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In Hungary, the main body responsible for education is the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma), and its organisational unit, called the State Secretariat Responsible for Public Education (Köznevelésért Felelős Államtitkárság).
Furthermore, for vocational and adult training and for higher education,
- the State Secretariat Responsible for Higher Education, Vocational Training and Innovation (Felsőoktatásért, Szakképzésért és Innovációért Felelős Államtitkárság) under the Ministry for Innovation and Techonology,
- especially for higher education, the Deputy State Secretary of Higher Education (felsőoktatásért felelős helyettes államtitkár)
- especially for vocational training, the Deputy State Secretary of Vocational Training (szakképzésért felelős helyettes államtitkár),
- the Ministry of Agriculture (Agrárminisztérium),
- the Ministry of Interior (Belügyminisztérium) and
- the Ministry of Defence (Honvédelmi Minisztérium) also take part in educational tasks.
The most notable background institution is the National Institute of Vocational and Adult Training (Nemzeti Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Hivatal).
'The new Public Education Act adopted in 2011 extends the competence of the Minister for public education in education administration in line with the public administration reform. Recently, the state, in accordance with the new public administration concept and with Act CLXXXVIII of 2012 and the amendment of the Act on Municipalities, has taken over the schools operated by the municipalities. To operate state-maintained schools, the government has established a national school maintenance centre Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Centre (Klebelsberg Központ).' (Eurydice, sub-chapter 2.6 Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level)
Furthermore, an important actor of the educational policy is the Education Office (Oktatási Hivatal) which operates under the Ministry of Human Capacities. It is responsible for all issues related to the matter of studies, from the date of entry into primary school, until the highest qualification is obtained (except for adult training).
National Pedagogue Faculty
The National Pedagogue Faculty (Nemzeti Pedagógus Kar) is a local governmental body of the teachers working in public education institutions maintained by state and local governments. Every teacher can be a member of it. The main purpose of the organisation is to comment on legislation related to education, overview the organisation of the compulsory community service for secondary school students in Hungary and to operate the related advisory and information system. For more information on school community service, see sub-chapters 2.1 General context and 5.7 'Learning to participate' through formal, non-formal and informal learning.
Public actors in higher education
Hungarian Rectors' Conference (Magyar Rektori Konferencia)
In Hungary, there are two national organisations that represent actors of higher education. The Hungarian Rectors' Conference [Magyar Rektori Konferencia (MRK)] provides a representation of the entire Hungarian higher education institution system. The board consists of heads of institutions and is responsible for:
- representation of higher education institutions,
- protecting their interests and
- participating in the performance of public tasks.
National Organisation of Student Self-governing Bodies (Hallgatói Önkormányzatok Országos Konferenciája)
The organisation for the representation of students is the National Organisation of Student Self-governing Bodies [Hallgatói Önkormányzatok Országos Konferenciája (HÖOK)]. It is organised and functioning on a democratic basis by the students' self-government of higher education institutions. In order to improve Hungarian higher education, it performs various activities (tevékenységek):
- activities linked to higher education and youth policy,
- maintains contact with Hungarian students in the neighbouring countries,
- initiates legislation to carry out these tasks,
- forms opinion,
- organises conferences and professional lectures. (For more information see sub-chapter 5.3 Youth representation bodies.)
Educational research and development related activities
- innovation and
- service activities for the public (and to a lesser extent) higher education.
The activities of the institute were:
- research and development in public and higher education,
- international benchmarking and analysis,
- expert activities in the preparation of professional decisions on education management,
- data services,
- and broad dissemination of professional results.
'its tasks were transferred to Könyvtárellátó Nonprofit Kft. as of January 1 2017. Tasks related to educational development (such as research, content and textbook development) are performed by a state institution of higher education (Eszterházy Károly University) appointed by the Ministry of Human Capacities. Management of the above tasks is carried out by the Ministry of Human Capacities.'
The tasks of the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development (apart from publishing textbooks) were taken over by the Institute for Educational Research and Development at Eszterházy Károly University (Eszterházy Károly Egyetem Oktatáskutató- és Fejlesztő Intézet). Then, the tasks related to public education were taken over (átvette) by the Education Office (Oktatási Hivatal) since December 1 2019.
Important organisations of teachers
Two organisations from the side of the teachers are worth mentioning, which have a role to play in education policy:
- the Democratic Trade Union of Teachers (Pedagógusok Demokratikus Szakszervezete), and
- the Trade Union of Teachers (Pedagógusok Szakszervezete).
The first one is the Democratic Trade Union of Teachers (Pedagógusok Demokratikus Szakszervezete), which was founded in 1986 and whose activities include education and labour interest reconciliation, pedagogical representation, and legal assistance. The other organisation is the Trade Union of Teachers (Pedagógusok Szakszervezete), which is the oldest and, according to its membership, the largest sectoral trade union in Hungary. Its job is, among others, to provide advocacy and protection of the interests of teachers and educators.
Non-public actors taking part in the development of policies in education
The Trade Union of Employees in Higher Education (referred hereinafter to as FDSZ)
'The FDSZ is an independent organisation safeguards higher education employees' interests according to laws and any other legislative acts and is able to create an alliance with other organisations. FDSZ and its institutional organisations have rights to represent their members' interests on forums where governmental goals are defined, draft legislative acts are prepared and decisions are taken - all concerned to education and research in higher education. Furthermore, it develops and maintains relationships with home and international organisations dealing with education and working life by representing public servants' interests employed in higher education.'
FDSZ is the third biggest Union in Hungary, and its members are from higher education institutions (teachers, administration staff, researchers, support personnel, technical assistant staff, teachers at preparatory schools of universities and, also retired higher education staff members).
General distribution of responsibilities
From January 1 2017, the institutions of public education are run by the Klebelsberg Center (Klebelsberg Központ), organised into 60 educational district centres. Educational institutions founded by national minority self-governments or churches, as well as private schools and kindergartens maintained by cities may continue to operate. In their case, the maintainer is to determine the operating rules. The educational district centre (tankerület) is responsible for appointing the employees of the public educational institution. The head of the institution is responsible for the operation of the institution. For more detailed information, see Eurydice (sub-chapter 2.7 Administration and Governance at Local and / or Institutional Level)
Generally, those ministries and institutions have to cooperate in education issues which are mentioned at the beginning of this sub-chapter. Especially for the vocational training, the Ministry for Innovation and Technology and its bacground institution and the National Office of Vocational Education and Training (Nemzeti Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Hivatal) are responsible together. Their tasks are
- to make decisions,
- maintenance at an operational level.
Need of cooperation
One of the main areas of the Public Education Development Strategy (Köznevelés-fejlesztési stratégia), adopted in 2014, is the fight against leaving school without qualifications, to which the later [6.3. Preventing early leaving from education and training (ELET)] discussed medium-term strategy and action plan was elaborated. The ESL Action Plan (cselekvési terv) states that many sectors are responsible for the implementation of the ESL strategy, and therefore, cooperation between sectors, as well as the realisation of a coordinated, integrated implementation-supporting co-operation, is the most important. In 2019, according to the information provided by the Ministry these sectors are:
- from the government: Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma), Ministry of Finance (Pénzügyminisztérium);
- from public sector: Klebelsberg Centre (Klebelsberg Központ), National Office of Vocational Education and Training (Nemzeti Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Hivatal), Education Office (Oktatási Hivatal), Pedagogical Educational Centres (Pedagógiai Oktatási Központok), Vocational Training Centres (Szakképzési Centrumok) maintainers of educational institutes, local governments;
- from non-public sector: youth and civil organisations, professional forums, organisations from the social area, cultural institutes (libraries, museums).
Legislative changes in recent years have demanded and also presuppose many 'sectoral' cooperation, for example, due to the legal division of tasks in the secondary school structure, where vocational training was transferred to the Ministry of Finance [between 2010 and 2018 Ministry for National Economy (Nemzetgazdasági Minisztérium)].
Similarly, the operation of other government sectors (ministries, such as the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior) as the maintainers of institutions is also a field for such cooperation. In addition, there is a need for cooperation for the compulsory community service for high school students ('Fogadó Intézmény'), in social, health, environmental areas etc.
For example, in the case of thematic weeks (see sub-chapter 6.4 Validation of non-formal and informal learning for more information), when providers and employers work with educational institutions.
Examples can also be found for when a company carries out a school maintenance task (Audi Hungaria Schule Győr).
In the field of talent management, there are also examples of sectoral cooperation, like in the case of the Genius Loci award ('Genius Loci – Vállalatok és vállalkozók a tehetségekért' díj).
Dual training in higher education
Due to the positive results of foreign dual training and domestic initiatives (hazai kezdeményezések), the government has introduced the dual training model in Hungary. The dual-type training programme is a special practice-oriented higher education course with the cooperation of higher education and economic operators aiming students to gain practical knowledge during their academic years. According to the information provided by the Ministry in 2019, the following institutions take part in the cross-sectoral cooperation:
- Ministry for Innovation and Technology (Innovációs és Technológiai Minisztérium),
- Dual Training Council (Duális Képzési Tanács) representing members of professionals from Ministries, from Higher Educational Institutions and directors of the workplaces which take part in the dual training,
- the Department Responsible for Internship and Dual Trainings in the Education Office (Oktatási Hivatal Szakmai Gyakorlatok és Duális Képzések Osztálya) which provides the secretariat tasks of the Dual Training Council and therefore cooperate with all of the above-mentioned institutions.