Speaking at the opening of the school year at the University of Pécs, József Bódis, State Secretary for Higher Education, Innovation and Vocational Training at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, reported that nine Hungarian universities are in the top 5 percent of the Times Higher Education list, and Hungarian institutions are among the most successful in a European comparison.
The state secretary said that this year, 91,460 people applied to higher education institutions, and three-quarters of those admitted attended universities and colleges. He also highlighted that 4 percent more students were able to start their higher education studies now than in 2019, with four out of five enrolled students receiving state scholarships.
In recent years, the government has consistently helped students with outstanding performance through an ever-widening range of state scholarship programs.
Bódis pointed out that the government aims to increase the number of participants in higher education and improve the quality of education. A 2019 review sought to ensure that the training structure of institutions follows both social and market needs and provides knowledge that can be used in everyday life, he added.
Speaking about the dual training introduced five years ago, he said the initial number of students participating in the program has increased fivefold, while there are now two and a half times as many partner organizations.
The Ministry of Innovation and Technology also provides special support to institutions to be able to contribute to international projects.
In addition to all of this, Bódis added that with the restructuring of the student loan system in 2020, an interest-free loan will be provided to young people who have not been able to get student work due to the epidemic; almost 17,000 thousand students have taken advantage of the opportunity.
Higher education cannot be successful without lecturers, researchers and teachers, so wage development has been implemented in the sector as well. The secretary emphasized that the funds of institutions in Hungary had more than tripled, while their debt had fallen by almost half by the summer of 2020.
The secretary of state also pointed out that since 2016, the government has supported the renewal of dormitory infrastructure with HUF 34 billion.
In regard to Hungarian students abroad, in the 2019/2020 academic year, 12 institutions conducted 24 undergraduate and four master’s programs in Hungarian in the Carpathian Basin, attended by almost 2,200 Hungarian students abroad.
Attila Miseta, Rector of PTE (University of Pécs), emphasized that investments under the Modern Cities program have been a great help to providing the conditions needed for higher quality education and expressed the hope that his university can successfully apply for many development resources in the future.
At the opening, Bódis also received the Pro Doctorandis Universitatis Quinqueecclesiensis award from the Doctoral Student Self-Government of the University of Pécs.