Adult Education in Hungary

Eva Tanczos

What is meant in the country when you talk about Adult Education?

According to the Act on Adult Education: General, language or vocational education based on a development programme outside the school system, with the aim of acquiring a certain competence and/or certain skill. In an everyday sense adult education refers to the formal and non-formal education of adults. In the Hungarian language there is a separate word for informal education: “művelődés”, which means “acquiring culture”.

What is typical for Adult Education in the country?
he main aims of adult education inside or outside the school system are the following: – to provide a missing school qualification – to provide further education – to provide a vocational qualification – to facilitate employment, orientation and the development of personality and skills – to serve the purposes of general education

Legal basis
Act CI of 2001 on Adult education – the purpose of this Act is to ensure the transparency and accountability of the adult education system in a regulated form and to provide a regulatory framework for the state support system for adult education.

Further laws that also apply to adult education:
Act 76 of 1993 on vocational education
Act 79 of 1993 on public education
Act 139 of 2005 on higher education
Act 86 of 2003 on vocational education contributions

Responsible public bodies / ministries
Ministry for National Economy  National Vocational Training and Adult Training Council  – a national body assisting the Minister in carrying out tasks related to adult education and vocational education. Its tasks also include the preparation of professional decision making, proposals and evaluations
Adult Education Accrediting Body
  – responsible for the qualification and accreditation of institutions and programmes of adult education

Relevant umbrella associations and national (service) organisations
National Institute of Vocational and Adult Education – NIVE  – regional and national research relating to adult education, content development of vocational and adult education, handling of tenders
Regional Training Centres (9) – national network of state training centres
Hungarian Folk High School Association 
Association of Adult Educators
TIT Stúdió Egyesület (TIT Studio Association)
Civilian Adult Education Network 
Catholic Youth and Adult Education Association

Providers of Adult Education
Number of accredited institutes of adult education: ca. 1400
Number of accredited adult education programmes: 6400

Sources of state support for adult education:

  • central budget and local government budgets (training for public servants, training for disadvantaged groups, complete or partial financing of national and local development programmes)
  • Employment and training-related sections of the Labour Market Fund (support for the training of persons registered as unemployed or at risk of becoming unemployed, support for the development of the training system)
  • permitted vocational training contributions for adult education (vocational education for adults outside the school system, training for employees of economic entities

Participation rate
Number of people enrolled in education outside school: ca 50000


  • vocational training ca. 150000
  • state-accredited vocational qualification ca. 7700
  • foreign language tuition ca. 66000
  • qualification necessary for a given job ca. 57000 general adult education ca. 48000
  • training for a public service-type qualification ca. 21000
  • IT training ca. 20000
  • business skills training ca. 20000
  • basic vocational training ca. 4000
  • remedial education ca. 2400
  • rehabilitation education ca. 600

Estimated number of adult educators: 100000
Estimated number of adult educators working full time: 1000
In 2006 a course offering a specialisation in andragogy and in 2009 a master’s degree in andragogy were launched in higher education

Quality system / insurance
Government Decree 22/2004. (II. 16.) on the general rules of the accreditation of adult education institutions and programs.
The Adult Education Accrediting Body is responsible for assessing applications for accreditation from adult education institutions and programmes, for carrying out the accreditation of institutions and programmes, for monitoring the activities of institutions, and for approving the training and further training programmes for experts.
Support can only be claimed by accredited institutions.
The two main ways of creating a quality control system are:
– the institution chooses an accepted standard (e.g. ISO), then implements and runs it, and/or
– the institution creates a quality control system in accordance with the rules of the accreditation process and with expectations.

Latest developments –  subjects / issues which are at the core of the current AE discussions
Human Resources Development Operational Programme: The development and application of modern methods in adult education

  • Preliminary knowledge assessment
  • Development of programmes and curriculum
  • Digitalisation of the curriculum
  • Adult language learning
  • Training for the disadvantaged
  • E-learning programme development
  • Training for trainers

Social Renewal Operational Programme: Developing the quality and contents of the training

  • Career tracking
  • Quality assurance
  • Examination of system development
  • Curriculum development
  • Measurement, evaluation
  • Developing teachers’ professional knowledge
  • Development of foreign language competencies
  • Encouraging practical training at the workplace
  • Increasing the demand for training

Relevant links 

Euridyce: Structures of Education and Training Systems in Europe
EAEA Country presentation: Hungary

General country information: