From 2020, high school graduates in Hungary are required to possess at least one upper-intermediate language certificate or a higher-level Hungarian Matura from one language to be able to meet new university admission standards.
Until now, the system worked
slightly differently—university students had been expected to submit their
language certificates in order to be able to receive their degree. The only
difference was that they had more time to reach that proficiency. The level and
number of language qualifications were determined based on the attended course
and the importance of the language presence in the chosen professional field.
Most of the courses required an
upper-intermediate (B2) language certificate, although, it wasn’t rare to have
higher requirements like taking an advanced (C1) and/or an intermediate
professional or business language exam. Those directly affected had been
struggling to get hold of their degree, even though all required university
exam needs were satisfied. On many occasions, it took them years to be able to
pass their language tests and finally take ownership of their HE awards.
Students have had different ideas
about how they could meet these high conditions. Dora Szalai, an alumna of the
University of Pannonia took the opportunity of attending a semester at
University of Derby through the Erasmus Program, so she had passed the test in
Liverpool before returning to Hungary. Others have chosen different routes like
enrolling in a language school or taking private lessons from a tutor.
According to 24.hu, based on the data found on the parliament’s website, more than half of the
199 MPs would not be able to attend university from 2020 rest on their language
98 do not hold a language certificate7 only completed B1 9 only passed part of the language exam, either written
or oral examThis means that 114 politicians
wouldn’t be able to gain access to HE in the new system, which is 58% of all
We cannot know for sure how this
amendment will affect students’ chances in the future but the numbers that
Milan Berenyi, chairman of the Professional Association of Language Schools,
mentioned in an interview with Magyar Nemzet are not too promising. Berenyi
claimed that only 45% of university applicants and 55% admitted students
possessed language certification in recent years, therefore a decrease in the
number of university attendees can be expected from 2020.
Bio: Kitti Palmai is a UK-based freelance writer and translator whose byline has appeared in The Expat Magazine, Thrive Global, Elephant Journal, and many more. Email address: [email protected]