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Hungary:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

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Overview Hungary

Contents

Hungary:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Hungary:Historical Development

Hungary:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Hungary:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Hungary:Political and Economic Situation

Hungary:Organisation and Governance

Hungary:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Hungary:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Hungary:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Hungary:Organisation of Private Education

Hungary:National Qualifications Framework

Hungary:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Hungary:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Hungary:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Hungary:Funding in Education

Hungary:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Hungary:Higher Education Funding

Hungary:Adult Education and Training Funding

Hungary:Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Hungary:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Organisation of General Secondary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in General Secondary Education

Hungary:Assessment in General Secondary Education

Hungary:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Higher Education

Hungary:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Hungary:First Cycle Programmes

Hungary:Bachelor

Hungary:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Hungary:Second Cycle Programmes

Hungary:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Hungary:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Hungary:Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Distribution of Responsibilities

Hungary:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Hungary:Main Providers

Hungary:Main Types of Provision

Hungary:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Hungary:Teachers and Education Staff

Hungary:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Hungary:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Management and Other Education Staff

Hungary:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Hungary:Management Staff for Higher Education

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Quality Assurance

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Educational Support and Guidance

Hungary:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Hungary:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Hungary:Mobility and Internationalisation

Hungary:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Mobility in Higher Education

Hungary:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Hungary:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Hungary:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:National Reforms in School Education

Hungary:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Hungary:National Reforms in Higher Education

Hungary:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Hungary:European Perspective

Hungary:Legislation

Hungary:Institutions

Hungary:Bibliography

Hungary:Glossary

Planning policy

Hungarian tertiary education also made a commitment in the joint development of the European Higher Education Area. The objectives set out in the 1999 Bologna Declaration and confirmed in the ministerial meetings held since include the promotion of instructors’ and researchers’ extensive mobility, the development of clear and comparable training systems, the attainment of European adaptability, the development of cooperation in European quality assurance, the support of the European dimensions of tertiary education and the development of European level educational models and curricula. Mobility, new content and quality determine the development projects in tertiary education and their application among instructors.

One of the conditions for the establishment and institutional accreditation of a university or college is the availability of a teaching staff consisting of qualified instructors (i.e. with a scientific degree) potentially holding a chief instructor’s status (i.e. a teacher’s status or, in a university, an associate professor’s status), which is inevitable for the high quality fulfilment of training tasks in the specific field and discipline of science. Increasingly widespread education and low wages in recent years have in Hungary resulted in the instructor’s indefinite-term employment in several tertiary educational institutions. The National Act on Higher Education of 2011 limits the possibilities of the above. Regardless of the number of tertiary educational institutions where the instructor performs teaching tasks, the instructor may be taken into account in a single tertiary educational institution upon assessing if the operating conditions of the institution are fulfilled. The instructor’s declaration identifies the specific tertiary educational institution where he may be taken into account according to the above. The instructor will not be taken into account in any tertiary educational institution in lack of such a declaration. Most institutions have since identified the lack of this declaration a reason for dismissal in their internal regulations, thereby attempting to primarily employ instructors who can be taken into account from the quality and financing aspects.

 

Starting a career

The more than one-year-long positions for university and college associate professors and university and college professors have to be filled on the basis of apublic application process, whereas a public application may be invited for the positions of the assistant lecturer and the senior lecturer. The public calls for applications for instructors’ positions must be published in the official gazette of the Ministry, the website of “Kormányzati Személyügyi Szolgáltató és Közigazgatási Képzési Központ” (Government HR Services and Public Administration Training Centre), the website of the tertiary educational institution and in any other forms customary in the tertiary educational institution.

The employment-related requirements of the tertiary educational institution define the documents whereby and the proceedings whereunder the senate will collect evidence of the fulfilment of the conditions for employment in a college or university associate professor’s position. The tertiary educational institution may, within these frameworks, order the conduct of a habilitation procedure.

Both the persons employed by the tertiary educational institution and those not in employment relation or a public servant’s legal relation with the tertiary educational institution may bid in the public application. The submitted applications are assessed by the senate. There is a professional opinion-forming body involved in the preparation of the senate’s decision concerning the fulfilment of a university professor’s position. As regards any and every instructor’s position, the rector may establish employment relation or public servant’s legal relation by choosing from among the ranked applications.

In the case of a college or university professor’s position, if the applicant does not yet have the proper professional title, the rector may, as a form of granting a position-related title,initiate the candidate’s nomination as a college professor or university professor before the establishment of the employment relation. The rector sends his recommendation (prepared in order to grant a title) for nomination as a university professor or college professorto the operator of the tertiary educational institution so that it forwarded the recommendation to the person authorized to effect such a nomination (grant such a title), who may be the Prime Minister (for the nomination of a college professor) or the President of the Republic (for the nomination of a university professor). The rector of the tertiary educational institution must get the expert opinion of the Hungarian Tertiary Educational Accreditation Committee before preparing his recommendation for the nomination of a university professor. The rector of the tertiary educational institution assesses the expert opinion and so makes his recommendation for the nomination of a university professor, which he sends to the operator of the tertiary educational institution with the attachment of the expert opinion. The operator of a non-state-owned tertiary educational institution sends the rector’s recommendation, attaching the expert opinion of the Hungarian Tertiary Educational Accreditation Committee and its own opinion, to the minister. The minister collects another expert opinion of the Hungarian Tertiary Educational Accreditation Committee if the recommendation of the rector of the tertiary educational institution does not accord with the expert opinion of the Hungarian Tertiary Educational Accreditation Committee. If the rector’s recommendation and the expert opinion of the Hungarian Tertiary Educational Accreditation Committee accord, the minister initiates nomination as a university professor with the President of the Republic. If the rector’s recommendation and the expert opinion of the Hungarian Tertiary Educational Accreditation Committee do not accord, the minister may consider whether he intends to initiate nomination as a university professor.

In making an expert opinion, the Hungarian Tertiary Educational Accreditation Committee evaluates, in addition to the requirements of the legal regulations, the applicant’s educational, scientific or artistic results.

In making a decision, the minister may as well collect, apart from the expert opinion of the Hungarian Tertiary Educational Accreditation Committee, an independent international expert opinion or may order the preparation of international comparative studies.

 

Professional status

In the public sector (state- or municipality-owned institutions) teachers are employed as public servants and their employment is governed by the Act on Public Servants. In the private sector the employment of teachers is governed by the Labour code.

The most usual type of employment in tertiary education is for an unspecified period. The law specifies positions for which academic achievement, the academic degree are prerequisites of advancement.

In certain cases it is possible to undertake teaching tasks under a service contract, e.g. if the nature of activity undertaken by the teacher permits or if the time spent carrying out the task does not exceed 60% of the complete working time.

With regard to institutional autonomy, (apart from the legal regulations) the internal requirements of the institution imply the specific requirements of employment and advancement. The tertiary educational institution may, in addition to the legal requirements, set any other professional conditions, prescribe the completion of some practical time and set rules regarding conflict of interest.

The Act on Higher Education also stipulates the obligations of the persons who perform education-related tasks. These obligations include inter alia the objective multilateral mediation of knowledge and respect for student’s human rights and dignity.

As regards the establishment of employment-based legal relation in ecclesiastic tertiary educational institutions, the requirements of employment in the institution may be defined with the consideration of the Act on Equal Treatment. In accordance with the Act on Higher Education the ecclesiastic tertiary educational institution has the right to define the content of religious training and the requirements concerning the instructors and teachers involved in religious training.

 

Salaries

The remuneration of academic staff is based on the wage matrix for public servants. Teachers, instructors and researchers are subject to dissimilar calculation methods. With regard to teachers, the legal status of a public servant is accompanied with a guaranteed remuneration and advancement system. This takes the form of a matrix, meaning that apart from qualification and professional qualification it also considers the time spent in the profession. The wage matrix is broken down to 10 salary classes and 14 salary grades. The former depend on qualification, whereas the latter on the service period. Certain salary grades come with a specific amount (stipulated in the law), the other grades are based on a specific multiplier. The public servant must be advanced to one higher salary grade every three years. The waiting period may be shortened (in case of excellent performance) or extended (as a disciplinary punishment). As regards the wage matrix, the teachers’ positions have also been integrated in the instructors’ positions since 2016.

The remuneration system applicable to those occupying an instructor’s or researcher’s position differs from the above system inasmuch as the Act on Public Servants sets 2 or 3 salary grades for certain positions. The starting point is salary grade 1 in the university professor’s position: a guaranteed amount is defined for this grade in the Budget Act. The remuneration payable in the other positions is calculated in the function of the ratio related to the salary grade and the university professor’s guaranteed remuneration. A public servant holding an instructor’s position may advance to a higher salary grade after having spent five years (university professor, college professor) or ten years (university associate professor, college associate professor, as well as senior lecturer appointed for an indefinite term, and teacher) in the preceding salary grade in that specific position.

The supplement system of educators relates to the managerial appointment, and to special knowledge. Apart from those filling leading positions, also entitled to supplement are artist teachers, engineer teachers, foreign language teachers, and technical teachers. The rate of supplements is specifically determined in legislation. The earnings paid with the Professor Emeritus title is a special allowance disbursed according to the regulations of the higher education institution.

 

Working time and holidays

The working time of teachers in tertiary education is 40 hours per week. The working time consist of compulsory lesson time, and unscheduled duties to look after during working time. Tutors out of their full weekly working time -in an average of two semesters- are obliged to spend at least 10, teachers at least 20 hours respectively with helping students’ preparation, giving lectures, seminars, workshops and consultations.The instructor spends at least twenty percent of his working time with scientific research work (artistic or sports-related activity, in the training fields related to arts, art mediation and sports science), and in the working time not devoted to sessions with students or scientific research work, he is obliged (as a kind of job-related duty) to fulfil all the tasks (according to the employer’s instructions) related to the operation of the tertiary educational institution and requiring the instructor’s expertise. The data concerning the result of any scientific research activity must be published in the national scientific bibliography database. The minimal time spent with teaching and defined in instructors’ jobs may be increased by forty percent the most and decreased by twenty five percent the most, in accordance with the requirements of the employment relation.

In certain cases it is possible to undertake teaching tasks under a service contract, e.g. if the nature of activity undertaken by the teacher permits or if the time spent carrying out the task does not exceed 60% of the complete working time.

As a specific rule, teaching and scientific research may be undertaken in the same position. The proportion of the different tasks is described in the employment contract or appointment.

Based on the Act on Higher Education, the tertiary educational institution may set rules regarding conflict of interest or may limit the employee’s option to fill in a position similar to the job with the employer but in another tertiary educational institution.

The employee is entitled to have an ordinary holiday, consisting of basic and supplementary holiday, in each calendar year when he was in employment relation. The length of the basic holiday and the supplementary holiday is defined in the Labour Code, in the base case. The basic holiday varies in the function of age,ranging between minimum 20 days and maximum 30 working days. With regard to public servants, the Act on the Legal Status of Public Servants defines the length of the basic holiday, the length of supplementary holiday (which is conditional on the salary grade) and the supplementary holiday due to employees in high and senior positions.

The full annual basic holiday for teachers employed as public servants equals 21 working days, and increases with age. Public servants are entitled to supplementary holiday, covering a number of working days equal their salary grade. The teacher is entitled in both cases to supplementary holiday of 25 working days. The employer may reserve 15 working days out of the 25 for working purposes, but only in the following cases: the university may employ them for teaching and educational work and work related to education and teaching. Research fellows and public servants working in research but at a higher position are entitled to a supplementary holiday of five working days a year. Public servants holding a top senior position or a senior position are entitled to have a basic holiday of thirty five working days and thirty working days, respectively, each calendar year.

 

Promotion and advancement

Special rules apply to the promotion arrangements of teachers in tertiary education. Educator positions include university or college demonstrator, assistant professor, associate professor, professor. All these positions are superordinated.

In purview of the Act on Higher Education, the precondition of indefinite-term employment in an assistant lecturer’s position is the commencement of doctorate trainings or the obtainment of the doctorate title (for the senior lecturer’s position). The preconditions of reaching an associate professor’s position and title in an application procedure and for an indefinite term are the management of the students’ and subordinate teachers’ educational and scientific work, the skills to hold lectures in a foreign language and the possession of a scientific degree. Moreover, the instructor who failed to get a scientific degree until the end of the tenth year from the date of his employment shall not be employed.

Persons who have a scientific degree and whose scientific work is recognized in the national and international teams of his specific scientific or artistic field can reach a teacher’s position and title in an application procedure and for an indefinite term. Nomination as a university professor is subject to the existence of habilitation.

In the professional rank scale in tertiary education both the university and the college professor is a special status, indicated by the fact that they are appointed by the state as a sign of recognition. Habilitation is the recognition of someone’s teaching and lecturing skills as well as scientific performance. Presentation skills must be proved in a freely delivered public lecture also in a foreign language. University professors and habilitated college professors may use that title until the end of their lives even if their mandate has come to an end. College and university professors are entitled to use the title as long as dismissed by the Prime Minister or the President of the Republic, when the right to use the professor’s title is also withdrawn. Instructors and researchers may be employed until they have reached the age of seventy. For college and university professors the rector is entitled to terminate the employment-related legal relation. University and college professors must be relieved of employment upon reaching the age of 70, and the title of Professor Emerita/us may be granted and used after retirement.

Additionally, special conditions apply to public servants employed in a researcher’s position in a tertiary educational institution. Pursuant to the Higher Education Act, permanent employment as an assistant lecturer is subject to enrolment in a doctorate course; employment as an assistant professor is subject to PhD/DLA candidacy. The prerequisite to permanent employment as associate professor is subject to holding a PhD/PLA degree, and this person must be competent in leading the students’, doctorate students’ and assistant lecturers’ educational, scientific or artistic work, in holding lectures in a foreign language and having satisfactory professional experience in education and research. The precondition to being employed in a research advisor’s or research professor’s position is that the person must have a doctoral degree and be an internationally recognized representative of his specific scientific or artistic field, doing an outstanding work in scientific research or arts. The employment-related requirements of the tertiary educational institution must identify the documents whereunder and the proceedings wherein the senate collects evidence of having fulfilled the conditions inevitable for being employed in a senior research fellow’s, research advisor’s and research professor’s position. The tertiary educational institution may order the conduct of a habilitation procedure in these frames.

The basis of promotion is professional activity, compliance of criteria for a higher position (doctoral grade, habilitation, publications, foreign languages, etc.). Promotion is subject to approval by the institution.

With regard to public servants working in tertiary education, the requirements imposed on instructors, their fulfilment, assessment and the consequences of non-fulfilment are defined in the employment-related requirements of the tertiary educational institution.

Students also assess the quality of education (in the student union or organization). The regulation of such an assessment falls in the competence of the institution. The new regulations prompt the head of the institution to terminate those instructors’ employment who do not fulfil the employment-related requirements, do not meet the conditions that are inevitable to hold the position and are set (with an acceptable term) by the employer in the employment contract or the document of appointment, or who (based on their declaration) may not be taken into account in the basic activities of the institution when the operating conditions of the institution are being assessed.

Holding senior jobs and fulfilling senior assignments represent a special case of advancement. A public call must be invited for top senior assignments.

Tertiary educational institutions have been subjected to a new management system since 2014. The institution is headed by the rector who, in the case of a university, is selected by the senate from among the university professors in an application procedure; and the President of the Republic has the right to appoint or dismiss this person. A college rector can be a university professor, associate professor, college professor, research advisor, research professor or senior research fellow, from among whom the senate selects the competent person in an application procedure. The college rector is appointed and dismissed by the Prime Minister. Both college and university rectors are subject to the statutory requirement of having skills and practice in management, organization and economic management. The chancellor is the head of the institution with regard to the duties defined in the Act on Higher Education andprimarily assuring economic management and operation. The tertiary educational institution uses the available resources to meet the conditions whereby the economic management of the tertiary educational institution could support the fulfilment of the basic responsibilities. This means that it exercises the employer’s rights over the employees of the tertiary educational institution, makes arrangements for reaching the financial and professional competence stipulated in legal regulations.

The applications for other top senior assignments (dean, deputy rector, deputy dean etc.) are ranked by the senate, and the dean decides to issue a senior assignment after having deliberated the opinion of the senate. The assignment is for a definite term (3-5 years the most), but this period may be extended once for the first (senior) heads of the tertiary educational institutions, based on an application. The assignments are subject to serious conflict of interest rules regarding economic management and supervision. The top age limit for a senior position is 65 years of age unless the definite term expires later.

 

Retirement and pensions

No special legal regulations apply in Hungary to the retirement of teachers in tertiary education, so the general social insurance regulations and, for state employees, the Act on Public Servants govern this issue; still the instructor and the researcher may be employed until having reached the age of seventy. According to the general regulations, persons who were born before 1952, have reached their age of 62 and have at least twenty years’ service period may get the full amount of old-age pension. For those born in or after 1957 the statutory age limit will be 65 year. With regard to women, those who have at least forty years’ entitlement period are also entitled to get the full amount of old-age pension.

According to the regulations on social insurance-based pension benefit, the payment of the old-age pension has to be suspended (from the first day of the month following the month of establishing the legal relation to the last day of the month of terminating the legal relation) if the pensioner is in a public servant’s legal relation.

With regard to continued employment, if justified in the employer’s particularly important interest or through the basic activity of the budgetary organization, the person exercising employer’s rights may, after having asked for the opinion of the Government, decide on employing the public servant who has reached the relevant old-age pension age limit and the service period entitling him to the full amount of old-age pension, noting that the opinion of the Government will be governing for the person exercising employer’s rights in passing his decision. The person intending to establish a public servant’s legal relation for his continued employment is entitled to submit the application.

Reaching the pension age limit does not automatically imply the termination of the labour relation or the public servant’s legal relation. Instructors and researchers may be employed even after having reached the pension age limit. However, instructors and researchers who have reached the age of 70 have to be dismissed on the basis of the Act on Higher Education.

In tertiary education, heads and managers are subject to an age limit: a senior assignment may be fulfilled until the age of 65 in a state-owned tertiary educational institution.