Hungarian Students Protest Education Reforms

Article excerpt

Hungarian high school, and graduate students have been protesting since December 2012 in response to reforms introduced in 2012 to the Hungarian higher education system by Hungary's ruling conservative Fidesz party. One rule mandates that students who accept government subsidies to fund their education sign a contract agreeing to work for two years in Hungary after completing their degrees for every year of state-subsidized education. Students who choose to leave Hungary after graduation i and renege on the contract would be required to repay the government the full cost of their tuition, plus interest. Graduates with theology degrees or those with three or more children are exempt from these obligations.

Though it's the norm in some countries to have students shoulder the responsibility of financing their education, it is an unwelcome novelty in Hungary, according to recent news reports. Government officials argue that these measures are necessary to prevent "brain drain" (highly trained Hungarian graduates increasingly are seeking highpaying jobs in Western Europe). The Hungarian government further justifies the reforms as a response to the rising costs of higher education and the country's austerity measures. …