The network higher education institutions is quite extensive in proportion to the country’s surface, population and the number of students enrolled in higher education, but, compared to other countries, it is of medium size. Higher education institutions can be categorised in the following two ways.
On the one hand, there is a clear distinction between state and non-state institutions. Non-state institutions can be founded by churches, business organizations or foundations. The foundation and operation of non-state institutions is subject to the same input (quality) criteria as the foundation and operation of state institutions and compliance is checked in the course of accreditation at the time of foundation. Institutions meeting the criteria are granted state recognition by the Parliament. State and non-state institutions recognised by the state are listed in the Annex of the Higher Education Act. Only organisations included in the list as well as municipalities and national minority governments can provide higher education. Establishment and operation of non-state higher education institutions are regulated by the Higher Education Act and related regulations. Non-state institutions also receive state funding, based on an agreement with the government. However, the budget of both state institutions and non-state institution is only partly financed by the state. The state grant provided for institutions maintained by the Roman Catholic church is governed by a concordate concluded between Hungary and the Vatican and the Hungarian government has concluded similar agreements with other historical churches for ensuring funding their higher education institutions.On the other hand, as regards their academic profile, there are colleges (non-university higher education institutions) and universities.