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Published: 3 month

János Csák: The transformation of higher education is successful

Of the 320,000 students in higher education, 43,000 are foreigners, the Minister of Culture and Innovation said.

The transformation of higher education has been successful, and the admission procedure has become much more attractive for students, Minister of Culture and Innovation János Csák stressed at a press conference on the results of the higher education admission procedure in Budapest on Tuesday. The minister said that while 99,000 young people applied to universities and colleges in 2022, 126,000 applied in 2023 and another 121,000 applied in 2024, \"even though the total number of applicants is decreasing.\"There are a lot of young people who want to learn, who want to gain knowledge", he pointed out.

The Hungarian government's priority is the future of Hungary, and students leaving higher education play a key role in this, the minister said. He said that the motto of the reform is that "where there is opportunity, there should be responsibility.\" Speaking about the changes, he said that universities can now decide on the allocation of 100 points out of the 500 points they can earn in the entrance examination, and the institutions are also free to choose the subjects for admission and to decide whether to require an advanced level of school-leaving certificate. János Csák recalled that over the past year and a half, the government has introduced significant changes to the university system, increasing university autonomy. He said that the aim was to "open the doors wide" in order to allow more young Hungarians and foreigners who want to acquire knowledge to apply.

He also said that 43,000 of the 320,000 students studying in higher education were foreigners. \"The Hungarian higher education system already has a reputation that attracts foreigners," he said. He stressed that the Hungarian government has "big plans" because it wants to be at the forefront of the world in knowledge transfer. The minister also called it a success that many more young people than before had chosen teacher training in the 2024 admissions, and that the number of applicants to rural universities had also continued to rise.

"The government believes that life is not only in Budapest," he said. He added that the level of quality in rural universities had increased. Balázs Hankó, the state secretary for higher education, innovation, vocational training and adult education, said that the more flexible admission system allowed for 37 extra points in 17 different categories. One in five applicants chose a so-called MTMI (technical, natural sciences, information technology, engineering) course. And the number of applicants for teacher training has doubled compared to two years ago, with 17,833 people choosing this field, he continued.

Balázs Hankó said that the recent launch of a short-cycle teacher training course, which can be completed in 2-4 semesters, had contributed to the "explosive" rise, alongside the increase in teachers' salaries. \"Higher education in Hungary has taken a step forward,\" said the State Secretary, who also pointed out that more and more people are studying while working: more than 30,000 people over the age of 30 have applied. He added that the Hungarian economy needs a "knowledge-rich workforce". He also said that the most popular institutions were ELTE (17080 applicants), the University of Debrecen (9950) and the University of Szeged (8395) in this year's process. The most popular courses were teaching, teacher, business and management, law, kindergarten teacher, commerce and marketing and mechanical engineering. Overall, the model-changing universities attracted the highest number of applicants, with six out of ten choosing such an institution," said Balázs Hankó.

Renáta Vanó, Deputy President of the Education Office for Higher Education, said that the IT background of the admission system had also been renewed. The entire application process has been optimised for mobile phones, and students can now also use a profession search and scoring calculator on the Felvi.hu site. He said that from 25 March to 10 July, candidates can upload their missing documents into the system and change the order of the courses they have chosen.


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