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Main providers


8.Adult education and training

8.3Main providers

Last update: 16 April 2024

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, other 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 learning and vocational education and training falled within the competence of two different ministries. The Ministry of Culture and Innovation was responsible for vocational education and training , while the Ministry of Technology and Industry was responsible for adult training. From 2023, the Ministry of Culture and Innovation is responsible for both sectors of education. The maintainer has organised vocational schools into 2-3 vocational education and training centres (Szakképzési Központok) per county taking into account the number of students, the structure of the sector, the labour market and the geographical aspects. In 2024, 46 vocational education and training centres operate in the country, with a total of 109 institutions according to the register of the National Office of Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning. A  vocational institution operating as part of a VET Centre is an organisational unit with legal personality of the 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 (technikum) and vocational schools (szakképző iskola), where sectoral basic education is followed by vocational education and training. The curriculum is based on the Programme Outcomes Standards and 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 programme outomes standards and 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, 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 Qualifications (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 status. 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 and traning 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. From 2026, they must also go through a separate accreditation process, similar to market operators. 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 or accredited, depending the type of the training and its financing. 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 could apply for a concessional loan and an interest-free student loan for training fees in the first semester. After the end of 2021, only the interest-free training loan is available for adult learning. 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 (1/2012. (I.20.) Kormányrendelet a hallgatói hitelrendszerről); the provisions on training loan are effective of 1 April 2021.

The Directorate General for Social Inclusion (Társadalmi Esélyteremtési Főigazgatóság) is responsible for the training and support services of socially disadvantaged persons. From 2021, based on the regulation of the Government Decree 311/2021 (VI.07.) on complex integration training (311/2021. (VI. 7.) Korm. rendelet a komplex felzárkózási képzésekről), in parallel with the group training form, which is the focus of adult training, more emphasis is placed on personalised, differentiated development for social groups with low educational attainment. A key element of the new requirements is the compulsory inclusion of mobility mentoring for complex catch-up training. The mobility mentor, acting on behalf of the adult training provider, aims to mitigate and remove obstacles to the social inclusion and labour market integration of the trainee. The mobility mentor prepares an individual development plan for the participant, identifying measures to reduce the disadvantages of the individual.