an intermediate language certificate (B2 level). Native English speakers typically have to submit a copy of their passport as proof. These entry requirements can differ at certain higher education institutions, so always check individual entry requirements.

How to get a Scholarship in Hungary?

No matter the reason, paying high tuition fees can be a source of stress for many. However, there are many options for financing your studies, including the use of scholarships. There are various scholarship opportunities available for international students looking to study in Hungary. Depending on your country of origin and the level of studies, there are different options for funding. To explore what scholarship options are available, check this scholarship database.

Do I need a Student Visa for Hungary?

Whereas EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are not required to obtain a visa, so-called third-country nationals do require one in order to take up studies in Hungary. Generally speaking, you must be accepted by a state-recognized university for full-time studies, proof you have sufficient financial means to pay for the costs throughout the duration of your studies.

Top Student Cities in Hungary

 

How do Hungarian Universities fare in U-Multirank?

  1. In 2021, U-Multirank presents data on 13 Hungarian higher education institutions.
  2. In general, Hungarian higher education institutions show their strongest performance in the International Orientation dimension.
  3. The institutions with the highest number of top positions (‘A’ scores) amongst all Hungarian universities are Semmelweis University (8), University of Debrecen (8) and Eötvös Loránd University (7).
Hungary's Higher Education Performance in U-Multirank

Consumer Basket

Main course

2,000 HUF

Drinks

550 HUF

One-way ticket

350 HUF

Cinema ticket

1,800 HUF

Useful vocabulary

Hello

Szia

Bye

Viszlát

Thanks

Köszönöm

Please

Tessék

Student report: Hungary

Video: Study in Hungary

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