Special measures applying to Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship holders for the period of the Coronavirus pandemic

24-03-2020

News | Higher education

The Tempus Public Foundation confirms the following, in line with the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

  • In view of the emergency situation, we recommend that scholarship holders do not leave Hungary and we strongly advise that you stay in your current place of residence. This is the safest option for you and your loved ones at home. If you stay in Hungary, you will receive the benefits provided by the programme: contribution to your housing and living expenses, health insurance, and the additional health services.

Based on the Stipendium Hungaricum Operational Regulations and applicable legislation, the following is worth keeping in mind:

  • If the scholarship holders leave the territory of Hungary, they can do so only with the permission of the institution, and if they are absent for more than 30 days, they will lose their right to their living and housing allowance until their return, as these allowances are intended to contribute to their costs of living in Hungary.  However, they do not lose their scholarship status.

  • It is important to stress that there is no guarantee of your return. As of 16 March 2020, the borders of Hungary have been closed from any international passenger traffic, meaning that only Hungarian citizens are able to enter the country until further notice.
  • In addition to the above, scholarship holders will of course still have the opportunity to suspend their studies (passive semester), through the procedure set out under Section 45 (2) of the Act on National Higher Education 204/2011. However, please bear in mind, that during the passive semester, scholarship holders are not entitled to their allowances provided by the programme. It is worth bearing in mind that, pursuant to paragraph (1) of the same Section, a continuous interruption shall not exceed two semesters unless authorized by their host institution. 


Useful links


FAQ covering the current situation

As a precautionary measure related to the COVID-19 virus (novel coronavirus), personal meetings at the customer service of the Study in Hungary Department are suspended until further notice.

In the meantime, please contact us via email: stipendiumhungaricum{at}tpf.hu, telephone: +36 (1) 236 5040 or Skype: stipendiumhungaricum.

We would also like to help you with the following FAQ that cover the current situation.

 

Q: Is it the correct interpretation of the governmental decision that SH students may not leave Hungary?

A: It has been advised to all SH scholarship holders to remain at their place of residence during the coronavirus pandemic. The rationale behind the advice is that, based on our current knowledge of the disease, the spread of the epidemic can best be reduced/slowed down by social distancing and restriction on travel, especially long distance and international mobility. The travelling of students to their home countries (regardless of the distance) typically involves travelling by public transport, therefore increasing the risk of spreading the virus, and situations where close contact with other people is unavoidable. Furthermore, with the current ban on international travel (as of 16 March 2020, the borders of Hungary were closed to incoming foreign citizens until further notice), students travelling home risk being unable to return to Hungary and continuing their studies within the framework of the scholarship programme. However, it is important to stress that, whilst TPF advises against the international travel of the scholarship holders, it is only a recommendation and travelling home will in no way result in any direct sanctions against students deciding to return to their home country.

Q: If the situation does not normalise until then, what happens to students who were to graduate this June?

A: As the organization of the study programmes falls under the authority of the higher education institution concerned, all matters related to the timing of the exams and graduation are to be discussed with the host universities. In general, according to the operational regulations of the programme, SH students may request the extension of their scholarship holder status. This applies to all, except for PhD students and those who have already extended their studies; in their case, TPF is open to participate in any kind of discussion and is willing to compile suggestions about the possible solution for the matter.

Q: What financial contribution will the students who remain in Hungary receive?

A: In case they stay in Hungary, SH scholarship holders will continue to receive the benefits provided by the programme: contribution to their housing and living expenses, health insurance, and the additional health services.

Q: What financial contributions will those who leave Hungary receive?

A: If the scholarship holders leave the territory of Hungary, they can do so upon informing their host institution. If they are absent for more than 30 days, they will lose their right to their living and housing allowance until their return, as these allowances are intended to contribute to their costs of living in Hungary. They do not lose their scholarship status. In addition to the above, scholarship holders have the option to suspend their studies (passive semester), through the procedure set out under Section 45 (2) of the Act on National Higher Education 204/2011. During the passive semester, scholarship holders are not entitled to the financial contributions provided by the programme.

Q: Are the conditions for distance learning in place?

A: Based on the information received from the universities, SH scholarship holders are provided with the opportunities and measures of distance/e-learning with the same conditions as Hungarian students, thus the continuity of the studies of scholarship holders are guaranteed during the spring semester of the 2019/2020 academic year, regardless of their current place of stay. However, as the implementation of online/distance study programmes is the responsibility of the host institution, further details can be provided by them.

Q: Is dormitory placement still available for SH students?

A: Except for one host institution (National University of Public Service), all international students are entitled to remain on the premises of their student residence (dormitory, student hotel). The National University of Public Service is currently working on finding accommodation for its students.

Q: Is it true that some institutions relocate students form one student residence to another? If so, what is the reason for this?

A: Based on our current information from the universities, in case the Operational Group of Hungary requires the host institution to do so, students might be asked to re-locate their residence within the premises of their student accommodation (e.g., moving to another room, floor or building). This, however does not affect the students’ rights, the host institution still provides them with accommodation. As the details of such re-location requests might vary by institutions, further details can be provided by them.

Q: Are the Hungarian borders closed?

A: Yes, they are, from 16 March 2020. Only Hungarian citizens will be granted access.

Q: What should SH students do in case they got stalled in a foreign country?

A: They should follow the instructions that have been shared via the official channels, and try to get in touch with the Embassy of their home country.

Q: Should students leave the dormitory or their apartment?

A: To ensure the safety of themselves and others, it is important to stay indoors and only go outside if it is absolutely necessary. It is recommended to practice social distancing in public places, and make sure to always follow the instructions given by the host institution.

Q: Should students meet with friends now?

A: It is recommended to keep in touch with them online.

Q: Are the shops in Hungary closed?

A: Currently, cafes, restaurants and shops close at 3pm. Groceries and pharmacies continue to operate according to their normal opening hours. We advise to follow the news for any updates.

Q: What if students cannot finish their studies in time?

A: Due to the state of emergency declared by the Government, there might be changes in the implementation of the ongoing academic year. For further details, please follow the official updates given by the host institution.

Q: How do students receive their allowances now?

A: Please contact the SH coordinator regarding.

Q: Are SH students entitled to use the health services of the Hungarian social service system?

A: Yes, they are. As scholarship holders, they are entitled to healthcare services and the services of their additional health insurance, of which they can receive detailed information from the host institution.
 

Q: Do the rules of the operational regulations apply now?

A: Yes, they do. Should there be any changes because of the emergency situation, TPF will inform all scholarship holders immediately.


Q: If students need help, who should they contact?

A: Please contact the SH coordinator or university mentor.


Q: How can students keep themselves updated about the current situation?

A: Please visit http://abouthungary.hu/

 

FAQ for applicants


Q: Will there be any entrance exams?

A: Based on the information received from the universities, the entrance exams will be held without any disruption, electronically, as it would be in normal circumstances. Universities will contact successful nominees in a timely manner.

Q: When will applicants know the result of their application?

A: The decision on the awarded scholarships is expected to be made in accordance with the originally planned timeline during the course of summer 2020). In case of any changes, TPF will keep applicants informed.

Q: Can approved scholarship holders travel to Hungary?

A: At the moment Hungarian borders are closed. TPF will be providing scholarship holders with relevant information with regards to their travel to Hungary and the start of their studies in due time. The respective legal guidelines shall be decisive at all times.

Last modified: 26-03-2020