Higher education

Hungarian higher education has represented academic excellence for more than 600 years. The first university in Hungary was founded in 1367 in Pécs, located in the southern region of Hungary. Today there are 67 higher education institutions in Hungary ranging from top research universities to minor colleges. These universities and colleges are financed either by the state, private organizations or a church.

Hungarian institutions of higher education

Hungary joined the Bologna Process in 1999 by signing the Bologna Declaration with 28 other countries with a view to establishing the European Higher Education Area by 2010. The key objectives of the process are:

  • to increase mobility by improving the comparability of higher education structures, qualifications and degrees through developing proper tools for the recognition of periods of studies and degrees,
  • to improve employability through the modernization of curricula and to strengthen links with the labour market,
  • to enhance the quality of training by developing a scheme of quality assurance.

The three-cycle system

In accordance with the objectives of the Bologna process the degree structure of tertiary education is based on three cycles. Nearly all study fields lead first to a Bachelor’s degree (usually 3 years), and after a further study period to a Master’s degree (2 years). However, there are some exceptions: medicine, pharmacy, dental and veterinary studies, architecture, law, teacher training, and certain arts-, crafts- and design-related study programmes, which retain a long single-cycle structure of 5 or 6 years of study.

The first-cycle programmes last 6–8 semesters (3–4 years, 180–240 credit points) and lead to a Bachelor’s degree (in Hungarian: alapfokozat). The second cycle, leading to a Master’s degree (in Hungarian: mesterfokozat), lasts 2–4 semesters (1–2 years, 60–120 credit points).

Due to the expansion of higher education in the last two decades, the number of enrolled students and the capacity of the institutions have increased considerably; from 1990 to 2015 the student population in higher education tripled, from 90,000 to around 300,000.

Most of the students chose economic sciences, followed by engineering, teacher training, IT, medical and health sciences. The trend among international students is rather similar; the most popular field was economics, prior to engineering, medicine and IT.

A four-year doctoral programme (doktori képzés) is a post-graduate course to follow any Master’s or equivalent qualification.

Credit system 

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is the only existing credit system in Hungary, initially implemented in the academic year 2003-2004. It ensures transparency of the learning, teaching and assessment processes by facilitating recognition of learning achievements and qualifications in many countries throughout the European Higher Education Area.

Diploma Supplement 

The Diploma Supplement (DS, in Hungarian: oklevélmelléklet) has been issued by higher education institutions since July 2003. Since 2006, all higher education institutions have provided the document automatically and free of charge both in Hungarian and English and/or in the language of an ethnic minority. The DS contains all information about the qualification and the degree programme and provides a short description of the subjects taught.

Admission 

According to the Higher Education Act, admission for Bachelor’s degree programmes and some long-term Master’s degree programmes is selective. The minimum requirement for admission to these degree programmes is a secondary school leaving certificate or its non-Hungarian equivalent. There are a few programmes where practical examinations or tests are also required. Higher education studies are financed either by the state or by the students themselves. International students wishing to attend a full degree course in Hungary should contact the National Higher Education Admissions Office for more information.

Hungarian Institutions of Higher Education

Internationalisation is becoming an essential part of the development strategies of most Hungarian higher education institutions. As a result, they are becoming more and more active in international cooperation, offering a number of double and joint degree programmes, R&D projects, and academic partnerships within Europe and throughout the world. Currently, more than 30 Hungarian higher education institutions offer academic programmes in foreign languages, making a combined total of 315 courses.

More information: http://www.studyinhungary.hu/study-in-hungary/menu/universities.html

Hungarian Universities on THE ranking

The new ranking of the British Times Higher Education newspaper was published on 4 December 2014. It includes only institutions in countries classified as „emerging economies” by FTSE, including the “BRICS” nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

On the 55th place is Semmelweis University with 29.1 points, while on the 67th place is the University of Debrecen reached 26.7 points out of 100.

The methodology of the ranking is the following: five main missions of the universities are evaluated The three most important are the teaching conditions, research and the quotations of the publications. Innovation and international outlook of teaches and students are also examined.

An average student’s annual timetable: 

Autumn semester 

  • First half of September: registration and signing up for courses 
  • Second half of September to middle of December: term time 
  • Middle of December to beginning of February: exam period

Spring semester

  • First half of February: registration and signing up for courses 
  • Second half of February to the first half of May: term time
  • Middle of May to the beginning of July: exam period

Holidays

  • Autumn break: end of October 
  • Winter break: end of December 
  • Spring break: Easter week

Useful Links

For more information about Hungarian higher education please visit the following websites:

Latest news

March 28, 2017 09:23

The Summer University on Hungarian Language and Culture at Eötvös Loránd University prepared a present for Spring to those who are interested in Hungarian language and culture.

March 13, 2017 13:52
Semmelweis University is among the best according to the QS world rankings

Semmelweis University has been ranked as 262nd according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking list, on the basis of which our university has achieved the best result in the field of life sciences and medicine among Hungarian higher-education institutions. The ranking position of Semmelweis University is better with 54 ranking places this year as opposed to last year’s ranking result. In the field of medical education Semmelweis University is ranked among the best 200 institutions, and it is among the best 150 in the area of pharmaceutical education according to the QS 2017 ranking.

In the field of life sciences and medicine altogether three Hungarian universities are listed: Semmelweis University is ranked as 262nd, Debrecen University is ranked as 401-450 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 451-500. Regarding the area of medical education: Semmelweis University is ranked as 151-200, Debrecen University is ranked as 201-250, the University of Pécs is ranked as 251-300 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 301-350. The rankings in the category of pharmaceutical education are as follows: Semmelweis University is ranked as 101-150, Debrecen University is ranked as 151-200 and the University of Szeged is ranked as 201-250.

This international ranking list was prepared with the consideration of four aspects: the reputation of the university in the scientific world, assessment of the employees, the frequency of the citation of the university’s scientific works and h-index citations.

Eszter Keresztes
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Translated by: Katalin Romhányi

March 13, 2017 13:51
Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Tokyo Medical University

The delegation of Tokyo Medical University visited Semmelweis University on February 24-25, 2017, in the framework of which the collaboration has been reinforced on three different levels between the two institutions. Besides the Memorandum of Understanding a Sister Agreement as well as a Student Exchange Agreement were also signed by the representatives of both universities.

The members of the Japanese delegation, led by Dr. Mamoru Suzuki, President of Tokyo Medical University, were Dr. Miki Izumi, Professor of Medical Education, Ms. Aya Nagata, Coordinator of the Student Exchange Program and Dr. Mária Mernyei, Professor, who provided a lot of support in the organization of the delegation’s visit. The representatives of Tokyo Medical University were welcomed at Semmelweis University by Dr. Ágoston Szél, Rector, Dr. Miklós Molnár, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. József Sándor, Scientific Advisor of the Department of Surgical Research and Techniques, Dr. Marcel Pop, Director of International Relations and Dr. Judit Vadlövő, Project Coordinator of the Directorate of International Relations.

After a warm welcome Rector Szél said that he considers this visit very important, since the agreements signed during the discussion provide an opportunity for both Japanese and Hungarian students to study abroad in the framework of a training programme. Rector Szél expressed his gratitude to H.E. Dr. Kosuge Junichi, Ambassador of Japan in Hungary, who participated in the official discussion and the signing process together with Ms. Yoshiko Okamoto, Second Secretary of Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Hungary. As Rector Szél pointed out, the presence of His Excellency at the discussion unquestionably proved the high level of Japanese-Hungarian relations.

Dr. Kosuge Junichi talked about the undergoing process of the reinforcement of Japanese-Hungarian political and economic relations, and he expressed his appreciation that this is also manifested in the academic relations.

Dr. Mamoru Suzuki, President of Tokyo Medical University, also highlighted the significance of the signing of these agreements: according to him the collaboration now has become official between the two institutions.

Dr. Miklós Molnár talked about the fact that more and more Japanese students study at Semmelweis University and he expressed his hope that Hungarian students will soon also have an opportunity to study in Japan. Dr. Molnár also said that our institution will be pleased to have Japanese professors as lecturers at Semmelweis University.

Dr. József Sándor emphasized among other things that both institutions have the same principles and purposes: a well-operating patient care system.

At the end of the discussion the leaders of both universities officially signed the Memorandum of Understanding, a Sister Agreement as well as a Student Exchange Agreement. These agreements contain regulations regarding the mutual student-, researcher- and staff exchange programme, the exchange of information between the two institutions as well as the organization of common lectures and seminars. The agreement related to the exchange of medical students provides the opportunity for the following: both universities to send and receive 2-2 graduating students for clinical training during one academic year, for maximum 8 weeks per student.

After the discussion and the official signing of the agreements the Japanese delegation visited the 1st Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research, where Dr. András Matolcsy, Director, welcomed the representatives of Tokyo Medical University. The delegation also visited the Heart and Vascular Centre, where they were welcomed by Dr. György Bárczi, Senior Lecturer. Dr. Bárczi introduced the facilities and the daily work of the Centre to our Japanese guests in details.

Pálma Dobozi
Source: Directorate of International Relations
Photo: Gábor Ancsin
Translated by: Katalin Romhányi

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