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Hungary:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

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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

Organisation of doctoral studies

Doctoral programmes are mainly offered at universities, since only higher education institutions able (and entitled) to provide doctoral programmes and award a doctoral degree may fall into the category “university”.Doctoral programmes are provided in doctoral schools operating within higher education institutions in branches of study defined by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. (In the field of arts, there are programmes ending in a “Doctor of Liberal Arts” degree.) The operation of doctoral schools and the awarding of doctoral degrees are supervised by the doctoral councils of institutions.

Doctoral schools can operate and doctoral programmes can be offered only if accredited in an accreditation procedure. In line with a recently introduced government decree, doctoral studies basically include two phases: the first phase is a doctoral course of at least 120 ECTS credits (usually 2 years), ending with a comprehensive examination. Successful students may move on to the second phase, a doctoral degree award procedure consisting of an individual research work, and the elaboration and public defence of a doctoral thesis. There are three years available in this second phase, which, in justified cases, can be extended by one year.

The same regulations apply to doctoral schools/programmes in all branches of study. Doctoral schools operate in all branches of study, although in each university there are usually a few doctoral schools, e.g. one in every faculty.

Regulations have different provisions for the two phases. In the first phase, during the doctoral course the same rules apply as in the other programmes, while in the second phase (in the degree award procedure) special rules apply (primarily concerning submission deadlines and procedures). According to the law, the first phase “encompasses education, research and assessment (and in many cases internship) related activities conducted either individually or groups, tailored to the particularities of the field of science concerned and meeting the needs of PhD students”, during which several programmes require teaching practice in a higher education institution or work experience outside the university. Furthermore, emphasis is put on individual research and on direct professional consultation.  For the time being, no distinction is made according to profiles (research and professional doctorate) – even though, both profiles are clearly present in practice.

Participants of the second phase, the doctoral degree award procedure, are called PhD/DLA candidates. PhD/DLA candidates have not necessarily undertaken the first phase, it is also possible to prepare individually for a doctoral degree. The prerequisites are a Master degree and fulfilling the admission requirements to the doctoral degree programme. Higher education institutions cannot reject the application of candidates who have successfully accomplished the first phase at their institution. Doctoral students have the legal status of students and are entitled to state-funded grants. However, state-funded places are limited; the majority of doctoral students pays a fee and undertakes work in addition to pursuing studies in order to cover the cost of studies. This is one of the reasons why there is a low number of PhD students actually receiving a doctoral degree.

Admission Requirements

Selection of doctoral students is within the competence of the doctoral schools of higher education institutions.The institutions are entitled to define their own rules on procedures and the criteria for applications. There is only one legal prerequisite to admission: holding a Master degree. Typically there are oral entrance examinations for doctoral courses.

The number of doctoral students is not limited, the government only limits the number of state-funded places. The National Doctoral Council, consisting of the chairs of the doctoral councils of higher education institutions, defines the principles of distributing the state funded places among higher education institutions.

Status of Doctoral Students/Candidates

Doctoral students have the legal status of students with the same rights and responsibilities as Bachelor and Master students, e.g. entitlement to health and social insurance, performance based and need based grants and other welfare benefits.

However, a large number of doctoral students are admitted as fee-paying students. Similarly to students at state funded places, they have a student card entitling them to discounted rates when travelling or discounted admission tickets to cultural and other facilities. However, they are not entitled to state funded grants. Therefore, most students work while studying. The schedule of the doctoral courses are scheduled in such a way that it enables them to attend classes.

Supervision Arrangements

The law does not regulate supervision and thus there are different internal regulations and different practice in doctoral schools. Typically, if there is no professor/researcher available for supporting a doctoral student in the doctoral programme, the doctoral school will hire one from another programme or another school for this specific task. However, no formal agreements are concluded between students and the supervisor and the doctoral programme.  Multiple supervision arrangements are rare: independent experts are usually involved in the final comprehensive examination thesis (at least one external expert) and the defence of the doctoral thesis (at least two external experts).

The academic advancement of university staff members (lecturers, researchers) does not take place in the framework of doctoral programmes, but within the requirement framework defined by the human resource regulations of the universities. These regulate the criteria for each academic position as well as the regular evaluation of lecturers and researchers. This evaluation procedure is also considered during the accreditation review process (every 5 years), however, it is less typical for university professors, docents and senior research fellow with Ph.D. Also, international tutoring/co-tutoring by supervisors is also uncommon; it is mainly dependent on the financial capacity of doctoral schools.

Employability

There are no systematically collected statistics on the ability of doctoral schools to improve employability. Some reports show that in several fields of science there are significant links to the local economy. Industrial staff may act as lecturers, tutors and external examiners at the defence of the doctoral thesis. In some fields (e.g. engineering, science, agriculture) it is typical that doctoral students and PhD candidates take a job at companies operating in that field during their doctoral studies, or people working in these field often enrol in a doctoral programme, which can promote the improvement of employability.

Assessment

There is no policy on student assessment at either national or institutional level. Although some institutions have started developing such a policy, it is generally the competence of teachers, especially in smaller institutions.

In the first phase, the doctoral course, typically oral examinations are held at the end of the terms in the exam periods but there may also be written examinations/tasks. In case of small-group classes (seminars, laboratory practice) there is usually continuous assessment of students. The performance assessment of students is identical to the assessment in the other programmes: either on a 3-point scale (excellent, satisfactory, fail) or 5-point scale (5 – excellent, 4 – good, 3 – satisfactory, 2 – pass, 1 – fail). There are no monitoring or research activities focusing on these practices at national or institutional level.

Doctoral schools regulate the way of assessment of the research activity and the doctoral thesis of doctoral students, but these primarily focus on the evaluation method and criteria of the individual research work of the student and the PhD thesis. Scientometric methods are often used for evaluating the research activities of doctoral students, since they are required to publish the findings of their research. Very often, one of the requirements of enrolling to the degree award procedure is to achieve a certain publication index and impact factor. In disciplines where there are not enough accessible publication opportunities for doctoral students or there are no internationally standardised scientometric methods, doctoral schools themselves develop assessment tools to evaluate the performance of doctoral students. These are also similar to a publication index but also including presentations at conferences, articles in journals and technical translation etc.

Doctoral councils also set criteria for the evaluation of doctoral theses (according to the traditions of the discipline) and especially for the procedure of evaluation in order to ensure the presence of external evaluators and examination board members. However, there is no information on a comprehensive review of the relevant provisions of the Doctoral Council.

Certification

Higher education institutions are entitled to granting degrees if they are recognised by the parliament and are entitled to awarding doctoral degrees (PhD, DLA) after a university status accreditation procedure. The doctoral degree is defined in the Higher Education Act and is awarded by the doctoral councils of universities. The doctoral council of a university decides on granting the degree upon recommendation by the committee of the doctoral schools. It is also the doctoral council that determines the requirements to be met for the different grades of doctoral degrees (rite, cum laude, summa cum laude). Following the decision, the higher education institution concerned hands over the degree (and the certificate certifying it) to the candidate at a ceremony.

Pursuant to the Higher Education Act, PhD degree holders may use the titles “PhD” or “Dr.” before their names and DLA degree holders may use the titles “DLA” or “Dr.”. The doctoral degree is officially recognised by the state.

According to the Act on Higher Education, holders of the Candidate of Sciences degree, who received their degree before 1993 are entitled to use the designation ”doctoral degree”, and where a law stipulates a scientific degree as a precondition of employment or qualification, this can be construed as a doctoral degree.

Organisational Variation

In Hungary there are no unusual or less common organisational variations of doctoral programmes or any programmes in the third cycle that do not lead to a doctoral degree.