If you are reading this in the morning I say Jó reggelt (Good morning), if it's in the afternoon, I extend the greetings Jó napot and if it's in the evening, I respectively greet Jó estét. As a naive person from rural Ghana, I always make sure I clear my ignorance in everything I do. Today, I am taking you through the line of academic activities I have observed so far in Magyar. Specifically how the Hungarian Higher Education system operates. I know I have a slippery mouth but believe what I am saying. On my arrival, I was registered 10 courses 30 credit hours. After registration, I said to myself, what! I thought after taking 84 courses during my undergraduate, I wouldn't face such headache in my academic life again. Well that seem to be figment of my imagination.
I have no choice than going through the semester. When I was called to sign my scholarship contract, where I sighted 2500EUR school fees per semester to be paid for my studies, I said what! Yes, 2500EUR for tuition per semester not year. I said wow! This obviously is not Father Christmas. Because, I remember this popular saying "to whom much is given, much is expected". I said to myself I must work hard. I can't forget the regular marking of register during lectures, knowing this happens only in Basic School back in Ghana, but not in Masters Level. I remember being late to Biochemistry class only 5 minutes into the lecture and my Professor was mad at me. Well at the end of the lectures she apologized because she knows where I came from.
I remember back in my undergraduate days we can walk into lectures at anytime but obviously not some lectures. You dare not do that in some lectures. From this point I realized that this is Europe and not Africa. I am not in any way looking down on Africa but just to highlight how we don't obey time which is essential. Fast forward into mid semester, I did several presentations, test papers and assignments basically article reviewing. I again thought the system operates like Ghana where we have CA and Exam scores. I did very well in all the mid semester work load only to be told examination is independent of mid semester score. Then I said wow! I have to fix my small buttocks on my reading chair for action. Behold the semester examination started. During this period the register that was marked and the mid semester work load determines if you qualify to take examinations. A very strict system that will deny you if you shortfall in the requirements. I was not a culprit anyway because I had a proper training from the only University of Choice in Ghana, the University of Cape Coast. Again, as a student, you are entitled to select your own date of examination so that you don't fault anybody for overloading your examination period.
I decided my dates. I went in for my first examination and the rule was that you ballot for your essay examination questions. When I took my first examination, 1 hour later, I saw a message on my student portal that my grade has been submitted, I said what? Only 1 hour? I again thought it was a joke. Well you may say we are not many but this is across board even undergraduate level where they have huge classes. Note, in Ghana we can have two (2) students at Masters Level in a programme and still their examination results will take months to appear on portal. Systems are working. Those involved in the system are devoted, from lecturer to examination administrator to main registrar. In Ghana, it can take you a year to see your results in a particular course or to even correct a grade. Lastly, few days after the semester examination, I saw a notice of graduation for those enrolled into the winter programme two, three and four years ago for MSc, BSc and PhD respectively. Yes, two days after final examination people had their degrees.
Before I left Ghana, the University of Education in Wineaba was struggling to organize a congregation because there was no board for the university at that time. Political appointment has to be made for people to get their hard fought degrees. Well I will stop here and pray that one day Ghana will rise. Please, note Hungary is not a developed country. Not, at all. The only thing is that systems are working. It can be done in Ghana and I pray it's done.
Haruna Gado Yakubu ( MSc student, University of Kaposvár, Hungary)
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