'Hungarian Higher Education 2014' conference
„Waiting for shifting of gears???”
Location: Corvinus University of Budapest, Bp. Fővám tér 8. Auditorium II.
Date: 27 January, 2015
The Center for International Higher Education Studies (CIHES) of Corvinus University of Budapest organizes its annual conference the seventh time, which every year makes an assessment of the current situation of Hungarian higher education and discusses conceptional questions related to it. In January 2015 the meeting of higher education researchers, institutional and governmental leaders and specialists of the field summarize the previous year. The CIHES prepares a short strategic assessment about the current situation of the Hungarian higher education for the third time, which will be handed to the participants of the conference. Besides the assessment, the invite speakers put an emphasis on the national and international trend-based changes which aim to establish the 2015’s higher education strategy. Coping with the global competition urges reckoning in the areas of education, research, social and economic embedment. Presentation and interpretation of such talkative data occurs that for example for the R & D activities in Hungary EUR 1.42 billion, or 1.41 % of GDP was spent in 2013. This is the result of a growing trend, despite that we are still behind the EU average of 2.0 %. It is unfortunate, however, that the national higher education institutions contributed only 14% to the R & D, while this rate was 23% in the EU.
The detailed program can be viewed here.
Strategic progress report 2014 can be downloaded here.
The abstract of presentations
Gábor Halász: Global trends shaping the evolution of higher education
The presentation deals with three global trends which substantially transformed the policy environment of the higher education systems’ development over the past decade. These global trends are (1) the rise of skills policies, (2) the emergence of teaching and learning strategies focused on effectiveness and quality, and (3) the arrival of the new generation of innovation strategies. New approaches have emerged at both national and international level on these fields which are likely to pose serious challenges to national higher education systems. The aim of this presentation is to give an overview of these new approaches and to take into consideration the challenges arising from their combined effects.
József Temesi: The Hungarian higher education system in the context of international analyses
Country reports and rankings of higher education systems usually place Hungary in the mid-range. This position corresponds to its level of economic development but reveals a declining tendency in its trend. The presentation overviews the strengths and weaknesses of the Hungarian higher education system as reflected by the Universitas 21 and similar rankings, by the European University Association’s funding and autonomy studies, and also by a Dutch project focusing on relations between higher education and economics. Furthermore, it covers a regionally comparative analysis of Hungarian universities. Finally, the presentation introduces the conclusions and suggestions of international experts in agreement with the main findings of the CIHES’s strategic report.
László Palkovics: Directions of the Hungarian higher education’s development
“The change of regime took place in higher education too in the last quarter century, so all the opportunities were provided for shifting into a higher gear. The aim of the strategy called “Shifting of gears in Hungarian higher education” is to develop a more planned and organized higher education system, which in harmony with the global trends and changes, the long-term economic and social goals, and which adapts to the real labour market demands. Therefore, the keywords of this new concept are competition, quality, performance and success. The presentation overviews the key goals of this concept, such as the demand for profile-cleaning and specialization, the improvement of students’ and teachers’ excellence, the increase in regional competitiveness, the stimulation of R&D and innovation, and the internationalization of Hungarian higher education.”
The Hungarian Rectors’ Conference has been an active participant in the strategy-making process of the higher education system. Several documents and plans have been created in this subject as a response to a longstanding demand from the sphere of higher education. Functioning without a clear vision was not, primarily, a characteristic of individual universities and colleges but rather of the whole system; even if the lack of a vision was the case for a few individual institutions too. The operator finally came to the decision to introduce a crucial change by setting up the Chancellor’s system, obviously reducing institutional autonomy and allocating more decision-making competencies to the state. The new governance model will show whether it can improve and rationalize the system already in 2015. However, the funding system is yet to be reformed. The new funding structure will hopefully be based on the credit-based funding model elaborated by the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference.
Since the beginning of the 2010’ new trends have evolved in the admission and funding tendencies of the Hungarian higher education system. As for the rates of admission to higher education, a (back) shift from massification can be observed. In addition, the 2011 reform of higher education vocational programmes has led to a decrease in the admission chances of disadvantaged students, while funding has changed both in extent and methods. Formula-based funding has become less important, while the role of chapter managed allocation funds has grown. Unfortunately, the proportion of revenues gained from external sources and corporations has not changed. The presentation provides an overview of the key elements of these changes, identifies the domestic trends, and compares them internationally.
(The last presentation was cancelled due to illness.)