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Hungary makes strides in bid for African students

A consortium of four universities operating under the banner of Education Hungary have embarked on an aggressive student recruitment exercise across the African continent, marketing themselves as offering quality education at a fraction of fees charged by institutions in the UK, the Americas and Australia.

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Some 2,000 African students are studying at the institutions

The consortium made up of the University of Pécs, the University of Debrecen, the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (MATE) and the International Business School (IBS) is hosting at least one webinar a week.

The group is positioning Hungary and its universities as Eastern Europe’s choice destination due to the use of English as the language of instruction.

“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.

The universities have an international student’s population of between 20-25%, from over 114 countries, and some 2,000 African students are studying at the institutions, she disclosed.

On its website the Education Hungary says that its universities have a combined student population of over 13,000 international students.

“When considering student interest to study in Hungary from the African continent alone, Nigeria accounts for 28% of student interest”

Nigeria is the fourth largest source of student interest for studying in Hungary, after India, Pakistan and Iran, according to European education advisory company Studyportals.

“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 make up about 10% of the interest from the continent,” Cara Skikne, senior editor at the company, told The PIE News.

On the other hand, most of the prospective students from Africa are interested in masters programs, Engineering and Technology, and Business Administration being the most popular disciplines, she added.

The country has been offering scholarships under the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship program for Students at Risk Programme for students fleeing the war in Ukraine.

According to Kithama, the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarships are also part of a bilateral agreement between some African countries and Hungary such as Kenya. Some 200 Kenyan students will leave for their studies in Hungary this September under the scheme. The scholarship covers tuition, a monthly stipend, accommodation and medical insurance.

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