The last three decades have been a period of continual reform of the funding of higher education, in Europe and many other parts of the world. Reforms in Hungary began with the change of system, and the innumerable funding concepts to appear since (including the latest, for a subsequent contribution to education cost and a part-contribution to development) show that the idea of 'permanent reform' applies here as well. The study evaluates the funding models that have crystallized during the reforms, applying various criteria of efficiency and fairness, and also summarizes the theoretical and practical observations on the various models to be found in international literature. The author explores the reason why the reforming process is permanent. Although the article cannot extend to evaluating the Hungarian funding system, the discourse on this may be enriched by its review of basic funding models.