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Hanko: Hungarian degree counts on labour market

A Hungarian degree leads to a wage advantage, with graduates earning 1.3 times the national average wage just 42 days after graduating and 1.7 times after seven years, Balazs Hanko, the state secretary for higher education, said on Monday.

Graduates typically find a job quickly and eight out of ten start working in a more senior position, he said.

Also, graduates tend to stay to work in the same region where they studied, with six out of ten staying put.

Engineering graduates earn double the national average wage 7.5 years after graduation, while for IT professionals the premium is 2.5-fold. Medical graduates, too, often find a job immediately and receive twice the average salary, he said.

Hanko noted that the higher education admissions system is being revamped this year, giving universities more freedom to decide the weighting of school exam results and allowing them to set their own entrance exams.

He said Hungary’s higher education system had witnessed a turnaround in terms of competitiveness, and admissions were up 33 percent this year, with 42,000 foreign students studying at Hungarian universities and 5,000 getting internships abroad.

Policymaking has skewed towards matching undergraduate courses to the market, while a graduate career tracking system gives a good picture of how valuable particular Hungarian degrees are, he added.

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