Hungary’s state socialist legacy still has an impact on contemporary quality assurance practices, though state socialist ideological groundings in academic life were gradually shaped into the more performance-oriented views of knowledge-based societies. Changing legal and financial conditions are decisive in the development of the domestic system of quality assurance. The other principal factor is rapid internationalization of the system of tertiary education. The Hungarian Accreditation Committee successfully joined the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education in 2002. Hungary accessed the European Higher Education Area and introduced the Bologna system in 2005. ENQA directives, standards and guidelines are widely acknowledged in the country, but domestic practical applications are sometimes lagging behind the clear-cut guiding principles. Tensions between the guidelines and actual practices are rooted in the repeated conflicts among the different interest groups. Rigid disciplinary boundaries, low prestige of certain study areas, forced centralization efforts, distorted competition among the academic institutions, requirements that are disproportionate to accessible resources, and contradicting regulations are among the ills of the system. Present-day improvements in quality assurance are due to the recent acceleration of internationalization processes and the introduction of the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG, 2015) in 2017.