The number of students enrolled in Hungary’s higher education institutions has hit a 20 year low, portfolio.hu reports.
The economic news portal analyzed data collected by the Central Statistical Office, which shows that the number of students in higher education decreases by a few thousand every year. Today, 283,350 students attend higher education, which is almost 4,000 less than last year and over 100,000 less than the mid 2000’s. This number includes everyone enrolled, from higher technical training to doctoral programs.
The number of students enrolled in BA programs is now only at 170,300 compared to last year’s 174,160, while the one of students attending MA programs is 34,850, almost 2,000 less than during the 2016-2017 school year.
This year would be the first time in almost 20 years that these numbers have been recorded, the last time being the 1998-1999 school year.
During the 2000’s, the number of students exceeded 400,000, returning to normal proportions and significantly raising the percentage of the Hungarian population with a third level education, but it was quickly followed by a drastic fall, which has continued to affect the country ever since. By the time the 2007 school year had started, the number of students enrolled was just above 240,000.
In 2016, it was reported that 18% of Hungary’s population had a university degree and 28% had taken their final examination. 83% of people with a university degree were employed, which is the highest rate among the groups of different educational levels.
Due to the rapid decrease in students enrolled in higher education, Hungary might be facing serious damage in the long-run in terms of development and its economy. If the population with university degrees has the highest rate of employment and if that demographic is quickly shrinking, this could lead to a much higher rate of unemployment in the country. It would be in Hungary’s best interest to turn this situation around and raise the number of higher education students in order to prevent serious development issues. This problem seems to have affected more than one country this year, with United States colleges also reporting significant decreases in international student enrollments.