Tertiary education


11 - Hungary - Curriculum

country: Hungary

Institutions of tertiary education may launch courses that the Minister of Education and Culture has permitted on the basis of the opinion of the Hungarian Accreditation Committee ( Magyar Akkreditációs Bizottság), performing continuous inspection of the standards of tertiary education.

Permission to launch a course is issued on the basis of an application that presents the curriculum prepared by the institution of tertiary education, and accepted by the institution’s board.

According to the 2005 Act on Higher Education the right of the Minister of Education and Culture to launch and approve educational programmes and courses is ceased. Higher education institutions are entitled to launch courses that have been adopted by the senate (examining the conditions of the institution) as part of the educational programme. Prior to launching an undergraduate or graduate course, or establishing a faculty, the higher education institution shall request an expert opinion from the Hungarian Accreditation Committee of Higher Education. The higher education institution must register the course or faculty at the Registration Centre and the course must be publicized within the admission procedure and the guide.

The curricula of the initial training courses, specialised further training courses, and higher vocational training

The curriculum is designed on the basis of qualification requirements, and the legislation on the credit system. It contains the subjects to be taught, the number of lessons, the way in which a student may enrol in that course, and the forms of checking academic performance of students. Associated with the curriculum is the subject programme that contains the knowledge to be learnt in a particular subject, and the relevant special literature.

In the multi-cycle structure the curricula are designed according to the recommendations of the Dublin descriptors described and also regulated by a ministerial decree (15/2006) on the learning requirements and learning outcomes of the bachelor and master courses of the discipline of educational fields and branches). The curriculum, learning outcomes, and competence based learning requirements of the individual courses are described by/on the base of exit requirements.

The credit regulation and the qualification criteria determine the minimum and maximum values of the major fields of study of the course, and the more general areas of knowledge. They ensure freedom to the institution in designing its own training programme in the light of its special features, teaching staff, etc. In any institution the teachers, tutors responsible for a subject have a great deal of freedom in selecting the methods of teaching, and the competences to be acquired by the students, and requirements concerning the amount of knowledge within that individual subject programme. The institution has a high level of independence: in the various courses institution management is answerable for the standards of training at different courses in the institution, but that responsibility is largely transferred to the faculty actually running that course, or the heads of department directly responsible for the subjects.

The curricula are designed and permanently fine-tuned by the departments responsible for the teaching of the particular subjects, but the board of the institution must approve the curriculum prior to amendment or supplementation.

The requirements of the course determine what level of language skills of how many languages the student has to have to qualify for a degree.

Because there are many students who meet the language requirements already at upper secondary school ( középiskola ), language learning is usually not compulsory in an institution of tertiary education. Instead, the individual institutions provide an opportunity to the students to participate in language training for at least 4 terms for 4 lessons a week.

An increasing number of institutions have launched full time training for foreign students (primarily in English). Hungarian students of the institution may attend the foreign language lectures free of charge, which may contribute to the improvement of their general command of foreign languages, and of the relevant technical language.

The curriculum of the doctoral training

The organisational framework of doctoral training is the doctoral school. Approval of the establishment of the doctoral school must be applied for at the Hungarian Accreditation Committee of Higher Education ( Magyar Felsőoktatási Akkreditációs Bizottság). Teachers at the doctoral training teach, conduct research, and act as thesis supervisors. The supervisor of the doctoral topic is a teacher or researcher of a scientific grade who announced a topic for thesis with the approval of the doctoral council, and who will, based on that approval, responsibly guide the studies, and research of the doctoral student preparing him/her to obtain their scientific grade. The programmes to be announced and the assignments of thesis supervisors are subject to the annual decision of the board of the doctoral school or of the doctoral board of the institution.

The course content, the compulsory and the elective elements accredited in the different field of doctoral programmes are approved by the Doctoral Council of the tertiary education institution, and these are also published on the website of the university ( egyetem) and the doctoral school.

Obtaining a doctoral degree requires excellent command of two foreign languages, one of which is defined as an inevitable admission requirement. Improving the foreign language competence may be carried out within the grounds of the doctoral school or outside places as well, in the form of participating in language courses, taking part in training abroad or international conferences.

Prior to establishing a doctoral school, the higher education institution requests an expert opinion from the Hungarian Accreditation Committee of Higher Education. If the higher education institution disputes the expert opinion, it may apply to the Minister of Education and Culture to start a procedure.

Organisation of the doctorate course and the conferral of the doctoral degree is the right of the doctoral council of the higher education institution. The doctoral council may be organisationally separate as per discipline of science and field of art.

The Hungarian Accreditation Committee of Higher Education must regularly, but no less frequently than once in eight years certifies (accredits) the quality of training and scientific performance of the higher education institutions. As part of the control and supervisory responsibilities of the Minister of Education and Culture, the registration centre conducts official inspections and request the Minister of Education and Culture to exercise the powers specified in the 2005 Act on Higher (examining whether the higher education institution operates in compliance with the laws) in order to eliminate any irregularity thus revealed.


Magyar Felsőoktatási Akkreditációs Bizottság
1065 Budapest, Király u. 16.
Tel.:(36 1) 344-0314
Website: http://www.mab.hu


Oktatási és Kulturális Minisztérium
1055 Budapest, Szalay u. 10-14.
Tel.:(36 1) 473-7000
Website: http://www.okm.gov.hu


Magyar Felsőoktatási Akkreditációs Bizottság
1065 Budapest, Király u. 16.
Tel.:(36 1) 344-0314
Website: http://www.mab.hu

Eurydice - the information network on education in Europe

Date: 2009

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