Unpopular Bologna process for Budapest’s class of 2009

Article published on July 19, 2008
community published
Article published on July 19, 2008
I made a survey at my university. Here you can read the related article at cafebabel.com. If you're interested in deeper, click to continue and read the whole summary! According to the half of the pollees, the future postgraduates are exposed to less stress in the preliminary exam procedure with the introduction of the two-level leaving exam system.
Nearly 40% of them feel that subjective decision-making is also reduced with it, as those graduating on the higher level do not pass their exams at their own teachers.

In the opinion of the significant majority of the respondents, the development of the proper education system is essential for the maintenance of the economical competitiveness of a country and with regard to it they think that in Hungary the demand of the labour-market and the outlet of university education are still not harmonised. The categorical opinion of Éva and Bálint is that there are too many postgraduates: “It is not the master education where the drastic limitation (35%) should be introduced but at the termination of intermediary education the number of postgraduates should be limited and in parallel with that vocational training should be considerably supported”.

Also according to the inquired university professors, there are too many people getting into postgraduate education and in consequence of this, the composition of students is quite heterogeneous. “The main problem is the increase of the number of students either missing the appropriate and necessary base knowledge or being hardly motivated in learning – states Ildikó Hrubos, professor at Budapest Corvinus University, adding that – this is mostly independent of the Bologna reform.” The same reflection comes from Tamás Kovács (ELTE-TTK): “If the task of the BA level of the recently introduced system were to rectify the shortcomings in intermediary education of the future students, it would be perfectly appropriate for this purpose.”

“Different bases of knowledge and different abilities – that is why it is harder to make progress” – says Ágnes G. Havril (university lecturer, BCE). Because of it all, more attention would be required, but as in parallel with those mentioned above, an other process passed off in Hungary in frame of which several university administrators or even professors were discharged, time and energy of professors should be enough for more and more tasks, and eventually there are physical limits of it.

Bálint thinks that the structure itself should be altered; the frame numbers of technical and scientific education should be increased against the educational frame numbers of philosophy, arts, law, economics and other social sciences, i.e. the postgraduate outlet should be eventually adjusted to the actually existing labour-market offer. In the aggregate, the pollees proved to be optimistic concerning the subject of the demand of the labour-market; many of them have determined conceptions about the possible workplaces. 55% of the respondents think that it would worth to try to find a job with a BA/BSc diploma and 11% say that they could surely find a job that would be satisfactory for them. But there is 33% not believing at all that the basic diploma would be sufficient. 72% of them already decided to continue their education at master level, but most of them have not decided yet whether they would learn in their present department or in an other domain.

52% of the pollees have already experienced unreadiness of different extents related to the introduction of the new system during the education and 77% of them deem the Bologna system definitely unconsidered. “I call it a nonsense that we are informed about the schedule of the 5th and 6th terms only in the second half of our 4th term” – says Ági who is studying at Budapest Corvinus University for her second diploma. Bálint emphasised that many professors just simply do not keep up with the times, do not acknowledge them reforms, the altered demands and requirements.

Several respondents mentioned textbooks and course synopses being out of time. According to the evaluation of the pollees, their professional disciplines were ranked to 3.88 on a 1-5 scale, 5 being the best value, while their optional disciplines only got 3.41. The education in their department was qualified to 3.82.

Most of the pollees missed the education providing knowledge. Balázs can mention only two disciplines he judges to provide him useful and practical knowledge in his studies up to now.

„In my opinion, it’s a pity that the Hungarian education system was replaced by this new one. It was not told for nothing that the old system had been one of the highest level system” – says Szidónia.

Csaba, who is pleased with the work of his professors, thinks that the value of the diploma will not be proportional to the grasped knowledge because of the Bologna system: „It is in vain that we study many disciplines in higher density from the most excellent professional lecturers, our diploma will mention only the basic level and who knows whether it will mean the same for the employer as it means to me knowing all the things standing behind of it – or not”. Zoltán formulates a similar opinion: „I think it is a bit strange that the five-year-long education of the universities is now compressed into a period of three years, and because of this I have many disciplines and it is much harder to accomplish my studies than it was before. The other problem is that employers will not know in the beginning what a BA/BSc diploma means in knowledge, so I would have published it in wider range to help postgraduate students to find their place in the labour-market.”

And what do the university professors think about the future of those who will graduate next year in the Bologna system? Nobody entered upon predictions. One of them expects 2 to 3 years “tolerance period” while the opinion of an other professor is that at least 10 to 15 years are required to get close to a balance state between the demand of labour-market and the outlet of postgraduate education. According to Attila Forgács (docent, Budapest Corvinus University): „it will get balanced provided that the system will not be tampered again”.


Students’ credit:

taken up by: 11.1 %

not taken up by: 11.1 %

not taken up by – those who do not plan to take up a credit either: 77.7 %

bologna_survey Distribution of respondents according to type of settlement

Students originating from settlements of 10,000 or less inhabitants: 5.5 %

Students originating from settlements of 10,001-40,000 inhabitants: 33.3 %

Students originating from settlements of more than 40,000 inhabitants (excluding Budapest): 27.7%

Students originating from Budapest: 33.3 %

Author: Csilla Pálma Major

Translated by: Virág Varsányi