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Tempus Public Foundation: Student Satisfaction Survey 2016 Hungary and Hungarian Higher Education according to International Students

In the framework of the Campus Mundi project, Tempus Public Foundation commissioned a study aimed to reveal the opinions of full- and part-time international students in Hungary, namely their perceptions and attitudes towards the country, its educational services and mobility.

The study was based on 10 qualitative in-depth interviews and a large-scale quantitative survey with a sample of 1566 international students from 72 countries and studying at 27 Hungarian higher education institutions, the majority of whom (81%) Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship holders.

The study addressed the following main topics:

  • positive and negative perceptions of Hungary,
  • experienced attitude and behaviour towards foreigners,
  • image of Hungarian culture,
  • attitude and satisfaction concerning different conditions and facilities (accommodation, leisure, transport, sports, and shopping facilities),
  • analysis of the decision to choose the educational institution, and analysis of the information sources used to make the decision,
  • evaluation of the educational standard of the higher education institution, and satisfaction with student services,
  • opinions related to mobility.

In addition, Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship holders (full-time and part-time) were asked about their satisfaction with the assistance related to the payment of the scholarship, to finding accommodation, and help with health insurance; satisfaction with the information provided by the institutions, and with the services provided to students, satisfaction with student counselling, and with mentoring services.

Some of the findings show that students associate the country and its inhabitants with beauty, kindness and friendliness, whereas no negative associations were made in the same context. Kindness and helpfulness were associated as well to the experiences with university administrative staff by 63% of the respondents, whereas negative experiences were reported mainly in relation to the Office of Immigration and Nationality as well as to the healthcare services.

How did students get to know about study opportunities in Hungary? According to the responses, mainly through web scholarship portals and word of mouth (information received from friends). The top three reasons students mention as decisive for opting to study in Hungary were the high quality of education, desire to get to know another culture and affordable prices. 

The interviews further revealed that some of the aspects that need improvement are the mentor/buddy programmes at Hungarian universities as well as the integration of international students with the local student population by, for example, organising more joint activities, both academic and extracurricular.

On the basis of the findings, a number of recommendations were put forward for the improvement of student support services pertaining to the orientation, infrastructure, integration and communication, some of which call for better pre-departure information provided to students, better integration with local students, better support for Stipendium Hungaricum students in finding accommodation, to name just a few.

For more findings and recommendations please consult Tempus Public Foundation:

Student Satisfaction Survey (Full report)