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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation and governance


2.Organisation and governance

Last update: 15 August 2022

The Fundamental Law of Hungary declares the freedom of conscience and religion, the freedom of expression, freedom of scientific research and teaching, the right of national minorities to preserve their cultural identity and to receive education in their mother tongues. It declares that all Hungarian citizens have the right to education, and the State guarantees this right to all of its citizens by providing free and compulsory basic education (ISCED 1+2), free and generally available upper-secondary education (ISCED 3) and higher education available to every person according to his or her abilities.

The government control in education and training is shared. The Ministry of Human Resources is responsible for secondary and higher education. The Ministry is an integrated portfolio that is in charge of several sectors, such as education, health, social inclusion, social-, family- and youth care, culture and sports. The Ministry, as it is also responsible for social inclusion, creates equal opportunities for children, disadvantaged children, especially roma children in the field of education. Professional and political management tasks related to each sector are carried out by state secretaries and, in the case of secondary and higher education, the state secretary for education.

The Ministry of National Economy has previously been responsible for the management of initial vocational and adult education and training. However, since May 2018, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology provides the tasks. Professional and political management tasks are carried out by the state secretary for employment. The governance, organisation, maintenance and financing of education and training are appointed by sectoral laws: the Act on Public Education (Act CXC of 2011), the Act on Higher Education (Act CCIV of 2011) and the Act on Vocational Training (Act CLXXXVII of 2011), the Act on Adult Training (Act LXXVII of 2013).

Public Education

The new Public Education Act has created a high centralization of public education management, school maintenance and curricular regulation for Hungarian school education. Since 2013, the organization and the maintenance (from 2016, the operation as well) of post kindergarten primary and secondary education has been taken over from the 3200 local municipailities by a central school maintenance institute (Klebelsberg School Maintenance Centre) and the school disctricts operated by it. Based on the experience of the reform, deconcentration has also taken place: from the 2016/2017 academic year, the maintenance centre of a school district (currently 60 units) is responsible for school maintenance. The Klebelsberg Centre, as the central body, continues to support the coordination of these centres. Kindergartens continue to be fully maintained by municipalities. However, in addition to state bodies, churches, economic entities, foundations, associations, municipalities of minorities or private individuals may also establish public education institutions. Children aged between 3 and 16 are obliged to take part in education.

Vocational Education and Training

The Act on Vocational Education and Training (2019) strengthened dual vocational education and training and practical training has gained more emphasis. From the 2016-2017 academic year, the training structure and curricular regulation have also changed considerably. The 4+1 year upper secondary vocational school and the 3+2 year vocational school were introduced. Successful completion of a 5-year vocational upper secondary educational programme ends with a school-leaving examination. In the vocational school, after 3 years of vocational education, the student may decide to participate in a 2-year training for receiving an upper secondary school leaving certificate by taking his/her professional qualification. In the vocational school and the skill developing vocational school, students are unable to progress together with other students due to their special educational needs; also, here they prepare students with disabilities for the aptitude test and provide them with the knowledge necessary for settling down.

A new concept has been prepared for the complete transformation of vocational education and training, of which the regulation  entered into force on 1 January 2020.

The Act on the Vocational Education and Training (LXXX. of 2019), substantially reforms the Hungarian VET system. Students entering into vocational education in the academic year 2020/2021, will already start their studies under the new legislation. The training structure presented above, which was introduced from the 2016/2017 academic year, will be ceased in an ascending system.

The vocational school ends with issuing a certificate of a state-accredited vocational qualification contained in the National Qualifications Register till 1 September  2020.

Vocational qualifications – included in the National Qualifications Register - the so-called core professions, will only be available in vocational or technical schools under the formal education system..

Only the upper-secondary school leaving exam (maturity exam) entitles the holder to enter into higher education, this certificate still does not do so.

Regarding the maintenance of vocational education and training, the provisions of 2015have not changed significantly in the new regulation. The vocational education and training institutions maintained by the state were handed over from the Ministry of Human Resources to the Ministry for National Economy. On July 1, 2015, 44 VET Centers were created. VET Centers are budgetary entities which are professionally operating independently.

As independent budgetary entities, they have separate appropriations and commitments, and therefore, in the new maintainer structure, they have been given a significantly greater economic space than the previous ones. This primarily promotes the day-to-day operation and more flexible implementation of development investments. VET Centers provide their vocational training tasks within their member institutions - which are providing vocational school education. The VET Centers may provide dormitory tasks as well as non-public education related to education and training. They can also participate in state-funded, outside of the school system in the field of adult training, and in the new vocational education and training system, they indeed participate in adult training.

The head of VET Centers is the Minister of National Economy (from May 22, 2018, Minister of Innovation and Technology). Its mission is to: develop strategic issues, prepare legislation on VET Centers, plan the budget for the Centers and prepare the appointment of the director-generals. Medium level maintenance powers related to the VET Centers are provided by the National Agency for Vocational Training and Adult Education in accordance with the 2016 Act on Vocational Training, and the 2020 new concept as well.

Higher Education

The objective of national higher education is to serve the common good by handing over competitive knowledge, to ensure the intellectual and economic development of the nation, to provide transparent, competitive theoretical and practical training, to perform scientific basics and applied research, innivation, as well as to train the youth for education and research. Higher education is regulated by a sectoral act (Act on Higher Education, 2011), amended by government decrees on enforcement. These contain the major requirements and rules related to the operation of higher education. Several other government decrees and minister’s decrees establishing partial rules are related to these regulations. Higher education institutions are independent and their independence principally covers their educational, scientific and research activities. The government and the minister responsible for higher education play key roles in the sectoral governance of higher education, performing tasks of organisation, development and legal compliance control, as well as exercising the rights of maintaining state-owned higher education institutions.

Hungarian higher education institutions may be established independently or jointly with other license holders by the Hungarian state, national municipality of nationalities, ecclesiastical legal entities, business entities with a registered seat in Hungary, foundations, public foundations or organisations performing religious activities registered in Hungary, and in cases specified by the law, by other bodies which exercise the rights of founding and maintaining the private higher education institution operated by regular international support. The party exercising the rights of foundation shall perform the tasks related to the maintenance of the higher education institution. The higher education institute is established by a state accrediting subject to the scope of the Parliament. The Minister of Human Resources is responsible for the sectoral governance of higher education.

Adult Education

Pursuant to the Act LXXVII of 2013 on Adult Education (), the objective of adult education is “that the persons living in Hungary could meet the challenges of economic, cultural and technological development, could join the world of work successfully, could be successful in their lives, improve the quality of their lives by the help of adult training and education, the organisation of professional, language and supported trainings shall be improved, the quality of their curricula and the control of their implementation shall be strengthened”.

The function of adult education and adult training in Hungary is basically dual. Adult education is used for school-organised education of adults. If this activity is organised in public education institutions, it is regulated by the Act on Public Education (Act CXC of 2011). Education of adults in higher education is subject to the scope of the higher education act (Act CCIV of 2011). The term ‘adult training’ refers to the organisation of adult learning provided outside the school system. The scope of the Act on Adult Education (2013) is limited to the training programmes which are funded by the State or through EU projects, or for which the State assumes responsibility. The law divides these programmes into four different categories:

  1. training scope 1: nationally recognized training programmes, listed in the National Qualifications Register, professional trainings. (‘A round’ trainings);
  2. training scope 2: the so-called ‘other vocational training courses’ registered by the Chamber, the programme requirements must be adopted by a special procedure. (‘B round’ trainings);
  3. training scope 3: foreign language courses. (‘C round’ trainings);
  4. training scope 4: other supported training courses - eg catch-up programmes, general competence development training. (‘D round’ trainings).

Pursuant to the law, training providers are entitle to organize training programmes and services related to adult education activities if they are registered at the adult education institution’s registry.

The Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK), defined as a public body and entrusted with administrative powers, plays an important role in the operation of the regulatory system of adult education, in accordance with the Act LXXVII of 2013. In some cases, the Chamber has exclusive decision-making competences in matters relating to the vocational training and education, so it can properly address its economical interests.Act CXCII of 2017 introduces the concept of sectoral skills councils for adult education and training. Its aim is to help the economic organizations of different economical sectors to continue the development and modernization of the content structure of vocational education and training, and also to match labour market needs with the training supply.

The legislation and the development programmes of adult education and adult training are subject to the opinion of Advisory Board of the Minister of Vocational and Adult Education and Training. This Board may make proposals to the legislation as well. The newly introduced Vocational Training Act, which entered into force on 1 January 2020, entrusts this role to the Vocational Education and Training Innovation Council. The Vocational Training Innovation Council, as a national body, by preparing, commenting on and proposing professional decisions, assists the Minister responsible for vocational training in carrying out his / her tasks related to vocational education and training.

The National Agency of Vocational Education and Training (NSZFH) is involved in the planning, implementation and monitoring of adult education, the licensing and control over adult education institutions, the registration of the language programme requirements and activities of the activities of adult education experts.