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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation and governance


2.Organisation and governance

Last update: 28 March 2024

The Fundamental Law of Hungary  (Magyarország Alaptörvénye) 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 Interior (Belügyminisztérium) is responsible for general education, while the Ministry of Culture and Innovation (Kulturális és Innovációs Minisztérium) is responsible for higher education. The Ministry of Interior has an integrated portfolio, it is in charge of several sectors, such as education, health, social inclusion and the social sector. 

The Ministry of Culture and Innovation is also responsible for the management of initial vocational and adult education and training.  Professional and management tasks are carried out by the deputy state secretary for vocational education in the State Secretariat for Innovation and Higher Education. Vocational training providers related to the profiles of each sector are maintained by the relevant ministries. Therefore, agricultural trainings are managed by the Ministry of Agriculture, military cadet trainings by the Ministry of Defense, and police trainings by the Ministry of the Interior. The governance, organisation, maintenance and financing of education and training are set out in sectoral laws: the Act CXC of 2011 on the National Public Education (2011. évi CXC. törvény a nemzeti köznevelésről), the Act CCIV of 2011 on the National Higher Education (2011. évi CCIV. törvény a nemzeti felsőoktatásról)  the Act LXXX of 2019 on Vocational Education and Training (2019. évi LXXX. törvény a szakképzésről), and the Act LXXVII of 2013 on the Adult Education and Training (2013. évi LXXVII. törvény a felnőttképzésről).

Public Education

Attendance in public education is compulsory from 3 to 16 years.

The maintenance of kindergartens is the responsibility of local municipalities. Primary and secondary education is organised, maintained and run by a central maintenance institution, the Klebelsberg Centre (Klebelsberg Központ) and 60 district-level school district centres under its control. The school district centres can make their own decisions from their own budgets, which supports a more efficient decision-making mechanism adapted to local conditions and results in a decentralisation of the maintenance system for public education.

Vocational Education and Training

From September 2020, the vocational education and training system operates separately from the public education system. As a general rule, the basic task of vocational education and training is carried out by a VET institution (technicum and vocational school) and the basic task of general education is carried out by a general education institution. In certain cases, and in the form specified by law, a multi-purpose public education institution may also perform a basic vocational education and training task, and a multi-purpose vocational education and training institution may also perform a basic public education task.

46 VET centres are responsible for the organisation and direct professional coordination of state-supported vocational education and training. The maintainer of VET Centres (Ministry of Culture and Innovation) is responsible for developing strategic issues, prepare legislation on VET Centres, plan the budget for the Centres and prepare the appointment of the director-generals. Medium level maintenance rights related to the VET Centres are provided by the National Office of Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learing (Nemzeti Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Hivatal).

The Innovative Training Support Center Plc (Innovatív Képzéstámogató Központ Zrt. - IKK Zrt.) was established in 2019 with the aim to act as a methodological centre for the renewal of vocational education and training, and as a state administrative body, to fulfil the tasks delegated by the Minister responsible for vocational education and training under the Vocational Education and Training Act (2019. évi LXXX. törvény a szakképzésről).

Higher Education

The objective of national higher education is to serve the common good by transferring a competitive knowledge, to ensure the intellectual and economic development of the nation, to provide transparent, competitive theoretical and practical training, to perform scientific basic and applied research, innovation, as well as to train the youth for education and research. Higher education is regulated by a sectoral act (Act CCIV of 2011 on the National Higher Education (2011. évi CCIV. törvény a nemzeti felsőoktatásról)), amended by government decrees on enforcement. These contain the major requirements and rules related to the operation of higher education. 

Hungarian higher education institutions can operate under different models of maintenance and funding, which can be either colleges or universities.

The governing body of the higher education institution is the Senate. The Rector is the chairman of the Senate as well as the head of the higher education institution. In a state higher education institution, the institution is operated by the Chancellor, who is responsible for the economic, financial, controlling, internal audit, accounting, labour, legal, administrative, IT activities and asset management of the higher education institution.

Adult Education

Pursuant to the Act LXXVII of 2013 on Adult Education (2013. évi LXXVII. törvény a felnőttképzésről), the objective of adult training is “to make Hungarian inhabitants capable of meeting the challenges of economic, cultural and technological development; enter the world of work successfully; succeed in life and have an improved living quality from as a result of  adult learning, it is necessary to have better organization in vocational, foreign language and state-supported training and improve the quality of the content and reinforce the supervision of implementation”.

The function of adult education and adult training in Hungary is basically dual. Adult education is used for school-based education of adults. If this activity is organised in public education institutions, it is regulated by the Act on Public Education (2011. évi CXC. törvény a nemzeti köznevelésről). Education of adults in higher education is subject to the scope of the higher education act (2011. évi CCIV. törvény a nemzeti felsőoktatásról)). The term ‘adult training’, on the other hand, refers to the organisation of adult learning provided outside the school system, as defined in  the Act on Adult Education. 

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 training, in accordance with theAct on Adult Education. 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 introduced the concept of Sectoral Skills Councils for adult education and training. The aim of the Sectoral Skills Councils is to help the business 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 offers.

The Vocational Education and Training Innovation Council, is a national body that prepares, gives opinions and makes proposals and assists the Minister responsible for vocational and adult training in carrying out his / her tasks related to adult  training.

The National Office of Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning (Nemzeti Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Hivatal) is involved in the planning, implementation and monitoring of adult training, the licensing and control over adult training institutions, the registration of the language programme requirements and tasks regarding the activities of adult education experts.