Labor & Education

1.7 percent of GDP to be allocated to universities in 2022

Last year, 11,000 more students applied to higher education than the previous year.

In 2021, Hungary spent almost 1.2 percent of GDP on universities, compared to the EU average of 0.8 percent. In 2022, the higher education budget is HUF 650 billion, plus the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and a HUF 310 billion annual allocation for Science Parks. Together, it represents 1.7 percent of GDP, Minister of Innovation and Technology László Palkovics said. The minister stressed that universities have put forward HUF 2.7 trillion in development needs for the coming years, and the aim is to implement them.

Marcell Budai, press officer of the National Association of Student Self-Governments (HÖOK), said that the institutions operated by a foundation are now double-funded, with both core and performance-based funding.

At the same time, indicators have been set for them to reduce drop-out rates, increase language competency, and improve student services, he added.

According to Budai, increasing the capacity of universities is also among the plans of several model-shifting institutions. This is important because in Hungary, 9,000–10,000 extra dormitory places would be needed in the capital alone, in addition to the existing 14,000. Nationally, the number of student places is estimated at 56,000–60,000. 

Last year, 11 percent more people applied to higher education, but Budai pointed out that last year’s increase should be interpreted in proportion to the 20 percent drop in the number of applicants in 2020. The reason behind this was the requirement of the intermediate language exam, which was abolished last year on the proposal of the HÖOK, Budai added.

Under the current provisions, those who graduated from a higher education institution by August 31, 2021, could receive their diploma without a language exam.

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