Entry to university will require foreign language exam from 2020

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Admission into Hungarian universities will require foreign language exams of B2 (upper-intermediate) level or higher from next year on, according to Budapest Metropolitan University (METU).

Although this summer’s prolonged entrance procedure, which lasts until August 7, will not yet require it, from 2020, all applicants must be in possession of a complex exam or equivalent (meaning they can converse easily with native speakers), which will greatly affect the chances of many, says METU.

Based on data collected by the Professional Association of Language Schools, only 45% of all applicants were in possession of a language exam in the past years, meaning, based on the new regulations, more than half would have been unsuccessful.

METU outlines that, although the changes will promote the acquisition of foreign languages, many students are not in the financial position to pay for the classes needed to obtain them; the exam prices, which the state is willing to fully refund if successful, are only a portion of the costs.

Starting From Zero

According to the Cambridge University language institute, approximately 500-600 lessons are needed for a student to be fully prepared for the exam, if they start learning from zero. As the cheapest classes start from HUF 1,000 an hour, METU explains, obtaining a complex exam might not be possible for everyone.

METU says universities attempt to focus on promoting language learning through programs, such as the Erasmus+ grants. This is because in most professions nowadays, English and/or German proficiency is essential.

“Following market demands, universities are constantly aspiring to expand and improve language learning possibilities for students,” says METU head of foreign languages Krisztina Bódis. “We currently provide lessons in 12 languages and put great emphasis on acquiring professional language exams,” she comments.  

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