author: Tempus Public Foundation
Hungarian Higher Education system
Hungarian higher education has represented academic excellence for more than 600 years and it began with our University, the first university in Hungary.
Hungary joined the Bologna Process in 1999 by signing the Bologna Declaration with 28 other countries with a view to establishing the European Higher Education Area by 2010. The Hungarian Act on Higher Education was inspired by the objectives of the Bologna Process. The first cycle programmes last 6-8 semesters (3-4 years, 180-240 credit points) and lead to a Bachelor’s degree. The second cycle leading to a Master’s degree, last 2-4 semesters (1-2 years, 60-120 credit points). Programmes can be full-time, part-time or of a distance learning nature. A three-year doctoral programme is a postgraduate alternative to follow any Master’s or equivalent qualification.
The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is the only existing credit system in Hungary. The ECTS was developed within the framework of European higher education cooperation and mobility programmes for recognising periods of studies. The ECTS was initially implemented in the academic year 2003-2004.
Courses and Grades
In Hungarian universities education is provided in a system of seminars and lectures. Lectures are held for big audiences, the attendance is recommended, but usually not obligatory. At the end of the semester students have to pass written or oral examinations. Seminars are usually more informal study groups for 10-20 students, where there is room for individual consultation, discussion of the material and solving exercises. They usually conclude with an independently written paper or an examination.
The grading system generally used by Hungarian higher education institutions is the following:
- The highest grade is 5 excellent.
- Grade 4 is good.
- Grade 3 is average.
- Grade 2 is a pass.
- Grade 1 is a fail - the course must be repeated.
Structure of the University of Pécs
The University has the traditional structure of European universities, headed by a rector and a team of two vice rectors, each responsible for a different area of university life. The faculties, headed by a dean, and the institutes headed by a director, represent larger academic areas. They are subdivided into departments that are in daily contact with students and are responsible for the academic programmes.