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Hungary:Organisation of Single Structure 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


Geographical Accessibility

A highly fragmented settlement structure is typical of Hungary. In the school year 2011/12, there were 3252 basic schools in 3154 settlements; therefore in general there is one basic school in each settlement. Half of the basic schools are located in cities, collecting 87% of all students. In cities typically more than one basic school is operated. This means that children can go to schools close to their homes. In fact, the majority of them also has the opportunity to choose among several settlement-based educational institutions (free choice of school). In some settlements with a few thousand residents or less there are no schools due to the low number of students. In the school year 2011/12, the government in a call for tenders provided HUF 300 million support for the restart of schools in settlements with a population below 3000. Consequently, the number of school-age children who can participate in compulsory education only, as provided for by law, in schools of other settlements decreased.

Schools with high numbers of commuting students frequently adapt their work schedules to timetables of public transport (buses or trains). In some cases teachers travel (travelling teachers) between schools, in particular for providing pedagogical assistance services (e.g. speech therapy) or for the quality teaching of specialised subjects at lower secondary level. 

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

Every child has to participate in education in Hungary. Children are said to be of school age when they reach the stage of development necessary to pass to school, which is usually certified by the kindergarten. If the child’s stage of development cannot be assessed unambiguously, or the child has not attended kindergarten, or the parent disagrees with the opinion of the kindergarten, an examination can be requested with the expert committee to determine whether the child’s stage of development is adequate to pass to school. The examination may be requested by the kindergarten, the parent or the school head master in the manner stipulated in Ministerial Decree No 20/2012 (VIII.31.) on the Operation of Educational Institutions.

Children are enrolled in basic schools by district. Basic schools cannot refuse to admit children and students living within their respective districts. They cannot organise entrance examinations. Exceptions are basic schools providing advanced level education in sports and arts, where aptitude tests may be organised under the school’s teaching programme. If more than one basic school or member institution or unit where tasks are being carried out operates in a settlement or district, the basic school districts must be determined so as to ensure the equal ratio of multiple disadvantaged students in all educational institutions. (The ratio of multiple disadvantaged students in each district may only be 15 percentage points higher than the ratio of multiple disadvantaged students attending basic school calculated for the whole settlement or district.)

The principle of free choice of school applies insofar as any parent can apply for the admission of his/her child to an out-of-district school but the head master has the right to deny the application. If a basic school can grant additional applications for admission after admitting all applicants from its districts, it is obliged to grant the applications of multiple disadvantaged students first. The possibility of additional admission has to be published in the customary manner of the institution at least fifteen days before the first day of the period available for the submission of applications for admission. Preference has to be given to those multiple disadvantaged students whose domicile or place of residence is in the settlement where the seat of the school is situated. After the admission of multiple disadvantaged students, preference has to be given to applicants whose domicile or place of residence is in the settlement where the seat of the school is situated. If a basic school cannot grant all the applications for admission due to lack of space according to the order specified above, they decide between the applicants by drawing lots. Those who have submitted an application for admission have to be invited to the draw. Students with special education needs and students whose admission is justified by their special situation may be admitted without a draw after having granted the applications of multiple disadvantaged students.

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils

Education in the basic school is divided into primary and lower secondary phases. In grades 1 to 4 (i.e. in the primary phase), only a few teachers (typically 2) educate a study group within the framework of generalist education. As students pass from one grade to the next, the number of their teachers also grows and, in grade 4, already quite a number of subjects are taught by specialist teachers (e.g. foreign languages, IT studies, science). Lessons by specialist teachers may be introduced in lower grades as well for physical education, singing & music, as well as for foreign languages where they are a part of education. The generalist education introduced in school year 2008/2009 in grades 5 and 6 is not mandatory any more. Schools must determine in their pedagogical programmes the percentage of the time frame of compulsory and optional curricular lessons spent on generalist education, which must not exceed 50%. Only specialist education takes place in grades 7 to 8, where a specialist teacher is responsible for teaching each special subject.

At the time of school enrolment, the maximum age difference between students of the same class is 2 years. This difference tends to increase at higher grades due to grade repetition but, typically, students of the same age form a class. It is typical of generalist education that only one teacher, or just a few of them, teaches/teach a study group (class) for several years. With the partial extension of generalist education to grades 5 and 6, the tendency of at least one generalist teacher (from the primary phase) remaining with the class for two more years makes transition easier. Only primary teachers with qualifications in the particular subject in addition to their primary (general) teaching qualifications are entitled to teaching in generalist education in grades 5 and 6. Primary teachers without such specialisation have to take part in a 120-hour in-service training course before they are allowed to teach grades 5 and 6.

The educational-organisational unit created for at least one school year from students attending the same school site is the school class. The maintainer determines the number of classes to be organised per grade, while the size of classes is provided for in law. The head master decides about the division of the children admitted to the school into groups, taking the opinion of the team of teachers of the same subject or the teaching staff. Pursuant to the new National Public Education Act, multigrade classes may be organised in the primary phase of basic school, in basic art schools, is special schools and in conductive pedagogical educational institutions, as well as in schools operating under alternative programmes, from students of minimum two, maximum four grades, after authorisation.

The form master organises the school life of students belonging to the same class and fulfils relevant administrative tasks, for which he/she is remunerated with a special allowance.

In Hungarian basic schools, education typically takes place within the framework of school classes but, to promote more efficient fulfilment of certain educational and teaching goals, schools may break down classes into groups or organise groups from students of several classes or grades. The maximum number of students in a group may be 50% of the number of students in a class. The school determines how many per cent of the time frame available for the organisation of compulsory and optional curricular lessons they wish to use for dividing the classes and what curricular lesson is to be held in that time frame. The teaching of foreign languages typically takes place in smaller groups; and the number of students in a group is basically determined by the funding available. The principles of division of students into classes and groups are laid down in the school’s pedagogical programme, and the school head decides on their actual implementation.

Pursuant to the law, in grades 1 to 4, the average number of students organised into one class is 21 with a permissible maximum of 26, while in grades 5 to 8, the average is 23 with a maximum of 30. The maintainer may, subject to the permission of the Educational Authority, exceed the maximum permissible student number in a class, within the limited scope defined by law.

Organization of the Academic Year

The minister responsible for education specifies the school year schedule in a ministerial decree for each school year. As a general rule, the school term-time commences on the first working day of September every year and concludes on 15 June every year or on the working day that precedes 15 June if it is not a working day. In addition, the abovementioned decree provides for the effective number of school days (182 days in school year 2012/13), designates term-time school holidays (autumn, winter and spring holidays) and contains provisions as to the working days without teaching.

The teaching staff is authorised to use five term-time working days as working days without teaching. However, the student council is authorised to decide, after consulting the teaching staff, on the programme of one out of the five working days without teaching. Schools may deviate, under the conditions specified above, from the schedule but may not amend the commencing and concluding days of the school year. Each school has to prepare an annual working plan that schedules the working days without teaching and the holidays in accordance with the ministerial decree on the school year.

The school year is divided into two terms. Students have school holidays at least three times in a school year (autumn, winter and spring holidays), composed of a minimum of six consecutive days on two occasions and a minimum of four consecutive days on one occasion. A summer holiday composed of at least sixty consecutive days has to be provided following the last day of the teaching year.

Organization of School Days and Weeks

A teaching year is composed of five-day school weeks. Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays are resting days without teaching. If justified, school weeks can also be organised with six school days, including Saturdays, subject to the approval of the maintainer, and provided that at least thirty-six hours of uninterrupted weekly rest time is provided for students, and the “cancelled” weekly resting days are used in the course of the term as one or more unbroken school holidays.

Students’ school engagement is composed of compulsory and optional curricular lessons, the number of which is provided for in the Public Education Act. For the weekly timeframe of students, refer to the table below. (Everyday physical education lessons have been introduced in school year 2012/13 in grades 1 and 5 and are phased in gradually.)

Weekly timeframe per class 

Grade

Number of lessons

Financed weekly timeframe

without physical education

physical education

total

 

1-3.

20

5

25

52

4.

22

5

27

55

5-6.

23

5

28

51

7-8.

26

5

31

56


The part of the authorised (financed) weekly time frame not used for compulsory lessons is spent on division of classes into groups (i.e. providing small group lessons for students, e.g. in foreign languages) and organising other activities such as gifted education, remedial education for disadvantaged students, tutoring for students with behavioural and learning difficulties and customized tutoring for students in grades 1-4. One more lesson per week per class is provided for gifted education and remedial activities above the time frame of classes shown in the table above.

Schools may also organise other extracurricular lessons (study circles, interest circles, school sports clubs, choirs etc.) in accordance with the interest and needs of students and on the basis of their own pedagogical programmes. They include afternoon day care and afternoon tutoring, which provide an organised opportunity for preparation for lessons if needed. For this purpose, daily time frames of four and a half hours are available in grades 1 to 4 and three hours are available in grades 5 to 8.

Lessons may be compulsory, elective or optional for students. The local curriculum determines the compulsory lessons which all students of a given class must attend and the number of compulsory lessons which the students must attend based on their selection of elective subjects, as defined in the local curriculum. If at his/her request, a student has been admitted to an optional lesson, he/she is obliged to attend that lesson until the end of the teaching year.

In basic schools activities are held at least until 4 p.m., and the supervision of students must be arranged for until 5 p.m. or until the students can lawfully stay in the institution. Afternoon day care is provided by schools on request of parents and is particularly typical of grades 1 to 4.

Basic schools may also operate as all-day schools, where alternating compulsory curricular lessons, optional curricular lessons, day care activities and everyday physical education are held both in the mornings and afternoons, with well-balanced school load on students. This form of education, taking place mostly between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., is organised on the basis of generalist education, and incorporates the whole process of development adapted to students’ personal abilities into a coherent and coordinated framework, providing well-balanced opportunities for children’s rest, relaxation, amusement and physical exercise.

Opening hours for educational institutions and principles of organising lessons and breaks are set forth in the Public Education Act and Ministerial Decree 20/2012 on the Operation of Educational Institutions, while the specific rules of implementation are set out in schools’ local organisational and operational rules and internal regulations. Schools are responsible for setting their schedules of lessons and extracurricular activities, including the duration of breaks between lessons in their pedagogical programmes and internal regulations.

The first lesson may be started, after consulting the school board or the school’s parental organisation and the student union, by not more than 45 minutes before 8 a.m. pursuant to the relevant decree (Ministerial Decree 20/2012).

In general, lessons last 45 minutes. Schools may also organise longer (max. 90-minute) or shorter ones but in the calculation of the number of daily compulsory curricular lessons, these lessons have to be converted into 45-minute lessons. Breaks between lessons and extracurricular activities have to be provided for children.

Schedule of school days 

LENGTH OF SCHOOL DAYS

Out-of-hours provision (before lessons)

Lessons (starting and finishing times in the morning)

Lunch break

Lessons (starting and finishing times in the afternoon)

Out-of-hours provision (after lessons)

Monday

Optional, 7.00-8.00 a.m.

Typically 8.00-12.00 a.m. or 1.00/2.00 p.m.

Not typical, but a break must be provided between lessons and extracurricular activities

Not typical

1.00-5.00 p.m.

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

12.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.

Saturday

Resting day without teaching

Everyday physical education lessons were introduced in September 2012 in grades 1 and 5 in basic schools (and in grade 9 in upper secondary schools) and are phased in. Everyday physical exercise for other grades must be ensured pursuant to the regulations of the Public Education Act. In grades 2 to 4 of basic schools everyday physical exercise is provided within the scope of at least three physical education lessons per week and playful physical exercise. Playful and health developmental physical exercise has to be organised on every school day without physical education lesson in these grades. The duration of such exercise should be at least thirty minutes a day, which may also be broken down to several activities of at least fifteen minutes. Playful and health developmental physical exercise can be organised as part of lessons and, if necessary, by using a maximum of 50% of the duration of a break.