university students

According to, fewer and fewer students attend university education. Newest data shows that the decrease has been unbroken for a decade; at the moment, as few students attend university as 20 years ago.

In the 2017/2018 school year 283 350 students attend higher education altogether, which is 3700 less than last year, so the headcount continues to plummet down, as data from the Central Statistics Office show. Everyone is counted, from higher technical training to doctoral programmes. The year 1998/99 was the last time, so few students attended universities. In the middle of the 2000s, the number of students exceeded 400 thousand, revising the proportion of graduates.

Now only 170 300 students attend BA programmes, while last year this number was 174 160. 34 850 students attend MA programmes after last year’s 36 620.

202 280 students take part in full-time training in the school year 2017/2018, which is 3300 less compared to the year before that. The decrease is continuous, between 2007 and 2010, the number of students in full-time training was over 240 thousand, but a drastic fall can be observed ever since. This year’s data is the lowest since the 2002/2003 school year.

Portfolio opinion: the continuous fall of the number of university students has a negative impact on the long-term developmental prospects of Hungary, although it partly depends on demographic reasons. The administration’s policies are the reverse of those of developed countries where steps are taken towards getting higher degrees and life-long studying is more and more popular. From the perspective of Hungarian economy’s competitiveness, it would be of key importance to turn the recent trend around.

At the time of the representative census, in 2016, 18% of the population had a university degree, and the rate of those having taken their final examination was 28%. The rate of employment increases with the educational level, while the rate of unemployment decreases. In 2016, 83% of the 1.4 million people with a degree of the active age-group were employed, which is the highest rate among the groups of different educational levels. The unemployment rate within them was 2.1%.

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