More than 126,000 people applied for higher education in Hungary this year.
Minister of Culture and Innovation János Csák said at a press conference in Budapest, presenting the results of applications for higher education courses, that the number of applicants was 99,000 last year, and the rise means that the attractiveness of the higher education system has increased.
The minister said the government aims to have an economically strong, culturally confident nation of self-reliant families living here in the Carpathian Basin, stressing that every policy measure serves this goal.
János Csák recalled that over the past five years, many changes had been introduced in the higher education system to give more qualifications to families and young people while meeting Hungary’s economic and cultural needs. He added that the GDP is growing strongly and steadily, which requires building training structures in the education system that serve the economy. This is why the change in the admission system was initiated last year, after much consultation, and is also why universities were given more powers.
He pointed out that many more people from disadvantaged districts applied to higher education than before. He was particularly pleased that more people than before had applied to teacher and kindergarten teacher courses.
Giving details, Balázs Hankó, Minister of State for Innovation and Higher Education at the Ministry of Culture and Innovation, said that 126,449 people had applied to the renewed Hungarian higher education system, which now has a full electronic admission procedure.
The renewed admission system has increased the number of applicants by 27 percent. In addition, 100,000 prospective students without a diploma applied. The latter figure is 26,000 higher than last year, meaning that the number of applicants without a degree has increased by 34 percent, above the average, he said.
The State Secretary said that one in five of those applying would like to study engineering, science, mathematics, or IT. There was also a sharp rise in the number of older people applying: 32% more. The oldest applicant, aged 75, wants to study German studies.
Balázs Hankó also pointed out that the popularity of rural higher education institutions has increased: the number of applicants to the University of Nyíregyháza has risen by 60 percent, to Miskolc by 40 percent, but there are also above-average numbers of students applying to the universities of Dunaújváros, Sopron, and Veszprém.
The State Secretary pointed out that eleven universities in Hungary are in the elite league, i.e., in the top five percent of universities in the world.
He said that the number of applicants for bachelor’s degrees had risen significantly: last year, 65% applied for bachelor’s degrees, and this year the figure is 70%. In addition, 74 percent more people applied to higher education from vocational training than last year. Sixty percent of applicants are women, and 40 percent are men.
Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) was the most popular choice (17, 829), an increase of 16%, Balázs Hankó said.
ELTE was followed by the University of Debrecen (11 351 applicants) and the University of Szeged (9,015).