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STUDENT LIFE / DEC. 27, 2012
version 19, draft 19

Public Schools in Hungary

Hungarian School

Public schools in Hungary are of an extremely high caliber and are considered to be unmatched even by some of the top private schools, with 87% of students attending public schools. The government has placed a great deal of funding into Hungary’s public schooling system, with some schools even providing accommodation to their students as part of their education package.

Entry into Hungary’s public schools (particularly secondary schools) can be competitive and students work very hard to gain entry into such schools. Until the age of 16 students must attend basic education by law, and in order to enter into the higher classes of high school, students must pass specific examinations.

Hungary’s schooling system

The schooling system in Hungary is categorized as follows:

Nursery school

This is the first stage of the Hungarian education system and is designed to prepare children for the demands of school.

Primary school

Upon completion of basic education (which usually lasts for 8 years) students can then choose whether they wish to attend high school or vocational school.

Secondary school

Hungary’s secondary schools aim to prepare students for university. Final examinations focus on three compulsory subjects and two electives.

Vocational school

Vocational schools give students a double qualification. Around one third of primary school graduates select a vocational school.

Trade school

Students are trained to become skilled workers and usually take 3 – 4 years to complete.

Becoming a teacher in Hungary’s public schools

The process of becoming a public school teacher is a competitive one and many schools are extremely stringent in their entry requirements. Thus in order to become a teacher in one of the country’s public schools, teachers must have the necessary credentials and experience prior to becoming hired.

Teachers who hold a master’s degree are typically in a far more favorable position with regards to gaining employment; however experience is also very highly regarded. There are several offices and agencies in Hungary that focus on assisting teachers in finding employment throughout Hungary, including the Budapest Pedagogical Institute and the Orszagos Pedagogiai Intezet. Teachers can also apply directly to schools however it is important to submit applications as early in the school year as possible. 

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