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Hanko: Government launching support for international exchange programmes in higher education

The government is launching a 10 billion forint (EUR 26m) scheme supporting international exchanges at Hungarian universities run by public foundations, an education official said on Wednesday.

Funding will be available next year for students, lecturers and researchers of foundational universities so they can connect with the world’s leading universities, Balazs Hanko, the state secretary for higher education of the ministry of culture and innovation, told a joint press conference of the ministry and its strategic partner, the Tempus Public Foundation.

He said the government had revamped higher education in recent years and instituted a turnaround in competitiveness, adding that 12 Hungarian universities are now in the top 5 percent of the world’s best higher education institutions.

At least one Hungarian university should be among the top 100 universities by 2030 and at least three should be among the top 100 European higher education institutions, he added.

Currently 10,000 students, teachers and researchers participate in exchange programmes, and with the new government scheme dubbed Pannonia Program, by 2030 this is expected to reach 20,000 people each year. Next year, the scheme will support 8,000 students, teachers and researchers. The scheme also provides a monthly scholarship of worth 350,000-500,000 forints.

Fully 20 percent of the funds, 2 billion forints, will be used to help Hungarian students, teachers and researchers get into one of the world’s 250 best universities, he added.

Universities can lodge applications between Jan 15 and 29, Karoly Czibere, the chairman of the Tempus Public Foundation’s board of trustees, said.

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