Characteristics of Hungarian Higher Education in an International Perspective

Gergely Harsányi
PhD, Associate Professor, Budapest Business School

Szilvia Vincze
PhD, Associate Professor, Deputy Director of Finance, University of Debrecen, Centre for Agricultural Sciences and Engineering

Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2012/2 (p. 213-233.)

Summary: In the Széll Kálmán Plan, the government made a commitment to transform the higher education system, which change is both necessary and topical. Neither a reduction in the number of state-controlled higher education institutions, nor in the number of students participating in higher education is justified. In an international comparison, the number of Hungarian state-maintained institutions is significantly below the European average; in terms of the number of state financed students per one million citizens, our lag compared both to neighbouring and to the developed countries of Europe is considerable. The proportion of higher education graduates in Hungary is below the OECD and EU-19 average. In terms of higher education expenditures, Hungary is one of the laggards among OECD countries. At the same time, government investments into higher education generate significant returns; in terms of this particular indicator, Hungary is one of the leaders of the pack. While the rate of employment in basic and secondary education is below the OECD and EU-19 average, our indicator value in higher education is average or even above average. Education directly defines the development path of a country; it is, therefore, extremely important for trends of modification to be professionally sound and to serve growth.

Keywords: higher education, return, economic and social benefit

Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) kód: I25, I21, J24

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