The 500-point admission system will remain in place, but starting this year, universities have more flexibility in deciding which subjects they accept and for what extra achievements they award bonus points, announced the Deputy State Secretary for Higher Education at a press conference in Budapest on Tuesday.
Veronika Varga-Bajusz stated that it is worthwhile for applicants to choose advanced-level exams because for each percentage achieved in these exams, they will receive one point on the admission scale, while for standard-level exams, students will only receive points based on two-thirds of their percentage. Furthermore, while in the past, additional points were awarded in centrally determined cases, now institutions have the autonomy to decide how to allocate the extra 100 points based on various accomplishments and commitments.
Most universities grant additional points to applicants for language exams, advanced level exams, sports achievements, and results in academic competitions . However, in the new system, institutions are now able to award extra points for other factors like work experience, performance at oral entrance exams, prior qualifications, volunteer work, or the completion of preparatory courses based on their individual decisions. Veronika Varga-Bajusz pointed out that
voluntary reserve military service can earn students 16, 32, or 64 points, depending on the time and nature of their service,
potentially leading to a score of over 500 points.
Varga-Bajusz emphasized that the recent changes were aimed at making Hungarian universities more responsive to the needs of the Hungarian economy and the region. These changes, implemented in two phases, started to take effect during this year’s admission process. Universities now have the freedom to decide which programmes require advanced or standard level exams and to set minimum score expectations.
The deputy state secretary pointed out that the introduction of these changes has been successful. The number of admissions increased by 33 per cent, marking the most significant growth in the past decade. Furthermore, the median score increased by six points compared to the previous year, indicating improved performance among young applicants. She encouraged everyone to consider applying for higher education, highlighting the benefits of being a Hungarian university student.
President of the National Union of Students in Hungary (HÖOK) Marcell Eszterhai, spoke about the importance of a transparent admission system that both students and their parents can easily understand. As the changes introduced this year may initially be somewhat challenging to grasp, HÖOK will collaborate with the ministry to launch an information campaign. HÖOK will initiate a roadshow and engage in the recruitment programmes of universities to reach nearly a thousand secondary schools in person during the campaign. Additionally, they will provide online resources to assist students in their application process.