Never before have so many resources been spent on higher education in Hungary as in the current government term, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said at the opening of the new academic year at the University of Óbuda.
The Hungarian minister of finance said that this year, twice as much budgetary resources will go to finance higher education in comparison with 2014. This represents 1.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), while the EU average is only 0.8 percent.
At the same time, next year, together with the budget of science parks, higher education will be allotted 960 billion forints (€2.75 billion), which corresponds to 1.7 percent of the planned GDP, he added. Varga noted that at the beginning of the year, higher education institutions submitted a development demand of 2,700 billion forints for the following years, the source of which will be provided by the government.
The minister of finance believed that investing in knowledge is the current responsibility and duty of the leaders of a country, because the increase of knowledge capital is an economic interest and at the same time a national policy goal.
He went on to say that the government expects Hungarian universities to play a key role in research and development, as well as innovation, and to move forward in international competition. Varga also emphasized that in a crisis situation caused by a coronavirus epidemic, Hungary can be proud of Hungarian researchers, including the creators of the ventilation system (used in critical patient care) developed at the University of Óbuda.
“We need to draw strength and self-confidence from the experience that we are able to achieve extraordinary results in an emergency situation,” the head of the ministry said in his speech at the opening of the school year.
Title image: Hungarian Finance Minister Mihály Varga.