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Hungary: Higher Education Institutions Among World’s Top 5%, State Secretary Reveals

The Hungarian State Minister said Hungary’s higher education institutions make up five percent of the world’s top universities.

According to Education Minister Balázs Hankó, the country’s universities rank highly in almost every area of ​​training, and he believes they should be supported by modernizing higher education institutions while also emerging for universities to become innovation centers – in a bid for Hungary to compete both nationally and internationally, according to reports.

“The aim was to provide universities with a structure that allows them greater flexibility and autonomy so that they can compete at home and abroad. This is why we have provided them with the appropriate legal framework, institutional profiles and important resources,” Education Minister Hankou said ahead of the February 15 deadline for registration the students.

According to him, his government has allocated 1.9 percent of GDP to spending on higher education this year, making Hungary among the lowest in the 27-nation bloc. In addition, the sum of 7.6 billion euros has been allocated to developing the infrastructure of universities and building a network of scientific parks, Hankow claimed.

The minister also added that working to increase the number of graduates is essential for the country’s economic development, as this year 350 bachelor’s and 400 master’s programs were run in 48 Hungarian cities.

On the other hand, Hungarian universities are estimated to be listed at around 500th internationally, with the best ranking being Szeged University (551-560), Debrecen University (591-600) and Eötvös Loránd University (651-700). Additionally, compared to the 27-nation bloc, Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest is ranked 171.

According to data provider Statista, the number of international students in Hungary decreased by 2.1 percent in the 2020/2021 academic year, dropping from 33,100 as in the previous academic year to 32,400. Overall, the number of international students in the country has experienced a gradual boom since 2009, Starting with 14,300 international students, which is an annual increase of 131.4 percent since then.

However, Hungary is not among the countries that offer jobs and therefore blue cards are given to skilled workers. According to Eurostat data, the countries that presented the most blue cards in 2020 are Germany (11,850), Poland (2,251) and France (1,286). At the other end of the scale is Hungary, which issued the fewest blue cards – only five of those, followed by Greece, which awarded three.

The same source has published previous research, stating that EU higher education graduates are more likely to leave their country of origin compared to the rest of the population. More specifically, university degree holders are more open to the idea of ​​leaving their country to pursue their careers elsewhere, with 27.4 percent of French citizens doing so, followed by Italians at 12.2 percentage points, representing the educated, mobile citizens.

In addition, the proportion of highly skilled people in the European Union jumped by 23.7 percent in 2010 to 30.9 in 2020 – with Hungary and Bulgaria showing a negative trend on the matter, recording declines of 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points, respectively.

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