A task force of four universities working under the banner of Education Hungary has launched an ambitious student recruitment campaign across the African continent, marketing themselves as providing high-quality education at a fraction of the cost of institutions in the United Kingdom, the Americas, and Australia.
At least one webinar is held each week by the consortium of the University of Pécs, the University of Debrecen, the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (MATE), and the International Business School (IBS). Due to the use of English as a language of instruction, the group is positioning Hungary and its universities as a top destination in Eastern Europe.
“Hungary is a great destination for African students because of affordability and low cost of living. Students are able to get world-class education at very affordable fees. Hungary also has a rich history and culture, which students or even tourists, can have the opportunity to experience,” Caroline Kithama of the Africa Regional Office told The PIE News.
“The reception towards studying in Hungary, which was not a ‘traditional’ study destination, has been surprisingly, very welcoming and Education Hungary has made significant steps in marketing the country as a preferred study destination, in the Africa region. We believe in endless possibilities for our future,” she added.
She revealed that the universities have a 20-25 percent international student population from over 114 countries, with approximately 2,000 African students studying there. According to Education Hungary’s website, its universities have a total student population of over 13,000 international students. According to the European education advisory firm Studyportals, Nigeria is the fourth largest source of student interest in studying in Hungary, trailing only India, Pakistan, and Iran.
“When considering student interest to study in Hungary from the African continent alone, Nigeria accounts for 28% of student interest. Ghana, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco each makeup about 10% of the interest from the continent,” Cara Skikne, senior editor at the company, told The PIE News.
The majority of prospective African students, on the other hand, are interested in master’s programmes, with Engineering and Technology and Business Administration being the most popular disciplines, she said.
For students fleeing the war in Ukraine, the country has been offering scholarships through the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme for Students at Risk. The Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarships, according to Kithama, are also part of a bilateral agreement between some African countries and Hungary, including Kenya. Under the scheme, 200 Kenyan students will depart for their studies in Hungary in September. The scholarship pays for tuition, a monthly stipend, housing, and medical insurance.
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