The University of Szeged – Photo: wikipedia

Higher education becoming more competitive, says audit office

Changes made to Hungary's higher education system since 2012 have brought programmes offered by universities and colleges more in line with the needs of the market, thus making the sector more competitive, according to a fresh study by the State Audit Office (ASZ).

The steps needed to improve the competitiveness of the country’s higher education system were established in strategic documents compiled in 2014 and 2016, ASZ said.

It said the “quality-controlled sectoral operation” of Hungary’s higher education institutions had been made possible by the activities of the Hungarian Accreditation Committee, the introduction of “higher education programmes of excellence” as well as the quality measurements introduced in certain areas of the sector. It added, however, that the independent and systemic assessment of the quality of education at the various institutions had not been ensured.

Hungary’s number of engineering graduates has increased by one-third and agricultural science graduates by a quarter since 2012, ASZ said, adding that the number of computer science graduates is up by 12 percent. Simultaneously, the number and share of people graduating with degrees in the humanities, social sciences, economics and science has gone down.

While the share of young people with higher education degrees decreased between 2014 and 2019, the number of international students and people studying in dual training programmes increased. Meanwhile, the dropout rate remained stagnant.

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