There are a lot of materials related to Hungarian and American education, but sometimes they provide ambiguous data. It’s not clear for parents where to send their children to study when they finish high schools. The American education system has been considered the best in the world until tons of angry comments appeared online. 

It’s not a secret that European and American education systems are different. There is an opinion that any European schooling system is better than American. Let’s check whether this opinion reflects the real things. 

Comparison of General Characteristics

Secondary education is compulsory both in Hungary and the U.S. Upon graduation, children from Hungary and the U.S. are granted with certificates. It’s public in Hungary, the share of private colleges is 16% if compared to public higher education institutions. As well as in Hungary, U.S. secondary education is mostly public. However, the percentage of private schools is greater if compared to Hungary. 

American higher education is based on written tasks that are checked for plagiarism with the help of online plagiarism checker. Free checker is available online. In Hungary, the schooling system is based on exams. However, students are also required to submit several written tasks during a course. 

  • The cost of studying

Tuition fees are another major issue of American education. It’s more expensive if compared to Hungary.

Therefore, few students can afford it. Only those children whose parents can provide higher education to their children can attend prestigious colleges and universities. Applying for students loans is an alternative. Also, students from low-income families can apply for scholarships. 

  • The difference between prices for international students

American higher education is even more expensive for international students. On the contrary, many students worldwide are striving to get higher education in Hungary because it’s less expensive. 

  • Online schooling 

Recently, many students in the U.S. switch to online schooling. It’s more flexible and less expensive. Online classes are less popular in Hungary, but this tendency is becoming more evident in this country. Hungarian students prefer traditional on-campus studies. 

In general, U.S. education is more flexible than Hungarian. For example, students who completed two years of Bachelor’s program are considered associates. In Hungary, they are required to complete at least a four-year program to acquire a Bachelor’s degree. 

Hard Scene vs. Having Fun 

  • The influence of the Soviet Union

Hungarian schooling inherited an education system from the Soviet Union. So-called “hard scene” of the Soviet Union schooling is present in math, chemistry, and physics curriculum. Still, Hungarian children follow this path. However, thanks to the recent reforms of the education system in Hungary, it’s easier to pass tests each year. These reforms tend to simplify the current curriculum as the Soviet Union’s education is too hard for students getting below-average grades. Exams are replaced by tests not to make children get nervous. 

  • What is happening now?

American teachers also complain that the quality of education is falling in recent years. While education in Hungary is considered rigorous, American education is too liberal. The latter is focused on self-esteem, personal freedom, and the development of creativity. This is not the case with Hungarian education. Even though enough money is spent on it, American education doesn’t provide the necessary basics even for students studying in secondary schools. American teachers are afraid to evaluate students’ efforts not to harm their self-esteem by low grades. Children are taught when playing, but this resulted in worse performance in basic disciplines like math, literature, history or science. A student who fits in math is considered a genius. The percentage of educated graduates is dramatically dropping from year to year. As a result, American students aren’t well-prepared for work and build careers. 

Classroom Environment & Grading


  • American classrooms



  • Hungarian classrooms


The atmosphere in American classrooms is very dynamic. Large classes are designed for lectures, but few small classes are intended for seminars. Students can feel comfortable and move into a class. They’re encouraged to express their opinions, participate in class discussions, organize group presentations, argue their points, and use creative approaches to solve scientific problems.



In Hungarian classrooms, more attention is paid to discipline rather than creativity and personal development. It is a meaningless holdover of the Soviet Union learning process. Students can’t go inside a class during lessons. If somebody wants to go outside during a class, he/she must ask for permission. 


Teachers in universities and colleges pay much attention to plagarism. An acceptable rate of plagerism in a written paper is 10%. Sometimes a rate of 15% is accepted. Maximum requirements to plagiarism rate differ in colleges and universities. Plagiarism rate is identified with the help of use plagiarism scanner. In Hungarian universities, requirements for plagiarism rate are not that tough. Sometimes a rate of 20-30% is considered acceptable. 

The grading system is more complex in the U.S.: grades are calculated based on participation in lectures and seminars, results of midterm and final examinations, written tasks, and short quizzes or tests. ECTS (A-excellent, F-fail) grading system is used for grading in the U.S. A traditional 5-point grading system adopted from the Soviet Union education system is used in Hungarian schooling system to grade students. Few universities adopt the 3-point grading system or ECTS. 

More parents from different countries feel dissatisfied with the level of education their children get. By checking the learning process in these two countries, we revealed that Hungary and the U.S. are not the exceptions. The Hungarian education system is switching from the Soviet Union system while education in the U.S. seems too liberal. Obviously, the changes in schooling systems should be introduced in both countries. 

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1 comment
  1. Very confusing article – there must be better educated Hungarians who have studied English on staff – RE WRITE IT!

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