Parliament approved late on Monday amendments that will introduce a tuition fee for college and university students from 2007.
The changes set the recommended annual tuition fee for college students at Ft 105,000 and the tuition fee for university students at Ft 150,000. Institutions will be allowed to set their own fees within a range of +/-50% of the guideline. Institutions may exempt the best-performing 15% of students from the fee.
There are currently more than 400,000 college and university students studying at schools in Hungary, of which about half are already paying annual fees of between Ft 55,000 and Ft 1.3 million. The state finances Hungary's colleges and universities using a three-tier approach. Schools receive a per-student subsidy averaging Ft 116,550, from which they are expected to pay for the cost of study and scholarships. Schools are also eligible for subsidies based on the number of employees they have (Ft 450,000 per head) as well as another per-student subsidy which is determined by the area of study (with most schools getting Ft 60,000 per student).