Lately there has been a growing interest in Hungarian academic education on part of foreign students, most of them choosing universities sited in Budapest. In the following series, we will present some of the best Hungarian universities, hoping that during your summer trip to one of our exciting festivals, you’ve taken a deep interest in our culture and history.
We’ve met several exchange students during our courses, and there were even some, let’s say, Italian or Scottish course mates, who were full-term students. One would think that their choice was based on the fact that they wish to learn more about Hungarian culture or customs and are taking courses in this field. In some cases, this is the truth indeed.
In others, they are simply smitten by the capital city, the Hungarian landscape
and came to Hungary to continue their studies in microbiology, English literature, electrical engineering, or economics.
Given that the number of foreign students (either visiting with Erasmus, or being full-term students) has quickly grown in the recent years, we’ve decided to give a short overview of why you should study at one of those Hungarian universities that are among the top and also offer courses in English or other widely spoken languages. The first stop of our trip is the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
The Budapest University of Technology and Economics is officially abbreviated as ‘BME’, deriving from the Hungarian name, Budapesti Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem. It was founded in 1782, and after a couple of centuries’ worth of name changing, merging and unmerging with other faculties and universities, a couple location changes, it finally settled on the official name Budapest University of Technology and Economics in 2000.
The BME campus is mainly situated at the Buda-side, between the Liberty- and Petőfi Bridges, stretching a bit over to Rákóczi Bridge. This means that the campus is long and fairly narrow, and if you’d take a walk from one end of the campus to the other, it will take around 20 minutes. Its location is very fortunate, as
the city centre (at the Pest side) is a 10 minutes walk away,
no matter which bridge you take. Plus, the most famous sights of Buda are very close, as the Citadel is right at the Liberty Bridge end of the campus.
It is not only the oldest Institute of Technology in the world with university rank and structure, but also the first in Europe to train engineers at a university level. It is also considered to be the most innovative university in Hungary.
BME placed well at international rankings on many instances. Just considering the latest lists and data, the technological university of Budapest ranked somewhere between 700 and 800 out of all the universities in the world in 2017, and among the best 400 universities offering courses in engineering and technology it placed 322nd.
As the Budapest University of Technology and Economics is the most respected university in Hungary to train in the field of technology, there are numerous world-wide famous scientists and Olympic winners among the alumni. They have four Nobel-prize winners: Dénes Gábor, the inventor of holography, George Oláh, Jenő Wigner and Fülöp von Lénárd. Other scientists and architects are Alajos Hauszmann, the architect of the Buda Castle, Kós Károly, the architect of the Budapest Zoo, Samu Pecz, the architect of the Great Market Hall, Ernő Rubik, Frigyes Schulek, the architect of the Fisherman’s Bastion, Imre Steindl, the architect of the Parliament, or Leó Szilárd, the father of the atomic bomb and the nuclear bomb.
Eighteen Olympic medallists attended the BME, including Alfréd Hajós and László Cseh.
Since we’re on the subject of sports, we have to mention that it is compulsory to take a Physical Education course at BME and you can take many other courses (for credits even) if you’d like to. The university offers a variety of sports to take up, such as tennis, beach volley, football, athletics, wall climbing, squash, aerobic, but if you feel like, you can even go to their gym. You can learn more about fees and sports options here and here.
Altogether 1100 lecturers and 400 researchers are employed here, ready to share their knowledge with you. BME has over 110 departments and institutes, and eight faculties, such as the
– Faculty of Civil Engineering (founded in 1782)
– Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (1871)
– Faculty of Architecture (1873)
– Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology (1873)
– Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics (1949)
– Faculty of Transportation Engineering and Vehicle Engineering (1955)
– Faculty of Natural Sciences
– Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences.
The latter two were founded in 1987 but were separated in 1998.
The first courses in English were launched in 1984.
Today, courses are offered in Hungarian, English, German, French and Russian.
Courses are offered in English in all programmes, this means that you can do your Preparatory Year, your Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree, Master of Sciences degree or even a Doctor of Philosophy there if you speak and understand English well enough.
When it comes to foreign students, almost 1400 students (about 21200 students are enrolled at the university) represent 50 countries. The majority of international students are from Turkey, China and Yemen.
For both national and international students, the admission process is quite simple: you have to pass the International Baccalaureate, or the Matura, or even your A-level exams (depending on where you’re from) with enough points. At some faculties and departments, it is also required to pass a Hungarian Matura. The admission fee is 100 EUR for international students.
However, BME is not an exception to Hungarian universities, where a tuition fee has to be paid. If you are a non-scholarship holder and non-Hungarian, your tuition fee per semester will vary from 2000 to 4500 EUR, depending on which programme you wish to enrol in and at which department, and also if you are an EU citizen or not. If your Hungarian language skills are great enough, then you can even enroll in the Hungarian programme, which will cost about 830 EUR (if you are a Hungarian citizen, then you do not have to pay in the case that this is your first university-level training).
featured image: www.kth.bme.hu