Past and Present Developments in Vocational Learning in Eastern Europe: The Case of Hungary

  • Andrea LaczikEmail author
  • Éva Farkas
Reference work entry


The Hungarian vocational education and training (VET) system is becoming once again highly centralized and state controlled. This chapter discusses the tendencies of centralization and decentralization of VET in three periods: 1945–1989, 1990–2010, and 2010–present. The first section concentrates on events that have influenced and impacted on the development of education within the monolithic state. It is shown through examples how the Hungarian education system slowly moved away from a highly centralized system. The next section demonstrates the immediate reaction to the collapse of the one-party system which resulted in a highly decentralized VET system. During 1990–2010 the VET system became stabilized, and measures were introduced to reach a balance. Nevertheless, this period is still primarily characterized by decentralization of VET. The post-2010 period is discussed in most detail in the third section of the chapter. Due to the fact that the nationalist conservative government elected in 2010 is still in power, once again the VET system experiences considerable centralization and state control.

While early on there was a genuine urge from educationalists to return to a more democratic and liberal system, other economic, political, and societal forces have been playing an influential role in how the VET system has been developing. The chapter offers some insight into the role of economic players in VET and the ways in which their roles have changed over time. The current government considers employers as key players in VET, and these players are assigned considerable responsibilities. It is yet to see whether they can fulfil expectations and make VET a more viable and hence popular option for young people.


Hungary Vocational education and training Dual VET system Centralization/decentralization VET governance 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Edge FoundationLondonUK
  3. 3.Faculty of EducationUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary

Section editors and affiliations

  • Karen Evans
  • Natasha Kersh
    • 1
  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK

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