The article investigates the higher education reform in Hungary since 1945. Till present, this problem has not been holistically and systematically studied in national and foreign scientific literature, which demonstrates the topicality of our scientific research. After establishing a conceptual continuity between scientific and educational heritage, modern approaches to the higher education reforming will help to re-evaluate its innovation potential - not only in light of current challenges, but also in the context of the problems that have long hindered its development, changes, improvement. The author states that changes in higher education were closely linked to the socio-political and social reforms which were introduced by the Communist government, aimed at centralizing and subordinating of institutions to central authorities, ensured qualified personnel for the planned economy and the full ideological education process subordination for the next generation. In order to increase the credibility of their power, the Communists had applied the populist solutions to provide benefits for admission to higher education of young people from peasants and the working class, even if they did not have secondary education, which resulted in the increased number of young students from among peasants and workers on the one hand, and the education quality decrease and training of future specialists, on the other. Legislation of higher education during 1945-1960-s has been analysed, there have been suggested the introduction of a rigid hierarchy in the management of schools, organization of educational process, control over educational achievements, students’ leading role in Komsomol organization and Communist Party. At the same time, lack of autonomy in university had identified the list of specialties, curricula, educational courses, degree awarding. Further comparative analysis of reforms of that period in Hungary and Ukraine would make it possible to identify common and different aspects in higher education and consider the gaps and challenges in the future reforming of higher education, considering the best achievements of national and foreign experience.
Keywords: universities, colleges, academies, institutes, the Hungarian National Republic, the Ministry of Culture, Council of Science and Higher Education, the National Council of Education, Hungarian Academy of Sciences