Hungarian vocational education and training (VET) faces a significant transformation in the coming years, following recent amendment to the VET Act of 2011 (Act LXVI of 2015).
One of the most significant changes concerns management of VET schools. Two years ago, all primary and secondary-level educational institutions that had been run by municipalities – the majority of schools – were taken over by the state. As a result, the state has become ultimately responsible for providing education and is now the employer of all pedagogical staff. A special ministerial agency, the Klebelsberg institution maintenance centre (Klebelsberg Intézményfenntartó Központ, KLIK) was set up to carry out these tasks in 198 school districts (tankerület).
Changes in VET school administration soon started. In September 2013 an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture became the administrator of most public VET schools in the agriculture sector. The transfer affected 59 schools with 26 000 students.
Recent changes concern most other public VET schools. As of July 1, 2015, administration of most VET schools will be transferred from KLIK to the Ministry of National Economy (Nemzetgazdasági Minisztérium, NGM). The ministry will exercise its maintainer rights through the national office of VET and adult learning.
There has been long negotiation to work out the terms and conditions of transferring administration, as there are more than 200 mixed-profile upper secondary schools in Hungary. A recent government decree (120/2015, adopted May 21, 2015) catalogues VET institutions under four different categories. Most schools will be taken over by NGM. VET art schools will remain under KLIK, and so will most mixed-profile small town schools that provide primary and secondary school education as well as VET. Vocational schools for students with special educational needs will be taken over by NGM in July 2016. Finally, there are a few mixed-profile secondary schools in which general and vocational streams are equally significant. These will be managed jointly by NGM and KLIK.
Another significant element of change is the integration of VET schools into 30 to 40 vocational training centres. A maximum three centres can be set up in each county with a minimum number of 2 000 learners in each. The centres will enjoy larger autonomy and serve as an intermediate level of administration between the schools and the national office of VET and adult learning.