This page was last modified on 8 December 2016, at 14:53.

Hungary:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

From Eurydice

Jump to: navigation, search

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


Institution types

As a result of the restructuring of the vocational education system, the vocational secondary schools that used to be categorised as general educational institutions due to the low practical training element in their programme were reclassified in 2016 as vocational educational institutions. (Over one third of each year group of pupils attend this type of school.)  This is partly justified by the increased proportion of practical training and traineeship element in their programme, but also by the fact thatpupils graduating from vocational secondary schools obtain both a secondary school leaving examination certificate and an ISCED 3 level qualification. Afterwards, ISCED 4 level qualification can be obtained in one additional year of school, if the pupil continues to study in the same trade, and two years if he/she changes trade. 

Further venues of vocational training at the upper secondary level is the vocational training school, (nearly one third of each year group of pupils attend this type of school.) along with the special vocational school for students with special educational needs / students with disabilities, to which students are assigned after decision making by expert committees. In vocational schools ISCED 3 level qualification can be obtained, or a so-called “partial qualification”. Since 2013, so-called “Bridge” programmes can be launched in vocational schools and vocational secondary schools. The vocational Bridge programmes provide “partial qualification” in two years. (The number of pupils attending the one year Bridge programme not providing any qualification is very low).

In vocational secondary schools, in addition to focusing on preparation for the secondary school leaving examination and on tertiary education, vocational training is provided in 38 sectors ending with an ISCED level 3 qualification. Furthermore, these schools prepare pupils to attend postsecondary vocational training. In the entire four-year programme contains general education, vocational education and practical training. The vocational secondary school programmes start in grade 9 and end in grade 12 (or, if teaching is bilingual, in grade 13). Upon successfully graduating from vocational secondary school (and thus, having a secondary school leaving examination certificate and an ISCED level 3 qualification - those, who commenced their secondary school education after 2016) pupils can either proceed to higher education, or enter the labour market, or they can attend the 13th grade of postsecondary education.

The majority of vocational secondary schools offer programmes for pupils in grades 9-12 as well as postsecondary qualification programmes (grades 13 and 14), but some schools only offer one type of programme.

Vocational training schools used to offer 4 or 5 year programmes, but since 2013 it has been reduced to three-year programmes (years 9-11) ending with an ISCED level 3 qualification. After finishing vocational school, pupils have the option to enter a two-year programme ending with secondary school leaving examination, therefore, many refer to vocational training schools as 3+2 year schools. (The option of attending an additional two year programme after vocational training was also available in the previous system; about one third or one fourth of the pupils graduating from vocational school chose this option).

After the completion of primary school reserved for students with special educational needs vocational training may be forthwith started in the special vocational schools as well, but the education programme is still typically started with two groundwork laying - vocational orientation grades (9th and 10th) and lasts 4 years. In these schools pupils can obtain the same qualification as in vocational schools, but they also offer programmes ending with “partial qualifications”.  Vocational schools cannot launch these latter programmes.

In some of the vocational secondary schools and vocational schools (appointed by the minister responsible for vocational training) full time “Bridge” programmes can be launched. Pupils do not apply directly for these Bridge programmes, but are sent there by the primary schools, if they reach the age of 15 but are still in primary education due to repeating some grades. After successful completion of the two-year Bridge programme, pupils obtain a primary school leaving certificate and partial vocational qualification. They also have the right to progress to vocational schools but since they are already 17-18 by this time, not many choose to do so.

There are very few vocational schools that provide only vocational school programmes. Most of them provide vocational secondary school programmes and vocational school programmes and post-secondary vocational training after secondary school leaving examination as well. About 60 of the vocational educational institutions are now maintained by the Ministry for Agriculture, and in 2015, the maintenance task of the vast majority of vocational secondary schools and vocational schools (over 300) were taken over by the Ministry of National Economy from the Ministry of Human Resources. These school are now integrated into vocational training centres; at an average 8.4 schools belong into one centre, but a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 18.Since 2016, vocational schools for children with special educational needs have also been maintained by the Ministry of National Economy.

Geographical access

The number of vocational secondary schools is between 600 and 700, and the number of vocational schools is around 400-500. Usually, there is no separate vocational secondary schools and vocational schools, but they are operated in a vocational training institution providing both types of programmes. Normally, an institution operating a vocational secondary school also provides vocational school programmes are.

This is an extensive enough network for everyone to find some vocational school near - within one hour’s journey of - their homes. Towns of populations of at least 15,000 - 20,000 will have some vocational school and even some of the smaller towns have their own vocational schools. All in all, the capacities of vocational education institutions far exceed demand, since the number of children born have been steadily decreasing for decades.

This does not mean, of course, that everyone will find a broad range of trades taught in the vocational schools in the vicinity of their places of residence. Nonetheless the programmes of the ‘basic trades’ involving the largest numbers of students are accessible in more than one institutions in every county in Hungary. One problem faced in this regard is that the least popular secondary institutions - vocational schools - are attended by the children of the poorest families, by far the most of whom are residents of small villages, from where commuting to school is costly and takes a long time. Therefore there is a particularly high proportion of vocational school students who are forced to make their choice from the trades on offer in the institutions closest to their homes; which means that pupils do not choose the trade, but rather the school. Those who do not find programmes suiting their preferences near their places of residence will either choose a less attractive programme that is still accessible from home or they have to live in a student hostel (typically from Mondays to Fridays). The schools (or the organisations maintaining them) can offer student hostel accommodation for most of those in need of it though the available student dormitory capacity is diminishing. The demand for student dormitory accommodation is decreasing because of these extra costs.

The total number of special vocational schools is about 120, at least one such school will be found in all larger and medium-sized towns in Hungary and even some smaller municipalities have their own special vocational schools. Some of the students oriented to special vocational schools do not find special vocational schools near their places of residence so they have to live in student dormitories. There are few places in Hungary - apart from Budapest - where there is a choice between at least two special vocational schools within a relatively smaller distance, i.e. a somewhat wider choice for students in need of such education.

Admission requirements and choice of school

The applicable legislation provides the freedom of choice of school for all students of the compulsory schooling age. A student may submit his application to any number of courses of any number of secondary institutions (general secondary school, vocational secondary schools or vocational schools), in an order of priority. The popular vocational educational schools, especially vocational secondary schools in high demand may define the school performance requirements of the establishment of a legal relationship between school and student (i.e.: admission criteria) and may hold entrance exams in line with the legal regulations. (Decrees). The school must publish the entrance requirements in its notice containing admission information, at the time specified in the schedule of the school year. In most vocational secondary schools and vocational schools students are admitted based on their results achieved in basic school, but in some vocational secondary schools the scores achieved in the written examination organised involving centrally issued, standardised, competence-based tests. The administration of applications and admissions is carried out by a centralised computer system. The system returns information on admission in view of this order of priority on the basis of the entrance examination results and the schools’ decisions. Decision on the admission of a student is made by the school’s principal.

Although the school performance requirements of the establishment of a legal relationship between school and student may be determined by the vocational school, yet since the majority of families would like to send even their modestly performing children to general secondary school or vocational secondary school, a smaller number of young people submit their applications for admission to vocational schools, most typically those who have been denied admission to general or vocational secondary school go on to seek admission to vocational schools to be trained in blue collar jobs. The popularity of seeking admission to vocational schools was increased by a trend of increasing allowances offered for students in vocational schools (there are no allowances for students in general and vocational secondary schools that are available as a ‘basic citizens’ right’), particularly in a particular range of trades.

Young people are admitted to special vocational schools on the basis of the decisions taken by expert committees establishing special educational needs and/or disability, rather than on the basis of an individual decision.

After the completion of the primary school over one third of the students continue their studies in vocational secondary schools, nearly one third of them in vocational schools and 2 % in special vocational schools.

Suitability for the given trade and as well as an adequate health status are among the prerequisites for enrolment to the vocational training grade of a vocational school.

The student status of a school-age student may only be terminated if he or she is admitted to another school at the same time. After reaching the upper limit of the compulsory schooling age (since the 1st of January, 2015 this is the last school day of the school year in which the student reaches age 16;), the student’s student status may be terminated for several reasons, e.g. :

  • following disciplinary action;
  • unjustified absence exceeding the maximum number of classes determined by law;
  • (in the case of a non-disadvantaged student) failing to pay an overdue sum after payment notice, following the examination of his/her social conditions;
  • if the student fails to fulfil the academic requirements of the same school year for the second time.

Age groups and grouping of students

Students entering vocational school may start their secondary studies at the age of 14. In practice however, since the majority of children start primary school not at the age of 6 but at the age of 7, and because quite a number of the students (above 20%) entering vocational schools has repeated a grade or two in primary school, only about a quarter or a fifth of the 9th graders are actually 14 years old, the majority are 15 and some of them are 16 years old.

Typically, pupils graduate from vocational secondary schools at the age of 19, in vocational training schools at 18 and in special vocational schools at 19-20. Since the modification of the Act in 2015, children and young adults are entitled to attend full time secondary schools until the age of 25. After the age of 25 they can continue their education in the framework of adult education (where they can already start at the age of 16).  

Annex 4 to the Act on Public Education specifies the recommended and the minimum and maximum number of students per class.  In vocational secondary schools it is currently 26, 34 and 28 students, in the vocational schools 16, 28 and 24 students, in the 9th and 10th grades and it is 6, 12 and 8 students, in the vocational training grades. The maximum number can only be exceeded in special cases defined by the regulation. In practice, even classes of more than 35 students are found on rare occasions (the schools take the fact into account, that there is a high percentage of drop-outs in the vocational schools, particularly in the 9th grade). In this case the school may even be fined. The majority of classes in higher grades are made up of fewer students: there is a very large number of classes with student numbers of less than the legal minimum. The main reasons for this include the decrease in the number of students year after year as well as a high percentage of drop-outs.

The school determines the percentages of the mandatory classes and the voluntary classes to be used by applying class splitting, along with the subjects to which such classes should be allocated. Foreign language classes are most often organised in split classes - dividing classes typically into two groups - but the teaching of other subjects are also organised in split classes from time to time. Activities may also be organised for individual students as well as for small groups of students in the schools. This may be provided for the purpose of talent fostering or - particularly in vocational schools - for enabling disadvantaged and lagging students to catch up with the rest of the class.

The schedule of the school year

The schedule of the school year is determined by the minister in charge of education in a decree for each school year and it applies to all schools and to all school maintaining organisations on a mandatory basis. Based on this centrally established schedule the schools are authorised to set out the local schedule of the given school year, which is laid out in the school’s work plan. Decision on this is made by the school management but the school board, the parents’ organisation and the students’ government also have a right to comment on it.


The dates of the working days without teaching (the number of which is regulated by the Minister’s decree), along with the purposes for which such days are used; the durations of the breaks, the dates of the anniversary/commemoration days prescribed by law and those specific to the given school; the dates of the celebration of the national and school holidays; the dates of the student assemblies as well as the dates of the teachers’ meetings must be specified in the local schedule of the school year. The school and the student dormitory must mutually notify one another of the adopted local schedule of the given school year.

Schools must organise their work in the framework of school years split into two semesters (terms). The first and last school day of each school year is always determined by the Minister’s relevant decree. As a general rule, the school year starts in schools on the 1st day or on the 1st work day of September every year and it is finished on the 15th of June or, if that is not a workday, on the last workday preceding 15 June every year. The decree sets out the actual number of school-days (it is 182 days in the 2016/2017 school year) and it specifies that the teachers’ body may use six working days without teaching for various pedagogical purposes, the programme of one of which may be decided on by the students’ government. The decree sets out the dates of the autumn, winter and spring breaks. Under certain conditions schools may depart from this but they cannot modify the starting and closing dates of the school year. The decree also specifies the dates of the secondary school leaving examinations.

According to a central regulation the school consists of five-day school weeks in schools. Saturdays and Sundays are resting days with no classes held. Students are also entitled to resting days, with no classes, on public holidays as well. The last day of the school year must be followed by a summer vacation of at least 30 continuous days. Schools are open on all weekdays throughout the calendar year even during teaching holidays and the summer vacation as well, when an administrative stand-by type of work schedule is adopted. At the request of the school board and the students’ government - with the agreement of the organisation maintaining the school - the school weeks may be organised on six days a week as well, when the school days include Saturdays as well. With the school maintaining organisation the principal may also order the organisation of six-day school weeks but the six days a week work schedule is not typically adopted.

Teaching holidays must be provided for students at least three times a year, with two Teaching holidays comprising at least six days and one break consisting of at least four days in a row. In the vocational training grades at least 30 days of teaching holidays must be provided for students participating in practical training with student contracts, which is increased by another 5 days for students below the age of 19. A period of at least 10 days must be provided for the students for preparation before the vocational/trade examination.

The weekly and the daily timetable

The weekly number of the mandatory classes of students is regulated by Appendix 6 of the Public Education Act of 2011. Accordingly, in the grades 9, 11 and 12 of the vocational school not more than 35 classes (hours) may be scheduled per week, and 36 in grade 10. In the vocational training grade the number of mandatory vocational theoretical classes must not exceed seven classes a day and the number of vocational theoretical and vocational practical classes must not exceed eight classes. The Act on Vocational Education provides that in the case of under age students (below the age of 18) the practical training time must not exceed 7 hours a day and in the case of students of age it must not exceed 8 hours a day. The Act on Vocational Education recommends weekly turns for splitting theoretical and practical training and this (or similar option) is, indeed, the most widely adopted practice. As a matter of course, this depends on the sharing of the training time between the theoretical and the practical activities prescribed in the trade and examination requirements of the given qualification.In the vocational training grades there is typically a - usually 4-week - practical training period in the summer. The length of this latter is specified in the vocational and examination requirements issued by the minister in charge of vocational training.

Schools organise non-compulsory (optional) classes as well in line with the interests and needs of their students for a variety of purposes, such as catching up, development, talent fostering, consultation or transferring special or supplementary knowledge elements. The maximum number of such classes is set out in the Public Education Act specifically for each grade, as a percentage of the total number of classes that can be held during a school year. In the 9th and the 10th grade it may be up to 45 while in the 11th-13th grades it may be 60 % but in the case of students with special educational needs it may be increased by the principal. The number of classes allocated to each week may be reallocated between school weeks during a school year.

Schools may organise extracurricular activities as well (study circles, self-education circles, sports circles, choirs etc.) in line with the students’ needs, interests and its own pedagogical programme. Such activities include study hall activities organised by the school, providing an organised means for students’ doing homework and getting prepared outside classes, as required by the parents concerned. Two hours a day can be made available for this purpose in the 9th and in the 10th grade.

Decisions on the students’ daily and weekly time schedules are made by the school’s management board on the basis of the applicable regulations. This is reflected by the weekly and the daily timetable. Such schedules are always worked out for the given school year. The timetable is to be worked out in view of the fact that the length of a theoretical class hour is usually 45 minutes. A school may organise shorter or longer class hours as well (not exceeding 60 minutes) but this is rarely encountered in practice. Practical training is comprised of 60-minute classes. In artistic vocational training even classes not exceeding 90 minutes may be held. In calculating the students’ work load however, the classes must be take into account after converting them into 45-minute classes. Theoretical training may last from 8.00 a.m. until 7.00 p.m. Artistic vocational training grades are an exception to this rule, where theoretical classes may last until 8.00 p.m. The work schedule depends on the needs of the organisation where vocational training takes place, but it must be organised between 6.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m.

Classes as well as extracurricular activities must be separated by breaks for the students. The regime of classes and breaks and the time of the beginning of the school day are set out in the School Rules. The first school hour - class - may not be started by more than 45 minutes earlier, but this requires the consent of both the parents’ organisation and that of the students’ government. The breaks between classes are usually 10 minutes, sometimes 15 minutes in length. If the daily practical training time exceeds - and it usually exceeds - four and a half hours, one break of a minimum of 30 consecutive minutes must be provided for the students.

Theoretical education in vocational schools is typically organised in 5-day working weeks, nearly always in the morning hours, generally between 8.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. With the agreement of the parents’ organisation and the student government schools may add so-called 0th hour in their work schedules, which may not start earlier than 7.15 a.m. and they may hold classes after 2.00 p.m. as well. The (non-compulsory) afternoon activities usually start after 2.30 p.m. and they must be preceded by a lunch break, on a mandatory basis. The daily training of under age students must be organised between 6.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m. A resting time of at least 16 hours must be provided for the students between the completion of practical training and the beginning of practical training on the next day. Practical training in schools is scheduled typically between 7.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m., while at business organisations it is adapted to the working schedule of the unit concerned. On the weekly resting days and holidays a business organisation may assign students to practical training only in the practical training units that are operating on such days as well in accordance with the their business purposes, and only with the consent of the vocational school.

 

A typical schedule of a system based on a 5-day working week

 

Extracurricular activities

Classes in the morning (from - until)

Lunch break

Classes in the afternoon (after lunch)

Extracurricular activities

Monday to Friday

Optional 7.15-8.00 a.m.

8.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m. (it may be started at 7.15 a.m. and it may be ended at 1.00 p.m. or at 3.00 p.m.)

1 hour between 12.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.

Optional, 1.00/2.00 - 2.00/3.00 p.m.

Optional, 2.30 - 6.00 p.m.