Hungarian universities have begun to publish their official guidance on the format of education for the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year. While most institutions are planning to introduce a hybrid format of education (a combination of online and offline teaching methods), some decided to physically open their doors and continue education completely on-site.
Universities in Hungary closed their doors and moved online this spring after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe. After having completed the last months and the final exams of the 2019/20 academic year online, universities have now started to discuss how to move forward in the first semester of the following year.
Although some institutions will resume education on site, most universities are deciding to move education at least partially online, since they fear the impacts of a possible second wave of the coronavirus.
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Semmelweis University is adopting a hybrid system: larger lectures are moving completely online, while smaller seminars and group discussions are being organized in person. Some restrictions are going to be in place to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus at on-site events. For instance, inside all buildings, students as well as teachers and staff are required to wear face masks. Furthermore, first year students must show a negative PCR test result before enrolling and starting to attend on-site programs.
A similar hybrid system was introduced by Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest Metropolitan University, and Óbuda University where only personal consultations and seminars are going ahead offline.
Some universities, however, have decided to continue in-person education until official government regulation requires otherwise. The Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) continues education in person, with some protective measures in place. For example, in order to avoid exposing students to early morning rush hour public transportation, they decided to start lectures only after 8:30 am – and the wearing of face masks is also compulsory.
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BME is not the only university going ahead normally. The University of Szeged, the University of Miskolc, and the National University of Public Service have all announced that classes will resume in person in September. Corvinus University of Budapest will announce its policy next week.
Featured photo by Tamás Sóki/MTI.