Hungary

Brief description of the context of the VET system in in Hungary

The government change in 2010 initiated the complex restructuring of the Hungarian VET system with the aim of better serving the demands/needs of the labour market/economy and increasing the attractiveness of VET. The reforms introduced refer to both the IVET sector and the adult training system (CVET). New pieces of legislation (Act on Public Education, Act on VET, Act on Adult Training) were adopted in 2011 and 2012. The fundamental changes affect also the main elements regulating the structure, the content and the qualification requirements of VET (the National Qualifications Register (NQR, Hungarian abbreviation OKJ), vocational and examination requirements (VER, Hungarian abbreviation SZVK) and framework curriculum of vocational training) as well as the organisation and implementation of practical / apprenticeship training.  

1.    National Qualifications Register (NQR, Hungarian abbreviation OKJ)

The National Qualifications Register was first published in 1994; since then it has been revised and renewed on a continuous basis. A major change took place in 2007 when the modular, competence-based NQR was developed and introduced. In 2012 a comprehensive review of the NQR took place including the renewal of all related documents (such as vocational and examination requirements, vocational requirement modules, framework curricula, see below) and resulted in important changes and innovations. The main aim of the changes was to eliminate the overlaps and professional/content-related duplication (parallelism) among the qualifications. The previous modular principle and the competence-based approach have been kept, vocational (basic/primary) qualifications, partial qualifications and specialisations were retained, but the total number of qualifications has been decreased by about half. VET qualifications pursued in higher education have been excluded from the NQR, since 2013 such type of training may only be launched within higher education. In addition, the OKJ of 2012 defines a minimum number of teaching hours for each qualification in adult training. The development of the new NQR was coordinated by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI, Hungarian name and abbreviation Magyar Kereskedelmi és Iparkamara, MKIK). In the latest piece of legislation – Government Decree on NQR of March 4th, 2016 – the VET qualifications are linked to the correct level of the HuQF.

2.    Vocational and examination requirements (VER, Hungarian abbreviation SZVK)

Vocational and examination requirements shall be attached to vocational qualifications listed in the NQR with a view to establishing and operating the control, assessment and evaluation system.  The vocational and examination requirements and (from 2012) vocational requirement modules are issued by decree, by the minister responsible for the vocational qualification. The VER specify the objectives, admission criteria, duration (minimum and maximum number of hours), content requirements, type of outcomes of a given qualification as well as determining the vocational requirements and conditions for the preparation of the complex vocational examination of each vocational qualification and the requirements to be met during the complex vocational examination.  Until 31 August 2013, adult training providers could prepare their own curricula based on the VERs and the vocational requirement modules only. Pursuant to the new Adult Training Act of 2013, adult training providers should also consider the framework curricula used within the school system.  

3.    Framework curriculum of vocational training  

In vocational training within the school system, vocational education and training shall take place based on a unified document of compulsory application based on the vocational and examination requirements, and describing the content and method of teaching the requirements of the vocational qualification, i.e. the framework curriculum of vocational training.

The framework curriculum of vocational training shall cover specialised theoretical training in vocational school training broken down by vocational qualification, and specialised practical training taking place in school training workshops or in economic entities. The framework curriculum shall ensure that at least 33% of the time available for compulsory classes is devoted to teaching the material set out in the National Core Curriculum in each grade of the vocational school.

The framework curriculum of vocational training shall contain, based on the qualification modules, a list of vocational subjects and the topics they cover, stating whether each subject is part of the theoretical or the practical training, the division of the requirements related to the subject by grade, the time frame available for meeting the requirements, and the division and proportions of specialised theoretical and practical training. The framework curriculum of vocational training shall list the qualification module each subject corresponds with.

The content of at least 90% of the annual number of mandatory classes available for vocational theoretical and practical training is defined by the framework curriculum for vocational training. The vocational content of the remaining time frame is defined by the vocational programme of the vocational training school.  

  • Main principles of restructuring the practical (apprenticeship) training  

In 2010, the introduction, and extension at the widest possible level of dual VET within the school system was defined as one of the most important policy objectives in VET. A special Hungarian dual training system – which draws on the German and the Austrian systems – was developed, with vocational theory in school and with more practice in external training sites. The system was piloted for one year from September 2012 and introduced on September 1st, 2013.
Practical training for VET students within the school system can take place at two venues and in three different forms: At school workshops or external practical training sites, the latter being subject to either a training contract between the student and the training enterprise (implying a separate legal status in addition to the student status) or a so-called cooperation agreement between the VET school and the training enterprise, which does not entail the establishment of additional status for the student. In the Hungarian VET system, preference is given to the student contract, which has become closely associated with dual training.

  • Other changes affecting QA

The adoption of the Act (2011, CXC) on General Education introduced considerable changes, the most important of which is the strengthened role of central governance in the field of education. Since January 1st, 2013 the state (namely the Ministry of Human Resources – Hungarian name and abbreviation Emberi Eroforrások Minisztériuma, EMMI) have become the owner / maintainer of the public schools (which include also the vocational schools).  

In line with the concept paper “VET in service of the economy”, since July 1st, 2015 the Ministry for National Economy (Hungarian name and abbreviation Nemzetgazdasági Minisztérium, NGM) has taken over from the Ministry of Human Resources ˜ 500 vocational schools. On September 1st, 2015 44 VET centres – publicly financed autonomous institutions – have begun operation, in 365 members schools with 200,000 students.

The tasks of VET centres are:
-    to manage and organise the education-teaching-training activities of the member schools;  
-    to design and shape a training structure which meets the requirements of the labour market;  
-    to take an active role in adult learning, i.e. in adult education and adult training.  

Based on the relevant provisions of the Act on General Education, since January 1st, 2013 (after 28 years) the external evaluation system – pedagogical/professional inspection – has been re-introduced. Due to the introduction of the dual system, the role of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in VET has been strengthened.

All these new developments / changes result in a more uniform / standardised quality and increased effectiveness and efficiency of VET provision.

  • The role of EQAVET  

In 2009-2011 Hungary was among the first EU Member States to align its existing VET quality assurance systems with the common Quality Assurance Framework of the European Union (EQAVET). An integrated approach to quality management comprising all types of VET – the Common Quality Management Framework for VET (CQMF, Hungarian name and abbreviation Egységes Szakképzési Minoségirányítási Keretrendszer, ESZMK) – was developed and piloted.  

The Frame-Strategy For Lifelong Learning Policy 2014 – 2020 refers to the quality development for IVET as a process that should be in line with the EQAVET principles. IVET shall adapt the EU VET Quality Assurance Framework (EQAVET) with special regard to the Hungarian characteristics and context. The results of using existing quality tools such as the Self-Assessment Model for Vocational Schools and the Common Quality Management Framework for VET (ESZMK) will help to implement and further develop IVET quality assurance.

The new Act (LXXVII) on Adult Training regulates the licensing of institutions - adult training providers. Such a licence can be issued if the training institution operates a quality assurance framework detailed in the ministerial decree nr. 58/2013 (XII.13.). This quality assurance framework for adult training is in line with the EQAVET principles.   

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Information on EQAVET indicators

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