About 10-20 percent of foreign students studying at Hungarian universities vanish and move to a Western European country. There was also a class where 30-40 percent of students disappeared without any information.
Foreign students in Hungarian universities
“There are a lot of talented young people from African and Asian countries. Many of them learn some level of Hungarian as well as English. The vast majority of them go home after graduation,” an education expert who asked not to be named told index.hu. He added that “university faculties can earn up to several hundred thousand euros from the tuition fees of foreign students”.
While there are many advantages to having foreign students, integrating international students is not always an easy task. There are many cases where students disappear after enrolment. Foreign students can travel easily with a visa and most of them leave for Western Europe.
“It is a smarter, less costly and more convenient form of migration. Children from wealthier African and Asian families can enter the European Union by air and with student visas. Here, they don’t have to trust their lives to people smugglers, climb fences or wade through the Mediterranean on tinder-boxes,” said the expert.
“The phenomenon is not unknown in the university sector. At institutions that have minimum admission requirements for applicants and charge low tuition fees, the proportion of ghost students is estimated to be between 10 and 20 per cent of all fee-paying admissions nationally,” said another education worker.
It is said that there have been Hungarian universities where 30-40 per cent of the students in the same year group became invisible to the educational institution and the immigration office in the first semester.
Is it a real problem?
Index contacted several major Hungarian universities, but only the University of Debrecen responded.
“Over the past 30 years, the University of Debrecen has developed a quality assurance system and practical procedures for its foreign language courses, which have made it possible to neglect the number of students who do not start their studies after arriving in Hungary,” said the University of Debrecen’s Press Centre.
About 1,900 foreign students arrive here every year, but because of the high tuition fees, hardly any stay. There are no exact figures, so it is not known exactly how real the problem is, and if so, how serious it is. There are no organised criminal circles behind it, hvg.hu reports.