In Hungary with a Foreign Degree or Certificate? First Steps of Recognition2011.03.28
Would you like to study or work in Hungary, but you do not know if your secondary school certificate, your vocational qualification or the diploma you already hold is recognised here? Hundreds of people contact the Hungarian Equivalence and Information Centre with similar problems each year, and the institution arranges for the recognition of certificates and diplomas and provides useful information to those with such concerns.
Who can you turn to?
With the opening of borders at the beginning of the 1990s, travel between countries has become easier, and as a result, an increasing number of people have requested the recognition of their foreign qualifications in Hungary. This increased client turnover has called for the creation of a central office in 1993 with the primary responsibility of recognising documents certifying higher educational qualifications obtained in a foreign country, and for supporting student and teacher mobility by collecting information. This, the Hungarian Equivalence and Information Centre, is the institution you should also contact if you would like to get your secondary school certificate or diploma recognised.
Around seven hundred people ask for the recognition of their foreign certificate in Hungary. Most of them arrive from countries of the European Union - the majority have completed their studies in Romania, the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria so far -, but some come from Serbia and Ukraine in order to pursue further studies or work in positions that match their qualifications. If you are in a similar situation, you should contact the Hungarian Equivalence and Information Centre operating as part of the Educational Authority. The centre is also the Hungarian office of the NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centres) network. The NARIC was created upon the initiative of the European Commission in order to promote instructor and student mobility and make the recognition of foreign certificates and diplomas easier. The network has offices throughout Europe and even in the US, Canada and Australia, and Hungary has been a member of this international initiative since 1997.
The recognition procedure
The main activity of the Hungarian Equivalence and Information Centre, which has operated within the Ministry of Culture and Education until 31 December 2006, and within the Educational Authority from 1 January 2007, is the recognition of degrees and certificates obtained in foreign countries, the provision of information on the Hungarian and foreign education systems, and the issue of official certificates on degrees and certificates obtained in Hungary for use in foreign countries.
If you would like to continue your studies at some Hungarian higher education institution with a foreign secondary school qualification, and you have decided exactly where and at which program you want to commence, all you need to do is contact the university, because they will decide if the education you had in your home country is adequate. However, if you are not sure where you would like to study, you should contact the Equivalence Centre, because they issue a certificate of your studies that is recognised at any university in the country. However, you will need to acquire a number of documents for this. You will need an authenticated copy of your certificate, and a list of all the subjects that you completed, as well as a certified translation of all these documents. You should know that your secondary school studies will only be recognised if you have spent at least twelve academic years in public education, and have taken a final secondary school exam in at least four subjects. However, once you have all these, the whole procedure will be completed within about sixty days!
If you would like to work
If you would like to work with the diploma you already hold, you can count on similar rules: you will need a certified copy of your diploma, as well as your course-book, so that you can give an account of the subjects comprising the given program in your country to the Equivalence Centre. Moreover, in certain professions - for example, if you completed a language or fine arts program - they may also ask for your thesis or portfolio! It is not the marks you received that they look at, but if the given field of study is not taught in Hungary, the diploma cannot be recognised either.