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Main providers


8.Adult education and training

8.3Main providers

Last update: 24 March 2023

Training providers in adult education

Adult education – formal general education of adults – can be organized in state-run institutions for those who have reached the age of seventeen in the case of primary school, or twenty-five in the case of secondary school. Besides the public school system, several church-run and privately maintained schools offer school-based adult education.

Adult education can be organized according to the schedule of full-time education or, according to additional schedules:

  • evening education (at least 50% of the compulsory in-person lessons in full-time education)
  • correspondence education (at least 10% of the compulsory in-person lessons in full-time education)
  • distance education (the number of in-person lessons does not reach the number of lessons specified for correspondence education)
  • other (for example individual preparation)

From September 2020, the name ‘upper secondary vocational school’ (szakgimnázium) is referring to an educational institution providing five-year artistic, pedagogical and general competences training. It prepares students for upper secondary school leaving examination and obtaining a vocational qualification based on the Act on VET. Upper secondary vocational schools are in an exceptional situation, they fall under the authority of the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry defines the trainings launched in the fields of education, arts and culture.

Training providers in vocational education and training

From 2022, the field of adult and vocational training falls within the competence of two different ministries. The Ministry of Culture and Innovation is responsible for vocational training and education, while the Ministry of Technology and Industry is responsible for adult training. The maintainer organized vocational schools in vocational training centres per county (2-3 centres each) with the consideration of the number of students, the structure of the vocation, the labour market and the geographical aspects. According to the VET Information System, there are 46 vocational centres in the country in 2022 with 533 schools in all.  A school is a vocational institution, an organisational unit with legal personality of the vocational training centre. Vocational training centres can organize and launch formal vocational education and non-formal vocational training as well as the preparation for a partial vocational qualification. They are constantly monitoring and responding to the needs of the labour market in the given region.

Basic vocations can be studied in technicums (technical vocational schools) and vocational schools (szakképző iskola), where sectoral basic education is followed by vocational education and training. The curriculum is based on the Training and Output Requirements. It is possible to study a partial vocation in the framework of the legal student relationship of the student (typically in a school workshop programme) and in the legal student relationship of adult education. In the VET training and output requirements - as a partial vocation - can be defined as an independently separable part of a profession, which enables the acquisition of competencies necessary for filling at least one job. The certificate issued for the acquisition of the partial vocation certifies a vocational qualification (HuQF level 2 or level 3), but if the training preparing for the partial vocation was carried out in the framework of the ‘Springboard’ (Dobbantó) Programme or in the school workshop programme it certifies a state-recognised basic qualification (HuQF level 2).

Based on the current regulations on VET, in a phasing-out system, the acquisition of vocations takes place in VET provided in the school-system. The five-year Technicum includes the option of obtaining an upper secondary school leaving certificate and a technician qualification (Hungarian Qualifications Framework (HuQF) level 5), the three-year vocational school (szakképző iskola) gives vocational qualification at the end of the training (HuQF level 4). For adults, the training time can be shortened by validating their prior knowledge and practice.

Technicum is the institution that lays the foundation of general knowledge, prepares students for the upper secondary school leaving examination and for a vocational examination and helps further higher education or employment. Technicums have the number of grades specified in the Register of Vocational Occupations (Szakmajegyzék). The vocational training activities of a vocational school include general knowledge and vocational education necessary for the acquisition of the given vocation.

The vocational education of adults is usually organised in a flexible (non-full time), shortened form of training. The training time can be reduced by up to a quarter in an adult training relationship. There is no need to adapt to the schedule of the school year; the school must recognise previous studies and practical experience. If the participant of the training works in the given field, the company that employs her/him can also participate in the training, regardless of whether it otherwise operates as a dual training provider.

A new type of vocational educational institution is the accredited examination centre, which means an examination centre operating as defined in the Act on VET. Only an accredited examination centre may organize a professional examination for the acquisition of a profession or a qualification examination that follows a vocational training. The accreditation of the examination centre is carried out by an accreditation body on the basis of the national standard for the conformity assessment of personal certification organisations published by the Hungarian Standards Institution. VET institutions qualify as accredited examination centres until 31 December 2025. Participants in vocational education obtain a state-recognized secondary qualification and professional qualification upon successful vocational examination at an accredited examination centre (Technician certificate in a technikum – HuQF level 5; vocational certificate in a vocational school – HuQF level 4)

The maintainers of non-school based institutions (e.g.: churches, NGOs, companies) are free to decide on the profile of their schools and the range of programmes they offer. From 1 September 2020, an adult education activity must be notified, so all the maintainers are obligated to file a notification application. From 1 September 2020, an adult training institution outside the school system cannot offer training leading to a full qualification, only preparation for a partial vocational qualification or specialized vocational training.

The participant of the training receives a certificate after completing the vocational training. This is a prerequisite for a qualifying examination that can be taken at a trainer-independent, state-accredited examination centre. After completing the qualifying examination successfully, the examinee acquires a state-recognised certificate of vocational qualification. Thus, the training institutions and the examination centres are becoming separated.

The amendment to the Adult Education Act created the possibility to use a training loan. From 2021, adults aged 18-55 can apply for a concessional loan and a student loan for an interest-free tuition fee. As of 1 April 2021, the Government has designated the Student Loan Centre as the organization providing training loans, the tasks of which are performed by the Student Loan Centre Ltd. The operation of the Student Loan Centre and the rules on training loans are regulated by Decree 1/2012 (I. 20.) on the student loan system; the provisions on training loan are effective of 1 April 2021.

The development of local equal opportunities programmes, monitoring of specific tasks of equal opportunities mentors became the responsibility of the Directorate-General for Social Affairs and Child Protection (321/2011. (XII.27.) Government Decree). The right to launch and organize trainings to help the employment of disadvantaged adults also belongs to the Directorate-General for Social Affairs and Child Protection.

The local-level responsibility in adult training is mainly related to the obligatory training element of public work schemes, where the training participants are selected by municipalities.