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EACEA National Policies Platform


6. Education and Training

6.3 Preventing early leaving from education and training (ELET)

Last update: 2 April 2024
On this page
  1. National strategy
  2. Formal education: main policy measures on ELET
  3. Addressing ELET through non-formal and informal learning and quality youth work
  4. Cross-sector coordination and monitoring of ELET interventions

National strategy

The Public Education Strategy 2021 - 2030

In Hungary there is no national strategy with the specific aim of tackling early school leaving, but this topic was included in the Public Education Strategy 2021 - 2030 (Köznevelési stratégia 2021 - 2030) adopted by the Hungarian Government in 2020. One main aim of the Strategy is to develop access to qualitative and fair education, prevent early school leaving, and develop qualifications.

In relation to this aim, the development areas are

  • decreasing the number of those students who underperforms,
  • further development of the early warning and pedagogical support system,
  • development of the underperforming schools,
  • supporting the education of the children with special educational needs,
  • supporting the students with strengthening the cooperation between the educational institutions and families,
  • programmes for the development of the basic, digital and foreign language skills of the disadvantaged students,
  • unique methodological and resource support for the disadvantaged student groups.
Early warning and pedagogical support system for preventing early school leaving

The amendment of the Government regulation no. 229/2012 (VIII.28.) on the implementation of the Act on National School Education [229/2012. (VIII. 28.) Korm. rendelet] entered into force on November 19 2016. The regulation introduced the early warning and pedagogical support system for

  • the prevention of early school leaving and
  • the commencement of related institutional and state tasks at the national level.

The support system is intended to contribute to achieve the targets of the Europe 2020 strategy, namely that the proportion of early school leavers in Hungary should fall to 10% by 2020. The system draws attention to situations and areas requiring development that, if recognised in time, might prevent the dropout. These are usually linked to

  • declining school performance,
  • problematic behaviour,
  • regular absence from school,
  • problems in the family.

The target was nearly reached in the second half of the school year 2020/2021 (it was 12% in 2021). The dropout rate was higher than 10% in only 3 counties and in 1 region. Based on the latest data from the Educational Authority, the rate of pupils at risk of dropping out of school was higher than 10% in the second half of the school year 2022/2023 in only 1 county.

Formal education: main policy measures on ELET

Scholarships for preventing early school leaving
Arany János Programmes

The Arany János Talent Programme (Arany János Tehetséggondozó Program) and the Arany János College Programme (Arany János Kollégiumi Program) are complex support schemes for socially disadvantaged students in upper secondary education, thus trying to prevent early school leaving. These programmes aim to provide complex-pedagogical, social, health and cultural support for dropout groups of students. For more information, see sub-chapter 4.4 Inclusive Programmes for Young People.

The 'Útravaló' Scholarship Programme

The 'Útravaló' Scholarship Programme (Útravaló Ösztöndíjprogram) was set up to provide support for disadvantaged youth (mainly Roma) to prepare for further education or finish their current studies in primary or secondary education. According to the information provided by the ministry in 2021, almost 10 000 students acquire professional and financial support in each year and in the 'Road to Degree' Programme (Út a diplomához program) in the 2020/2021 academic year 507 students have a scholarship in the frame of the programme and 170 of them were Roma.

The 'Apáczai' Scholarship Programme

The Apáczai Scholarship Programme (Apáczai Ösztöndíj) was launched in 2021 and aims to provide financial support for disadvantaged students in vocational education with good academic results. From the second half of the 2021/2022 academic year, students in Technicum Schools can also apply for that scholarship. The amount of support is between HUF 16 000 – HUF 34 000 per month (about EUR 41-87) dependent on the study results. According to the ministry information in 2024, 7 903 disadvantaged students have received support in the project so far.

The Complex Basic Program

The Complex Basic Program (Komplex Alapprogram) was launched in 2017. The programme focuses on providing methodological training for teachers to prevent disadvantaged students from dropping out from primary school. Further objectives are to support these students in obtaining a school-leaving certificate and to eliminate academic disadvantage. The project grant amounts to HUF 9.8 billion (about EUR 25 million).

The programme consists of 5 sub-programmes that support the development of students' skills and competencies in different areas:

  • Digitalisation-based sub-programme aims to acquire the competencies of digital literacy through experiential learning.
  • The life-practice-based sub-programme aims to develop and maintain productive life practices related to topics such as healthy lifestyle, life management, sustainability, citizenship, family and emotional intelligence.
  • The art-based sub-programme aims, among other things, to use art-related activities to give students an extra motivation to learn, to teach indirect learning techniques about perception, attention, memory and thinking, and to teach interdisciplinary knowledge.
  • The logic-based sub-programme aims to develop students' logical, thinking and problem-solving skills through playful methods.
  • The physical education-based sub-programme aims to achieve personality development in the peer community through movement and to promote acceptance, cooperation, equality and community life, among other things.

In the frame of the program free methodological trainings are available for teachers between 2022-2025 (Komplex Alapprogram, Távoktatásos képzések 2023/2024).

The Program is coordinated by the Eszterházy Károly University and 173 primary school participated in the Program till October 2019.

According to ministry information in 2024, more than 700 schools with 10 000 teachers and 130 000 students took part in the programme in 2023. According to the feedback from participants the programme supported teachers in methodological development, coordinating cooperation between students with different competencies and dealing with learning and behavioural problems.

The Complex Basic Program and the Public Education Strategy 2021 – 2030

The Ministry's information from 2023 emphasises that the Complex Basic Program contributes to the objectives of the Public Education Strategy in various ways. One main objective of the programme is to provide disadvantaged students with equal access to quality education, together with social inclusion and talent development, and this is also mentioned in the strategy. In addition, patriotic education, family life and health education are promoted in the sub-programmes (this objective is also included in the National Core Curriculum - Nemzeti Alaptanterv).

The programme also creates a balance between the transfer of knowledge, the development of skills and competencies and the formation of attitudes through its complex pedagogical-methodological view and uses the methodology of subject integration, i.e. working on topics that require the knowledge of several subjects. The programme also supports the organisation of thematic days and weeks as well as various projects based on the active learning methodology.

The Springboard program and the workshop school program

To tackle early school leaving and to integrate to the labour market those who has lower educational attainment, the government set up the Springboard program (Dobbantó program) and the workshop school program. Similar type of supports has already existed, these were called the School Education Bridge Program (Köznevelési HÍD – program) and the Vocational Training Bridge Program (Szakképzési HÍD – program) and they were transformed to these new programs.

The target group of the Springboard program are those young people who

After the Springboard program, the student can attend a workshop school (Műhelyiskola) aimed at acquiring the skills needed to enter vocational training or the labour market. This type of school provides a partial qualification in a trade, in a few months. There is a so-called 'mentor' who supports the student in learning a trade.

For these programs, the Ministry of Culture and Innovation is responsible in general, and the Vocational Training Centrums (Szakképzési Centrumok) are coordinating at local level. Students participating in these programs can receive a scholarship of 5% of the minimum wage.

Results of the Springboard Program

The participation in the Springboard Programme has continuously increased in last years. 

In the 2022/2023 academic year among state maintained schools

  • 53 schools from 33 Vocational Training Centrums offered training in the frame of the Springboard programme and 855 students participated in these trainings (in 2021/2022, 50 schools had trainings and 761 students participated) and
  • 74 schools from 39 Vocational Training Centrums launched a workshop school programme and 1 340 students participated in workshop school programs (in previous year 60 schools had trainings and 1 049 students participated).

In the 2020/2021 school year, more than 500 students participated in the Springboard program and attended workshop schools and in September 2021 the programme was already offered in 63 schools in the country.

Furthermore, in the 2022/2023 academic year

  • 39% of the students who participated in workshop school programs obtained a job (it was 45% in the previous year),
  • 18% of them started a vocational school program (it was 16% in the year before) and
  • 14% of them went to another workshop school program (it was 4% in the year before).

The Springboard program is also mentioned in Eurydice sub-chapter 2.3 Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure.

'Orientation classes'

The 'Orientation Classes' ('Orientációs évfolyam') were started from the 2022/2023 school year in 47 schools. The aim of these preparation classes is recommended for those students who obtained the primary education certificate but needs redevelopment or do not know which type of secondary school or profession they should choose.

According to the ministry, 26 state and 1 non-state school from 19 Vocational Training Centrums (Szakképzési Centrumok) held 'orientation classes' in the 2022/2023 school year, in which a total of 353 students participated. The proportion of students with special needs among them is 33% and the proportion of disadvantaged and children with multiple disadvantages is 20%. 34% of the participants attended a vocational school, 8% a technicum, 19% a workshop school, 1% a secondary school and 13% plan to find a job after the orientation class year.

Technicum Schools with a degree certificate

From the 2021/2022 academic year a new type of training is available, Technicum Schools with a degree certificate (okleveles technikusképzés). It means that during Technicum School the students participate in higher education courses besides the general professional education and the practical training. At the end of this training, they receive a professional certificate, a maturity exam, and a degree certificate for the higher education courses. Furthermore, in the admission process, the university can recognize the knowledge that the student acquired and can recognize 30 credits. 

According to the ministry in 2023, the main objective is to make the Technicum Schools the 'hall' of technical-IT-academic education with a certificate of completion. In addition, it is important to improve the application of students for higher education after graduating from Technicum Schools and to give them the opportunity to gain easier access to higher education from vocational training in order to prevent them from dropping out of school prematurely. 

The Technicum School and the university establish the curriculum and the frame of cooperation together for each training. In the 2023/2024 academic year, 296 approved trainings were available nationwide.

Addressing ELET through non-formal and informal learning and quality youth work

The Tanoda Programme

The Tanoda Programme (Tanoda program) was established to prevent early school leaving. It is a community scene featuring a non-governmental organisation with local features based on voluntary participation and focusing on the individual needs of children. It provides a complex service for the development of personality that would be otherwise unavailable for disadvantaged children. For this programme we cannot make a difference between age groups, since every Tanoda has unique mix of age groups. It depends on who is involved into it. There are places, where special target groups are involved (for example disadvantaged children in kindergartens or in primary school), but usually students from the youth age group (16-18 years) and from primary schools are present.


The schools are usually established by foundations, public benefit organisations and other non-governmental organisations, and they are mainly run by volunteer staff.

The amount of the support in the budget was HUF 2.5 billion (about EUR 6.4 million), which was allocated first in 2019. In 2023, this amount was HUF 2.8 billion (about EUR 7.2 million) and for 2024 HUF 3.09 billion (about EUR 7.9 million).

Results of the Programme

The practical activities of the schools are diverse, for example, the Csepp Tanoda School of Csobánka (Csobánkai Csepp Tanoda) helps Roma children in learning, acquiring the curriculum by common learning. The Kompánia Tanoda (Kompánia Tanoda) also organises afternoon training where they provide individual development, rehearsal, computer use and English language training. 

The Toldi Tanoda, created by the Real Pearl Foundation (Igazgyöngy Alapítvány), aims to develop reading motivation, reading comprehension, mathematics, foreign language and social competencies, prepares children in kindergarten for school, and organises recreational development programs. They held 1 045 individual activities for 72 children with 33 voluntary teachers and they organized 4 camps in the 2021/2022 academic year.

According to Ministry information, Tanoda services have a demonstrable effect on improving students' academic results. An achievement survey was conducted in 2022. According to the data, more girls attended Tanoda than boys. Of the girls who remain in the school system, they prefer to continue their education in high school than the boys. Boys prefer to learn a trade because they can find a job more quickly on the labour market. In the 2021-2022 school year, 76% of eighth-graders who attended Tanoda stated that they would continue their education in high school and later choose higher education in Hungary.

The Tanodas also organise leisure activities during the summer holidays. In summer 2022, daycare and boarding camps were also organised for around 4 300 children.

The 'Let's Teach for Hungary' program

The 'Let's Teach for Hungary' (Tanítsunk Magyarországért) program aims to provide opportunities for the young people (especially primary school students) living in small towns and in villages and prevent them from early school leaving. According to their website, the mentor has an important role in the program:

'The task of the mentors standing next to them is to show them the excitement and possibilities of the world beyond the settlement - high schools, businesses, so that they can see how many different occupations and futures they can choose from.'

The program was launched by the

The program has 4 pillars:

  • university mentor program,
  • secondary school mentor program,
  • HÖOK mentor program and
  • business mentor program.

In 2023, they mentored 4 700 students in 110 elementary schools, with 1 100 mentors, studying in higher education institutions. From March 2023, they became the part of the National Talent Centre (Nemzeti Tehetség Központ).

Cross-sector coordination and monitoring of ELET interventions

The Public Education Strategy 2021 - 2030 (Köznevelési stratégia 2021 - 2030) states that the policies related to early school leaving must

  • identify the social and educational factors that can result in early school leaving and
  • continuously monitor the educational pathways of the most vulnerable pupils.

To achieve this, the early warning and educational support system mentioned above is used and special measures are implemented for students or young people who would leave the education system. The coordination of implementation and monitoring requires the involvement of various actors from the relevant ministries and other non-public actors in the field of public education.

In general, cooperation with local institutions and civil organisations (including social, health, sports, child and youth protection organisations) is very important for the coordination of ELET interventions. It is also important to ensure efficient communication and cooperation between schools and the various stakeholders, as well as the involvement of local cultural institutions in extracurricular educational activities.

Furthermore, the strategy defines a monitoring system based on an annual evaluation and related to the Action Plan of the Strategy.