According to g7.24.hu, without them, the Hungarian higher education system would not be able to function. Thus, not only the number of Hungarian students studying abroad is rising, but also more and more foreigners learn at Hungarian universities. They come from both Western-European and third world countries, but most of them study at only a few universities. In fact, their rate rose from 7 to 12% among the university students in Hungary in just 5 years. However, the number of Hungarian students hit rock bottom at the same time.
According to g7.24.hu, the number of Hungarians studying in higher education is 28% less than it was 10 years ago. At the same time, the rate of international students increased by 79 pc. This is good for the system because
most foreign students pay tuition fee.
Of course, there are vast differences between the universities in this regard. For example, foreign students mostly go to more prominent universities or small, specialised ones.
72% of them study at eight universities:
1.University of Debrecen: 4930 out of 26.6 thousand, 18,5%
2. University of Pécs: 3734 out of 20 thousand, 18,6%
3. University of Szeged: 3550 out of 20.7 thousand, 17,1%
4. Semmelweis University (Budapest): 2932 out of 10.4 thousand, 28%
5. Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest): 2822 out of 29 thousand, 9.7%
6. Budapest University of Technology and Economics: 1827 out of 22.1 thousand, 8.2%
7. Corvinus University (Budapest): 1731 out of 11.8 thousand, 14,6%
8. University of Veterinary Medicine (Budapest): 1021 out of 2 thousand, 51,5%
In fact, the last rate might be surprising. However, there are
already five universities at present where Hungarian students are in the minority.
Besides, in Debrecen, Szeged and Pécs every 38-45th resident is a peregrine student. This is important for the development of the local economy since a student not only learns but also rents a flat, eats out and has fun. According to a 2017 study,
6 foreign students create 5 workplaces.
Furthermore, they wrote that one peregrine student spends 165 thousand HUF (EUR 507) monthly. Besides, international students pay more tuition fee because they attend non-Hungarian classes which are more expensive. Consequently, the income of their university increases which means that they can spend more on their lecturers. This is important because it is a cliché in Hungary that teacher salaries are meager.
Interestingly, 3/4th of the foreign students learn at medical faculties. Studying economy is also popular, but there are
only a few foreign students who would like to become an engineer or an IT expert in Hungary.
Regarding the citizenship of the international students, Germans are in the first place now, and they were ten years ago, too. Besides, most of them are medical students. The number of Chinese, Iranian and Nigerian students is rising, but fewer and fewer Hungarians living in the neighbouring countries choose Hungary. However, for Italian, French and Norwegian Hungary is becoming more and more popular. Jordan produced the most significant growth in this regard: in 2008 they had only 9 students in Hungary now they have 564. Second place went to Azerbaijan with the numbers 22 then, 473 now.
Hungary profits from foreign students in many ways.
To start with, they spend a lot of money here. Besides, after their return home, they can facilitate the development of the economic, cultural or political relations between their country and Hungary. Finally, if they remain, they can ease the ever-growing problem of the labour shortage in Hungary.