It barely entered into effect, but Hungary can already feel the downside of Brexit. It seems that Hungarian students feel less attracted by the universities of the United Kingdom despite those being very popular in the past years – according to a brand-new representative survey made by Engame Akadémia.
As we wrote it last week, the Brexit deal is done and ready to enter into force. With the first day of the year, it is already causing turbulences, as expected. As the United Kingdom decided to withdraw from the Erasmus program, Hungarian students will need to look for other possibilities to study abroad. Alternatives can be those countries that also provide high-quality education but with much favourable financial conditions.
In the 2019/2020 academic year, around 15 thousand Hungarian students studied in higher-education abroad, whereas, according to the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH), 24 thousand people continued their studies outside of the country, 6% of the total number of those enrolled in the higher education system.
There are no statistics yet about this upcoming 2020/2021 academic year, but last year’s 4% increase in the number of students is expected to keep growing. We know the number of those who applied to higher education in Hungary in 202, and that can give us a bit of perspective, and that number shows a decrease. Almost 20 thousand fewer students decided to apply to a university in Hungary, which can also mean that a part of this was planning to study abroad – said Balázs Lévai, co-founder and manager of Engame Akadémia to Világgazdaság.hu.
Universities of Austria and Germany are among the most popular ones; however, the United Kingdom has produced an incredibly dynamic growth over the past years in terms of popularity in higher education. The past decade tripled the number of those students who wished to deepen their academic knowledge in a foreign university, which is not very surprising if we consider the prestige and standards of British universities.
Brexit, however, draws up a completely different image.
According to the British government’s decision, after 31st December 2020, the same conditions apply to students coming from the EU, and thus to Hungarian students, than those that apply to students coming from outside of the EU.
Among other things, this means that the current EU price of an academic year of 9250 pounds (roughly 3.6 million forints) will change to 10-38 thousand pounds (around 4-15 million forints) a year for those who would like to do their studies in the British higher education system starting from September. This can on its own double or even triple the prices. Balázs Lévai added that, however, there are already more and more universities that announce scholarships for EU students which can be kept closer to last year’s tariffs.
On the other hand, paperwork becomes more complicated and costly. Students who wish to stay for longer than half a year for an educational purpose will need a student visa which further increases expenditures by 812 pounds (300 thousand forints). Moreover, students arriving from the EU lose the possibility to ask for a student loan with favourable conditions.
According to the survey made by Engame Akadémia asking 156 students and 96 parents,
27.6% of students that previously considered applying to the United Kingdom will no longer do so, because of Brexit.
When it comes to solely parents, an even more significant proportion, 36.8% said that their children would not apply to the UK because of Brexit.
Balázs Lévai said that for those who wish to learn in English, the Netherlands could be an alternative and solution. According to statistics, the past five years produced a 20% increase in the number of Hungarian students studying at a Dutch university. He adds that because of Brexit, the popularity of those countries that offer the possibility for students to learn in their second language will grow. Austria and Germany still lead in this respect, but Italy, Spain, France and Scandinavian countries can expect a growing interest.