What are the most popular study programmes at Corvinus?
There are different ways to determine which these are. If I look at how many people apply and how many get into a particular study programme, then without a doubt our bachelor study programme of Business Administration and Management is the winner, it has the highest number of applications and the highest number of admitted students. This is understandable, since it is a generalist study programme. One doesn’t have to commit to a narrow economic field of expertise at the age of 18 anymore; it’s enough to decide later on which of the 16 subspecialisations, such as Marketing or Tourism, interests the student. The programmes are available in English and Hungarian, and we admit more than five hundred persons a year.
The other indicator could be the oversubscription rate or the cut-off scores. From this perspective, our International Business Economics study programme is the most popular. 480 points were required last year to get admitted to the programme offered free of charge. This was the highest cut-off score in the country, which we are very proud of, because it shows that the most talented of the very best get admitted to our institution. About three times as many persons usually apply for this study programme as the number of places we have.
What are the advantages of getting accepted by Corvinus and obtaining a Bachelor or Master diploma there?
One of the things that is also very important for me as a lecturer – I’m not just a university executive – is that we have exceptionally talented students, and it’s great to learn together in such an environment: it gives you that extra motivation and inspiration. Moreover, the job opportunities for our graduates are outstanding. The so-called Graduate Career Tracking System looks at how salaries of graduates who graduated from us three to five years ago are evolving. What their starting salaries were, how easy it was to get a job, and then how those figures rose as their careers progressed. We see that in the long term—over a period of seven years—the average salaries attainable with a Corvinus diploma are the highest compared to graduates of similar programmes at other universities. This could mean a monthly difference of several hundred thousand forints.
This shows that studying with us is not just about acquiring extra skills, a few years well spent, but also about making a worthwhile investment. It’s worth applying even as a self-funded student or considering taking out a student loan, as the invested amount will pay off in the coming years. There’s no Economics student who couldn’t calculate this within minutes. The self-funded scheme is also a good option because it makes it easier to get in, and with good academic results you can transfer to the tuition-free scheme after a year, which is offered to 70% of bachelor students.
Finally, I would definitely highlight the international aspect and the community. It is precisely because of our many English programmes that fifteen per cent of our admitted bachelor students come from abroad, and this proportion is even higher in our Master programmes, reaching thirty per cent. I would like to note that our one-year master study programmes also stand out in the domestic higher education field. We offer a truly international environment to study in, as well as a range of international opportunities: bilateral partnerships with around 250 universities abroad, double degree programmes, regional CEEPUS scholarships and more.
We admit one thousand five hundred bachelor students a year in the Hungarian admission procedure: it’s a huge crowd, it’s easy to get lost in it, so we always recommend that everyone should find their own micro-community. On the lecturer side, we are doing our bit too, committed to small group seminars and lots of joint project work. At Corvinus, there are countless student associations to help you fit in, and it’s hard to imagine not finding a community that suits you from such a wide range of activities. Lifelong friendships can be forged, which can then carry on into business. Students can also enhance their network by engaging with renowned corporate managers who are involved in Corvinus life as lecturers, guest lecturers, or mentors in various mentoring schemes.
Last year, the university launched several new study programmes. What are they?
There are two, launched in September 2023. One is Philosophy, Politics, Economy (PPE) and the other is Data Science in Business, both launched in English. It was a pleasant surprise to see such interest from the younger generation in these two new programmes, which are currently only available at our university in Hungary. The Hungarian system is such that if someone creates a study programme, within a few years others can copy it, but we think we have some advantage, because at the moment we are the only place where you can study these fields. PPE is a complex study programme with Anglo-Saxon roots. Over the course of three years, students learn about the three very significant areas mentioned in the programme’s title, and at the end of the programme, they can choose a subspecialisation based on the topic they would like to delve deeper into. We admitted eighty to ninety students in the first year, and there was multiple oversubscription, which is quite exceptional in Hungarian higher education.
The Data Science programme started with sixty students, with much more interest from international applicants. Roughly half of the cohort consists of Hungarian students, while the other half is composed of international students. We were able to reach out to those who are interested in acquiring such knowledge in the region beforehand. We see that we are not only the first in Hungary in this regard, but there are very few universities in the entire Central European region where, for example, Data Science or a combination of Philosophy, Politics, and Economy can be studied together.
There is a lot to read about Data Science as one of the most sought-after professions of the present and future. But what exactly does this direction entail, what knowledge can students acquire at Corvinus?
If you look around in job advertisements, almost everyone is seeking data scientists or data analysts. After all, there is so much data and information emerging about consumers and citizens, so much data are collected by various organisations, the state, companies, supermarkets, from which a lot can be analysed. It’s no coincidence that there has been such a surge in demand for data analysts or data scientists, and although it’s not explicitly stated in its name, this study programme encompasses three areas as well.
Data analysis has a methodological aspect, statistics, which allows us to make sense of a dataset and extract trends from it. Then there is a computer science element to the programme: databases and information masses cannot be managed without knowledge of computer applications and computer programming. The third area is the business aspect of data science, which is about how to communicate the extracted and processed data. It’s a very diverse programme, and it’s no coincidence that it’s a four-year bachelor study programme. Both of the new study programmes are taught at our newly constructed Gellért Campus.
The university has once again made it onto the Financial Times’ ranking of the best business schools. What makes it stand out from the crowd and how attractive is such an achievement for both domestic and international students?
The Financial Times does two things that are relevant to us. Firstly, it ranks Masters in Management and creates a list of the top one hundred. This is a global list, so it includes American, Asian, and European Master programmes, our Management and Leadership programme has been on this list for years – as the only one in Hungary – among the top one hundred Master in Management programmes, which we are very proud of.
They have another list on which we’ve been included: the top one hundred European business schools, which the question also refers to. With thousands of business schools worldwide and many similar institutions in Europe, making it into the top one hundred is a tremendous achievement. In Hungary, besides Corvinus, no other higher education institution made it onto the list. This is an obvious advantage; it provides visibility to the university not only in Hungary but perhaps primarily abroad. Our international institutional accreditations serve as a form of quality assurance for this, as a Hungarian higher education institution in business, we are the only ones to have obtained them. When many people choose a master programme abroad or generally a higher education institution, they often look at the ranking list that pertains to them. If we are at the top or at least among the best training institutions on this list, then the value for money increases the chances of us being chosen.
Let’s not forget that it’s also attractive to study in the European Union, in a central location, in a beautiful environment. Many of our digital developments are noteworthy on an international scale. For example, the Navigator, the career planning platform, made it into the QS Reimagine international educational event’s most outstanding educational innovations last year. Additionally, the MyCorvinus university application is highly popular among both Hungarian and foreign students.
How important are the facilities and location in recruiting talented young people, and what extras can the Corvinus’ new Gellért Campus in Újbuda offer?
The Fővám tér campus is also particularly attractive: students can study in a historic building, essentially in the vicinity of downtown, right on the riverside. These also add to the life of an 18-year-old who not only values education but opportunities as well. With its magnificent panorama, the Gellért Campus has become the most sustainable educational building in the country, where everything revolves around students bringing out their best, enhancing their creativity, and developing their innovative capabilities.
The Gellért Campus has brought about improvement in terms of the quality of the dormitories, the green space and the sports facilities. A downtown campus will always have the shortcoming of not having huge sports fields and parks due to its location. But at the Gellért Campus, the contractors have built various sports facilities: we have an outdoor multifunctional sports field that can be used for soccer, basketball, and handball. The park is suitable for jogging, and we’ve even planned a unique climbing wall. With all of these, the university is repaying its old debt: sports are important for everyone, but especially for this age group.
Applications for higher education programmes starting in 2024 are open until February 15th. Regarding admissions, what should students definitely pay attention to?
The most important thing is that February 15th is the deadline, and they should not miss it, and they should upload the necessary documents. In addition, it is crucial that they prioritise Corvinus programmes as their first choice. Since the admission cut-off scores at our institution are quite high, those who want to get into our programmes should prioritise their selected study programme as their first choice—perhaps putting the scholarship place first and the self-funded version second—because this gives them the best chance of being admitted. I always say that we should do this even if we see a lower chance of admission because we have nothing to lose by doing so.
Once the application is submitted, it’s crucial to focus as much as possible on the secondary school-leaving examination. In Hungary, there is a five hundred point system of calculating scores, with the majority still coming from the secondary school-leaving exam scores. There are study programmes where we require advanced-level secondary school-leaving examination, while for others it’s not mandatory, but nonetheless, we strongly recommend taking advanced level exams, as otherwise it’s difficult to reach these high cut-off scores. Another point is that it doesn’t hurt to take a language exam; you can even claim back the first examination fee from the state. Today in Hungary, language examinations are less in focus, they are not necessarily required for graduation, but we do award extra points for them, and not a small amount. After all, if an institution has so many international, English-language programmes, then language proficiency is an essential criterion.
But the most important thing is to do well in the secondary school-leaving exam; that’s where you can gain or lose the most points. I wish all secondary school graduates little stage fright and lots of points!