In the background there are several motivating factors. On one hand, a larger number of doctoral students can get more staff members involved in postgraduate training at the university. On the other hand, higher education institutions are interested in raising the output of professionals capable of using the latest technologies in innovative ways. It is equally important to train researchers capable of analysing highly complex social and economic problems. Raising the number of PhD students and the quality of their training cannot be avoided if the goal is to improve the position of our universities in the international competition of higher education. The presence and the number of foreign students are the most visible indicators of the internationalisation of any university. Foreign students not only raise the prestige of the institution, but they also bring in revenues for both the university and for the country. From the point of view of quality strategy, equally - if not more - important are staff mobility and the presence of highly esteemed foreign professors. Active participation in international research projects and publication of research results in high ranking journals or acquisition of patent rights also add to the attractiveness of talented and hardworking PhD students. The present structure of the Hungarian higher education system is rather conservative and cannot easily adapt itself to the manifold tasks of doctoral education. At the same time, universities meet international students and homecoming Hungarian students who have had experience with more modern forms and content of doctoral studies and a new approach to postgraduate education.
The aim of the present study is to give a picture of the international aspects of Hungarian doctoral education. An effort was made to learn about the requirements and views of PhD students and to detect and show existing good practices in Hungarian universities. We have studied the relevant literature, university documents, and websites, and researched universities’ administrative databases. An online survey was carried out among students and teaching staff to collect empirical information about the different views on doctoral education. To help interpretation of the survey data, interviews were made with 28 staff members of the universities involved in the study.