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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.4 Raising awareness about global issues

Last update: 31 August 2022
On this page
  1. Formal, non-formal and informal learning
  2. Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues
  3. Information providers
  4. Key initiatives

Formal, non-formal and informal learning

Formal education
Global issues covered in high school

The aforementioned Concept on Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről) outlines the core values of global responsibility, namely:

  • 'openness,
  • empathy,
  • holistic approach,
  • adopting global perspectives,
  • engaging in social justice,
  • peaceful and effective conflict management,
  • child and youth orientation,
  • (environmental, social and economic considerations),
  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills.'

The intention is that by acquiring all these values, young people will be able to understand the world of interdependence and global problems. Global issues are defined in the Concept as

  • poverty,
  • climate change,
  • wars and regional conflicts.

The document emphasises

  • peace education,
  • education for democracy, civic responsibility, participation,
  • education of activities,
  • awareness,
  • respect and observance of human rights,
  • education for self-knowledge,
  • knowledge of other cultures and appreciation of education,
  • environmental education and
  • sustainability education.

The Concept also urges the expansion of the topics of global education in the Eco-School Education and Training Program (Ökoiskolai nevelési-oktatási program), taking into account the following areas:

  • 'respect for human dignity and solidarity,
  • education for democracy,
  • active citizenship education,
  • human rights awareness,  awareness raising and respect for other cultures,
  • respect for education,
  • education for the environment and sustainability,
  • education for development'. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről)]
The appearance of global education in high schools

The Global Responsibility Education Concept does not detail the exact integration of global issues in high school and higher education. However, in addition to environmental education clearly appearing in elementary school environments, and classes in biology, chemistry and geography in secondary schools, there are a number of lessons available to schools to incorporate the issues of global education into their curriculum.

Most of the lessons available are related to environmental education or the topic of sustainability, for exmaple

but the development of relevant competences is also supported by

the Digital Theme Week Programme (Digitális Témahét) and the so-called 'Money7' - Financial and Entrepreneurial Thematic Week ('Pénz7' – Pénzügyi és Vállalkozói Témahét).

The emergence of global education in higher education

According to the Concept, 'the social function of higher education is to important and transfer modern knowledge, to ensure sustainable development in the country's scientific and technical development, and to secure the cooperation of education, research and economy.' [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről] In higher education, most courses that can be completed include training related to environmental awareness or other global issues.

However, there are separate degrees both in the field of environmental science, like

In addition, graduate and PhD programs in nature conservation are available in Hungary in the University of Debrecen, University of Sopron, University of PannoniaSzent István University, Eötvös Lorand University (ELTE) and the University of Szeged. It is also possible to obtain qualifications in the field of higher technical education, which was introduced in 2011, especially in the field of agricultural education.

Non-formal education

At the turn of the millennium, the Ministry of Education (Oktatási Minisztérium), then the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma) and the Ministry of Agriculture (Agrárminisztérium) [former Ministry of Environment (Környezetvédelmi Minisztérium)] launched the Eco-school Program (Ökoiskola Program). The aim was to create foundations for the education of sustainable development.

Under the Programme, schools can acquire the so-called 'Eco-school' or 'All-time eco-school' title, awarded directly by the State Secretary Responsible for Public Education. In addition, the schools who award this title, become the member of the Network of the Hungarian Echo-schools as professional members, where they can share good practices, guides and can get access to trainings and programmes.

At the beginning of 2016, the number of institutions with the 'Eco-school' title was over 900, and most of them had the title 'All-time Eco-school'. At present, 23% of Hungarian schools are members of the program, and one third have been awarded the 'All-time Eco-school' title. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről] In 2021, about 175 schools awarded each of the titles (Ökoiskolák adatbázisa) and overall 1200 schools are participating.

School community service

The Concept combines global responsibility education with social responsibility in the frame of the school community service. [Act CXC of 2011 on National Public Education (2011. évi CXC. törvény a nemzeti köznevelésről)] The Concept emphasises the education of global responsibility in all high schools, and it also fits into a complex, carefully thought-out active national education programme. This is the purpose of serving the school community service. According to the Concept, the experience gained here can be used by students in later stages of their lives. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről)] (See more information below on the school community service.)

No Hate Speech Movement

Hungary has also joined the European level No Hate Speech campaign, which was established in Hungary with the support of the State Secretariat for Sport  and for Family and Youth and the National Youth Council (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Tanács) is also a member. For the period 2013-2018 the campaign aims to reduce hate speech on the Internet, to sensitise young people to human rights and to become active citizens.

'The campaign is against all forms of online hate speech, including those that mostly affect young people, such as cyberbullying and internet hatred. The campaign is based on human rights education, participation by young people and the media. The aim is to reduce the presence of hate speech and tackle racism and discrimination online.' [Strategic Dimensions of the Campaign (A kampány stratégiai dimenziói)]

The project primarily focuses on

As part of the project the methodological manual called Bookmarks (Böngésző) was published in Hungarian in 2015 (then revised in 2016) by the European Council. It contains 25 interactive, cooperation-based, non-formal education practices to help human rights education and the fight against online hate speech. The book primarily focuses on young people between 13 and 30.

'The topics in the No Hate Speech campaign are the freedom of expression; human rights; racism and discrimination; digital literacy; Internet harassment; democracy and participation; campaign strategy; privacy and security; the problem of online hate speech. [No Hate Speech Movement - young people against online hate speech (No Hate Speech Movement - fiatalok az online gyűlületbeszéd ellen)]

Support for educators - Pedagogue training

The Government Decree No. 277/1997 (II.22) on the training of teachers, the examinations of teachers and the allowances and benefits of those in further training (A pedagógus-továbbképzésről, a pedagógus-szakvizsgáról, valamint a továbbképzésben részt vevők juttatásairól és kedvezményeiről szóló 277/1997. (II. 22.) Korm. rendelet) regulates the conditions for the establishment of teacher training programmes in Hungary.

The Concept suggests that the Eötvös Loránd University is the only institution offering continuing education in the field of sustainable development. Nevertheless, 'there are currently more than 50 accredited pedagogical continuing education courses at the Education Office for global education and sustainable development', each with 30, 40, 60, 90 and 120 hours.

The focus of these training sessions are

  • environmental education,
  • sustainability education,
  • environment-conscious thinking and behaviour.

The Concept explains that although there are many tools available for teachers, they are not structured yet, but were outlined mostly by civil society organisations or by the staff of the Hungarian Institute for the Institute of Educational Research and Development (Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő Intézet) to help formal and non-formal education.

The Concept recognises that the achievements and developments so far do not 'pass on the public education system and higher education as a whole, good practices are not widely known' and urges further elaboration of appropriate methods, practices and curricula that can be applied to the formation of attitudes. [Concept for Global Responsibility Education (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről)]

Lesson plans, teaching materials:

Main programmes or actions aimed at supporting young people to learn about global issues 'by doing'

'You Will Be More If You Act!' ('Több leszel, ha teszel!')

The emphasised goal of the Hungarian Government was

  • to spread the culture of volunteering,
  • to reach out and engage the population in volunteering, and
  • to support campaigns on this topic ['You Will Be More If You Act!' - Application ('Több leszel, ha teszel!' - Pályázati felhívás)]

The aim of this call was

  • to support and bring together organisations, movements and actions committed to promoting volunteering,
  • promoting the culture of volunteering,
  • increasing the number of volunteers, and
  • to carry out programmes and activities that contribute to the achievement of these goals, and which require the active involvement of volunteers.

The winners of the call have to use a common slogan and logo ('Pályázati felhívás') which can provide some form of guarantee to those who used it, or to those who volunteered at events and actions they organise, that volunteers were giving their help in the right place and for a good cause.

The goal for this slogan and logo was to have the same meaning for anyone who used it, looks at it, or even saw it somewhere. That it was a trusted volunteer organisation, movement, event, or person who could be bravely supported, because as users they worked for the same purpose: spreading social responsibility, solidarity, turning to each other.

In 2019, within the framework of the Children and Youth Fund (Gyermek- és Ifjúsági Alapprogram), non-profit organisations may have also applied for grants

  • to promote volunteering,
  • promote the culture of volunteering and
  • increase the number of volunteers.

The aim was to

'implement youth programmes and activities that promote these goals and require the active contribution and participation of young volunteers.' ['You Will Be More If You Act!' - Application ('Több leszel, ha teszel!' - 'Pályázati felhívás')]  

At the end of the programme, on 5th December 2019 (on the International Day of Volunteers), the State Secretariat for Family and Youth Affairs implemented a Santa Claus package-making campaign ('Önkéntesek világnapja') involving young volunteers who participated on 'Opportunity Classes' ('Esélyóra' - a class where students can meet people with disabilities and discuss topics like equal opportunities) in their school. Finally, 600 gift packages were delivered to three public educational institutions in Budapest, where children and young people with disabilities continue their studies.

'You pick it up!' ('TeSzedd!') – Volunteering for a pure Hungary

According to its own self-determination, Hungary's largest volunteer movement is 'TeSzedd!' (in approximate translation: 'You pick it up!'), organised by the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (Innovációs és Technológiai Minisztérium). In 2016, the programme was implemented seven times across the country. Its aim is the volunteer cleaning of the participant's neighbourhood. By this activity, the students involved can complete 5 hours of school community service from their compulsory 50 hours.

The objectives and scope of the programme or action is to clean up public areas throughout the country. It lasts 3 days per year (since 2011). The target group is everyone, especially young people, students.

The 'TeSzedd!' today is the largest voluntary initiative in Hungary, completed for the ninth time in 2021. The main activities and main achievements were: in 2019, 1100 educational institutions, 240 000 volunteers collecting more than 3 thousands tonnes of garbage on 3 240 sites ('TeSzedd!' - Aktuális). In 2021, 650 education institution have registered their classes for the voluntary waste collection (the low number is due to the pandemic situtation, according to the Ministry information).

The Ministry for Innovation and Technology is responsible for the funding of the movement.

72 hours without compromise

The 72 hours without compromise (72 óra kompromisszum nélkül) is a voluntary social action organised by the three historical Christian churches. In the framework of the national programme, volunteer work is carried out by young people in groups for 72 hours.

The speciality of the action is that volunteer groups only get acquainted with their task for three days only the night before the programme begins. Their tasks also include preliminary planning before and joint evaluation at the end. The main objective of the programme is to ensure broad publicity and to 'make volunteer work visible in youth communities' [72 hours - What is this programme? ('72 óra - Mi is ez?')] The tasks are divided into three parts:

  • Social: any activity involving people, such as programmes, lectures, assistance for the elderly and young people,
  • ecological: environmental and nature conservation actions, for example forest cleaning, garbage collection, tree planting and
  • development: renovation of playgrounds, kindergartens, painting of fences. [72 hours - What is this programme? ('72 óra - Mi is ez?')]

The responsible organisation is the Ecumenical Youth Foundation and the objective is to carry out voluntary projects across the country that are known to participants immediately before implementation. They must jointly plan, realise and evaluate. The target group is everyone, especially young people aged 14 to 30.

The main activities and main achievements: 9 000 volunteers, in 103 settlements, 400 projects (2019). The project is held in October, every year. Also, this activity can be counted as 9 hours of school community service from the compulsory 50 hours.

Financing and funding sources:

School community service

From January 1, 2016, 50 hours of school community service (iskolai közösségi szolgálat) is a compulsory pre-requisite for graduation.

'The community service means social and environmental protection activity, as well as its educational processing, carried out individually or in group for the advantage of the local community of the student, which is carried out within organised framework and is independent of financial interests.' [Act CXC of 2011 on National Public Education (Nemzeti köznevelésről szóló 2011. évi CXC. törvény)]

The responsible organisation for the school community service is the Educational Authority. The aim of the programme is to develop the personal and social competencies of students; to strengthen their sense of responsibility and to prepare them for teamwork. The target group is high school students.

According to the rules ['Az iskolai közösségi szolgálat (IKSZ) fogalmai és alapelvei'], school community service activities can be carried out in the following areas:

  • health care,
  • social area and charity,
  • education,
  • culture and community,
  • environment and nature conservation,
  • disaster recovery,
  • sports and leisure time with children, pupils with special educational needs, elderly people,
  • crime and accident prevention for bodies established for the purpose of performing specific police duties.

There are several legislations that concern the school community service ('Jogszabályi háttér az Iskolai Közösségi Szolgálathoz'):

  • the Decree no. 20/2012. (VIII. 31.) of the Ministry of Human Capacities on the operation of educational institutions and the names of public education institutions, [A nevelési-oktatási intézmények működéséről és a köznevelési intézmények névhasználatáról szóló 20/2012. (VIII. 31.) EMMI rendelet],
  • the Act CXC of 2011 on National Public Education (Nemzeti köznevelésről szóló 2011. évi CXC. törvény),
  • the Government Decree no. 100/1997. (VI. 13.) on the publication of the maturity exam rules [100/1997. (VI. 13.) Kormányrendelet az érettségi vizsga vizsgaszabályzatának kiadásáról],
  • the Government Decree no. 326/2013. (VIII. 30.) on the career system of the pedagogues [326/2013. (VIII. 30.) Kormányrendelet a pedagógusok előmeneteli rendszeréről].

For more information about the School Community Services see sub-chapter 2.1 General context)

Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues

Specific contact points for the knowledge and understanding of global issues in Hungary and Hungarian websites do not exist. However, there are initiatives that young people can access to.

Our living planet

Hungary was the first country to join the initiative launched by former US Vice President Al Gore. In Hungary, János Áder, President of the Republic, has launched the Our Living Planet (Élő Bolygónk) campaign, which anyone can join on the project's website. The aim of the campaign is to raise public attention to climate change issues and to encourage the best possible agreement for the participants of the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015. The initiative was signed by 194 699 people in Hungary.

Eco Diary mobile application

The Elisabeth Youth Fund (Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap) has developed and operates the Eco Diary application (Öko Napló applikáció) which aims to educate and empower young people aged 14-18 to live an environmentally conscious lifestyle. The phone app asks young people to answer daily questions on energy consumption, food, waste management, chemicals and plastic use, shopping and water consumption and shows the right answers - what protect and what harms our planet. The Fund also organized a competition in the application where schools could compare their ecological footprint and could encourage each other to be more green. The winner classes can participate in a 3-day camp.

Planet Budapest 2021 - Sustainability Expo and World Summit

The Planet Budapest 2021 organised a Sustainability Expo and World Summit in 2021, with the Support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Külgazdasági és Külügyminisztérium) that aimed to help young people learn more about sustainability through experimental learning. The Patron of the Planet Budapest 2021 programme is János Áder, the President of Republic.

Information providers

The Equal Treatment Authority

'The Equal Treatment Authority (Egyenlő Bánásmód Hatóság) is an institution safeguarding human dignity as an autonomous state remedy forum for monitoring the implementation of the requirement of equal treatment. It seeks to achieve positive effects in discrimination processes, by recognising and preventing them, in addition to law enforcement, with the help of professional information and publications.'

While the Equal Treatment Authority does not focus directly on young people, however, its activities in sensitising and publications also target youth. The Authority was merged into the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights from 2021 and operates as the Directorate-General for Equal Treatment (Egyenlő Bánásmódért Felelős Főigazgatóság).

Tempus Public Foundation

The Tempus Public Foundation, established in 1996, is a public benefit organisation under the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma), which provides mobility programmes in Hungary.

The objective of the Tempus Public Foundation is

  • to represent and mediate common European values and goals in the field of education, training;
  • to introduce the Hungarian education and training system internationally, and
  • to represent its interests.

Its main task is

  • to help the Hungarian education and training sector and human resources to make efficient and effective use of the opportunities offered by European integration,
  • to coordinate domestic and international tendering programmes,
  • the development and delivery of training and expert assistance.

The Tempus Public Foundation manages a number of application programmes that offer opportunities for all actors in education and training. For example:

Tempus Public Foundation also acts as a contact point for the National Europass Center (Nemzeti Europass Központ). It offers special training courses for teachers and educators on how to use EU funds in their activities.

Key initiatives

Thematic weeks

The decrees of the Ministry of Human Capacities on the school years [for example the 27/2020. (VIII.11.) EMMI rendelet a 2020/2021. tanév rendjéről] regulate in each academic year the so-called 'Thematic Weeks'. The decrees contain the exact date of the following thematic weeks:

Week of Sustainability and environmental consciousness

The Week of Sustainability Issues (Fenntarthatósági Témahét) is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma). The aim of the programme is to 'spread the message of the Earth Day on 22 April on sustainability in schools' and to

'develop the environmental sensitivity of high school students to make them understand the identification, mitigation and prevention of local, regional and global environmental problems. It encourages students to recognise that Earth is a fragile ecological system, whose preservation is a shared responsibility of present and future generations'.

The curricular elements of the programme were adapted to specific age groups and available online on the website ('Fenntarthatósági Témahét - Óratervek és mintaprojektek'). For secondary school students, 20 lesson framework curriculums are available in four main topics:

  • water,
  • health protection,
  • responsible consumption,
  • waste.

In addition, the students also participated in a school competition, where high school students could plant vegetable plants in the school garden. The programme included four thematic competitions ('Fenntarthatósági Témahét - Versenyek') so far:

  • Sustainability Cup,
  • secondary shool competition in the Carpathian Basin,
  • selective waste collection competition and
  • a literary competition.

Results in 2021 ('Fenntarthatósági Témahét - Beszámoló')

  • 1 630 schools participated in the theme week (78 schools were Hungarian schools from the neighbour countries).
  • 18 920 school classes were involved in the programme.
  • The number of students was nearly 370 000.
  • 1 080 teachers participated in teacher training.
  • The education packages which helped the adaption of the topic contained 30 framework curruculums, 20 online lessons and education videos, contests and activities.
  • 25 000 students fill out the online questionnaire on their views and knowledge on sustainability.
  • 9 previously recorded or live thematic lessons were held and almost 20 000 classes have been watching them.
  • 651 teams registered for the Sustainability Cup contest.

Results in 2019

  • 1 542 schools participated in the theme week.
  • 18 581 school classes were involved in the programme.
  • The number of students was 330 255.
  • 1 166 teachers participated in teacher training.
  • A “homeroom” held by the President of the Republic was listened by a total of 150 students on site, with an additional nearly 10 000 people online.
  • 1 100 schools took part in the “TeSzedd” rubbish collection campaign organised under this programme.
  • 802 teams registered for the Sustainability Knowledge Competition.
'Money7' - financial and business issues thematic week

In 2015, Hungary joined for the first time to the European Money Week ('Pénz7' - Pénzügyi és vállalkozói témahét) to another 23 countries, aiming to help young people with financial knowledge and increase financial awareness among them. Between 2015 and 2016, the Hungarian Banking Association started to coordinate the programme in cooperation with the Money Compass Foundation (Pénziránytű Alapítvány) as the main organisers.

From 2017, the Ministry of Human Capacities as a project promoter, included this thematic week in the official timetable of the school year. Due to the support of the Ministry of Finance (Pénzügyminisztérium) [between 2010 and 2018 Ministry for National Economy (Nemzetgazdasági Minisztérium)] and the Junior Achievement Foundation (Junior Achievement Alapítvány) the programme has been expanded, to include the development of entrepreneurial skills and basic knowledge about entrepreneurship in the curriculum, in addition to financial awareness.


  1. In 2021, more than 1000 schools and more than 170 000 students,
  2. in 2020, 1 203 schools and more than 217 000 students,
  3. in 2019, 1 235 schools and more than 205 000 students,
  4. in 2018, 1 200 schools and more than 202 000 students were involved in the project and
  5. in 2017, 'Money7 has already appeared in higher education, as it focused on the development of financial and entrepreneurial culture at the University of Miskolc Scientific Day.
Digital Theme Week

'The main objective of the Digital Theme Week (Digitális Témahét) is to promote and disseminate the methodology of digital pedagogy in public education. An important goal of the programme is to develop digital competences beyond IT classes, to incorporate it into other subjects as well. Participating teachers and students can develop their skills in a variety of creative projects through learning supported by technology.'


  • In the 2020/2021 school year 649 schools joined.
  • In the 2019/2020 school year 725 schools joined.
  • In the 2018/2019 school year 1047 schools joined.
  • In the 2017/2018 school year nearly 3 000 digital education projects were implemented by 7 000 teachers and 120 000 students.
  • In the 2016/2017 school year nearly 3 000 digital education projects were implemented by 7 000 teachers and 130 000 students.
Application of the Children and Youth Fund

In 2020, the application (pályázat) of the Children and Youth Fund (Gyermek – és Ifjúsági Alapprogram) focused on the topic of 'Sustainable future' ('A fenntartható jövőért').

Applications could be submitted in the topic of social sustainability, for example:

  • the conscious promotion of the physical and mental health of young people;
  • the implementation of offline experiences for young people;
  • developing the skills and knowledge of young people in social relations, love and family relationships;
  • extracurricular training activities related to sustainable development (e.g. thematic days, thematic weeks)
  • support in ensuring the sustainable working conditions for young people;
  • developing rural communities so that young people can live there.

In the name of environmental sustainability

  • respect, love and acquiring the knowledge of the natural and created environment,
  • promoting a lifestyle for environmental sustainability.

The budget ('Pályázati felhívás') of the application in 2020 was HUF 80 million (about EUR 215 000). According to the information, provided by the Ministry, 113 applications out of 684 were supported.

Scholarship programmes of the Blue Planet Climate Protection Foundation

The Blue Planet Climate Protection Foundation (Kék Bolygó Klímavédelmi Alapítvány) provides scholarships for students participating in higher education programmes related to climate protection, water protection, nature conservation, climate change, sustainability and green innovation ('Ösztöndíj és gyakornoki programok'). The Prime Minister' Office (Miniszterelnökség) and the Bethlen Gábor Fund (Bethlen Gábor Alapkezelő Zrt.) support the Foundation.

The researcher scholarship programme for PhD students (PhD ösztöndíjprogram Chilében) aims to provide financial support to talented PhD students who are carrying out scientific work on water protection or other topics related to nature conservation, climate change, sustainability or green innovation to participate in the research project of the Center for Climate and Resilience Research. Another scholarship programme (Mathias Corvinus Collegium – Klímapolitikai Intézet Ösztöndíjprogram) aim is to provide opportunity to 3 students in the above-mentioned topics to participate in the courses of other higher education institutions at home or abroad. 

The Fontus water and environmental student scholarship (Fontus vízügyi és környezetvédelmi hallgatói ösztöndíj) offers students of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in the field of water management through quality work experience and networking. The scholarship programme to Stockholm and Bratislava (Gyakornoki Program Stockholmban és Pozsonyban) provides an apprenticeship opportunity to students who acquired their master degree in the last two years and studied water conservation or other topics related to nature conservation, climate change, sustainability or green innovation.