Higher Education in Hungary

Education system

Hungarian higher education has been representing academic excellence for more than 650 years. The first university was founded in 1367 in Pécs, the Southern region of Hungary. Today, there are 65 higher education institutions in Hungary, ranging from minor universities of applied sciences to top research universities. 

There are 28 statefunded, 11 privately-funded and 26 church-funded institutions to choose from. As a result of our institutions’ internationalisation process all students can find what fits their interests the best: institutions offer more than 500 courses in English, German, French and other languages. The foreign language programmes are of a high standard and tuition fees are very favourable when compared to its competitors.

The range of study fields students can choose from is wide:

  • Agricultural Science
  • Computer Science and Information Technology
  • Legal Science
  • Economic Science
  • Medical and Health Science
  • Arts, Arts and Humanities, Arts Education
  • Engineering Science
  • Social Science
  • Teacher Training
  • Sport Science
  • Natural Science

The largest institutions offer courses in all study fields while smaller institutions have programmes in a few specific areas. Students can earn double degrees at many universities through joint degree programmes in which the Hungarian university works together with another European higher education institution. In case of applying for these programmes students enrol in both universities and obtain a double degree from both institutions.

Higher education studies are offered at two types of higher education institutions, egyetem (university) and főiskola (college), both of them may offer courses in all three training cycles: Bachelor course, Master course and Doctoral course.

Although the degree structure is divided in most courses, there are some integrated (one-tier) programmes where the Bachelor level and the Master level is unified: veterinary medicine, architecture, dentistry, pharmaceutics, law and medicine. These one-tier programmes consist of 10-12 semesters (5-6 years) and by the end of the last year you must have 300 to 360 credits completed.

Within a Doctoral programme, you need to complete 240 credits within 4 years of study. At the end of the fourth semester, a final examination must be taken. After a successful examination, the last 2 years of the doctoral programme are about conducting the research and writing your dissertation, which can be extended with one more year.

Credit System

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) in Hungary ensures the transparency of the learning, teaching and assessment processes by facilitating recognition of your learning achievements and qualifications in many countries throughout the European Higher Education Area. The ECTS ensures that the grades you have achieved can be accepted by other European institutions in other countries.

At the end of each semester, the student’s study achievement is evaluated with a grade in the Hungarian five-grade scale. For incoming international students, a Transcript of Records must be issued that contains a table of completed courses, credits, the Hungarian grade and the ECTS grade.

The number of credits you have to achieve might differ from one institution and course to another in an academic year or semester, so you may need to approach your local international coordinator to obtain the relevant information about this.

The Hungarian academic credit system is an ECTS-compatible system. The calculation of the credits is based on the number of working hours of the students (one credit means 30 student working hours, on average).

At the end of the semester, the student’s study achievement is evaluated with a grade (5-excellent, 4-good, 3-medium or satisfactory, 2-sufficient or pass, 1-fail). The ECTS conversion table ensures transfer procedures between the Hungarian academic credit system and the ECTS. The recognition of courses completed abroad is based on the credit transfer regulation.

For incoming international students, a Transcript of Records is issued at the end of the semester, which contains the code and title of the completed courses, credits, grade, and its ECTS-compatible grade.

ECTS grade compared with Hungarian grading:

Scholarships in Hungary

Erasmus+

If you are from the European Union, you are entitled to apply for Erasmus+ that provides opportunities for education, training, youth and sport.

You can also combine your study period in Hungary with a traineeship to gain work experience as Erasmus+ also offers internships. Opportunities to study in Hungary with Erasmus are available to students at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels, as well as Doctoral candidates. Students with physical, mental or health-related conditions may apply for additional funding after they have been selected to study. You can also gain some volunteer experience in Hungary through this programme for periods of 2 - 12 months or 2 - 8 weeks.

Programme countries:

  • countries of the European Union
  • + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Norway, Turkey

Erasmus+ Internship

You can combine your studies with professional practice by taking an Erasmus internship in Hungary for a period of 3 to 12 months or you can only take part in an internship (2-12 months) without doing your studies at the same time. Your internship will be supported with a monthly stipend ranging from €500–€600 depending on the chosen country’s living standards; also it is possible to apply for an extra stipend of € 100 in specific cases.

Programme countries:

  • countries of the European Union
  • others: North Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Turkey

Stipendium Hungaricum programme

The Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme was launched in 2013 by the Hungarian Government with the mission to increase the number of foreign students in Hungary and to encourage our education institutions to attract foreign students.

Study fields supported by the Stipendium Hungaricum Programme in 2018/2019

  • Agriculture, Natural Resources
  • Arts (visual and performing)
  • Business, Management and Public Administration
  • Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Humanities, Education, Behavioural Sciences
  • IT, Computer Sciences, Mathematics
  • Law, Social Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • Technology, Engineering, Architecture
  • Tourism, Recreation

Full time studies:

  • BA/BSc (undergraduate, 3-3.5 years)
  • MA/MSc (graduate, 1-2 years)
  • PhD studies (doctoral, 2+2 years)
  • One-tier programme (5 years)

Part-time studies

Non degree programmes (professional and language preparatory courses, specialisation courses)

How does the SH programme contribute to your professional development?

  • no tuition fee
  • monthly stipend: for Bachelor or Master: cca. EUR 130,  for Doctoral programmes: cca. EUR 325
  • free dormitory places or contribution to private accommodation: EUR 100
  • medical insurance

The expanding network of sending partners:

Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, China - Hudec scholarships in Shanghai, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kosovo, Kurdistan Regional Government / Iraq, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Pacific Alliance (member states: Chile, Colombia, Mexico & Peru), Pakistan, Palestine, Paraguay, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, The Philippines, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen

CEEPUS 

If you are from Central Europe or the South-Eastern part of Europe, you are eligible to apply for the CEEPUS  Programme (Central European Exchange Programme for University Studies) that aims to promote teacher and student mobility in Central and South-East Europe. Students can spend a study period abroad and teachers can undertake a teaching period at a partner university. These opportunities are designed to strengthen professional and personal relationships among Central European scholars. In Hungary the programme is managed by the Tempus Public Foundation.

Period of mobility:

  1. 1 semester (3-5 months)
  2. 1-2 months
  3. 3-6 days (short term excursion)

Member countries:

Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Kosovo

Funding

The funding of the programme is provided by the CEEPUS partner countries. Students receive their CEEPUS grant from the host country; therefore, the amount is tailored to local living standards.

Bilateral State Scholarships

Hungary has bilateral agreements with around 68 countries. Bilateral state scholarships are based on scientific and educational cooperation agreements signed by the governments of two countries. If your sending country has such an agreement with Hungary you may pursue a scholarship activity in Hungary as a nominee of your sending home country. It is also possible to apply individually, independently from your country, without being nominated.

Scholarship types available (in 2018/2019):

  • bachelor or master or doctoral semester/partial studies (3-10 months)
  • full degree bachelor or master or doctoral studies (36/24/36 months respectively)
  • short- or long-term research (3 days-10 months)
  • summer courses (2-4 weeks)

Scholarship Programme for Christian Young People

The core mission of the Scholarship Programme for Christian Young People is to provide the possibility of studying in Hungary to young Christian students who live in the crisis regions of the world and/or are threatened in their country because of their faith. After completing their studies, the scholarship holders will return to help their home community with their gained knowledge, and they will participate in the reconstruction of war-damaged countries and contribute to the improvement of the social situation and the preservation of the culture of Christian communities.
Scholarships are available for bachelor, master, one-tier master and doctoral programmes.

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