Graduation ceremony at Semmelweis University photo:

According to, Eurostat’s latest data show that the number of graduates decreased in Hungary again in the last year. They examined how the percentage of the people having a degree changed in the age group 30 – 34. In fact, Hungary accepted that it would increase the graduates’ rate to at least 34%. Moreover, in 2014 and 2015 it even reached this goal. However, the present tendency is the opposite, since this rate decreased in 2016 to 33% while in 2017 to 32.2%.

The number of graduates and university students is decreasing

Between 2005 and 2015 the rate of female degree holders increased; however, this tendency stopped in 2016. Though their share was 41% in 2015 in their age group, this number fell back to 37.8% in 2017. On the contrary, men’s rate of this age group having a degree increased from 26.4% (2016) to 26.9% (2017).

While the rate of the graduates fell back in Hungary

it has increased in the EU-28 from 39.1% (2016) to 39.7% (2017). In fact, among the EU-28 only Bulgaria, Croatia, Portugal, Finland, Lithuania, Luxemburg and Hungary produced decreasing numbers in this regard. Even so, Northern countries should not be ashamed of this tendency. In fact, the rate of the graduates in Finland is still 45.3%. Furthermore, in Lithuania, it is 58.2%, while in Luxemburg this number is 54.5%.

The government published a higher education program in 2017. In this, they wrote that the rate of those students who complete their studies and do not finish it without a diploma should be increased. In this paper, the government confessed that if secondary education agreed with admission requirements of the universities more, there would be more students who could finish their studies in time.

Is it worth to have a degree in Hungary?

According to the research, the number of

students studying in the Hungarian higher education is decreasing every year.

In fact, the peak was in the 2005/2006 academic year when 380 thousand students could start their studies. According to the Educational Authority, this number decreased to 250 thousand in the 2016/2017 academic year.

As we already reported, Hungary is the land of crazy wages. For example,

an assistant lecturer receives 221 thousand HUF as gross salary (EUR 705)

while a senior lecturer gets 277 thousand (EUR 884) gross salary/month. Furthermore, the income of senior researchers working in the public service sector (e.g. museums) can only reach 300.000 HUF (approx. 1000 EUR) around their sixties. This is because the government has not changed the particular sums of the public service pay scale since 2008.

Thus, it can happen in Hungary that an Aldi

shop assistant who finished 12 or less classes receive more than a senior researcher

obtaining an academic degree. In fact, Aldi gives 882 EUR to a novice shop assistant a starting gross salary from this year on. Still, these salaries are not only small in comparison to the wages of the private sector: middle school teachers and even bus drivers earn a lot more nowadays.


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