From POERUP - Policies for OER Uptake
Jump to: navigation, search

by Barbara Lazar, EDEN

For entities in Hungary see Category:Hungary



  • Full name: Hungary
  • Population: 10 million (UN, 2011)
  • Capital: Budapest
  • Area: 93,030 sq km
  • Major language: Hungarian
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Life expectancy: 71 years (men), 78 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: Forint
  • Main exports: Machinery and transport equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals
  • GNI per capita: US $12,850 (World Bank, 2010)
  • Internet domain: .hu

OER in Hungary: Map

Loading map...

After centuries as a powerful medieval kingdom, Hungary was part of the Ottoman and then Habsburg empires from the 16th century onwards, emerging as an independent country again after World War I.

The redrawing of European borders that took place after World War I left about five million ethnic Hungarians living in neighbouring countries. Their status remains a sensitive issue and has complicated Hungary's relations with its neighbours.

Following World War II, the country found itself under communist rule. An uprising against Soviet domination in 1956 was crushed by Red Army forces but Hungary did later become the first Eastern European country to gain certain economic freedom. It embraced aspects of the free market and in 1968 the authorities allowed limited decentralisation of the economy.

Hungary played an important part in accelerating the collapse of communism across Eastern Europe when in 1989 it opened its border with Austria, allowing thousands of East Germans to escape to the West.

Hungary's economic transition was achieved relatively smoothly. Within four years of the collapse of communism nearly half of the country's economic enterprises had been transferred to the private sector, and by 1998 Hungary was attracting nearly half of all foreign direct investment in its region.

Ten years later, a high level of both private and state borrowing left the country particularly vulnerable to the credit crunch of 2008, and in October of that year the government was forced to appeal to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank for loans.

Dissatisfaction with the centre-left coalition government's handling of the economy from 2002 to 2010 resulted impressive victory of the right conservative political forces, with their two third majority in the Parliament.

The unicameral, 386-member National Assembly (Országgyűlés) is the highest organ of state authority and initiates and approves legislation sponsored by the Prime Minister. Its members are elected for a four-year term. A 15-member Constitutional Court has power to challenge legislation on grounds of unconstitutionality.
The President of the Republic, elected by the members of the National Assembly every five years, has a largely ceremonial role. His powers include the nomination of the Prime Minister who is to be elected by a majority of the votes of the Members of Parliament.
By the Hungarian Constitution, the Prime Minister has a leading role in the executive branch as he selects Cabinet ministers and has the exclusive right to dismiss them (similarly to the competences of the German federal chancellor).

Due to migrations and significant territorial changes, the demographics of Hungary have significantly fluctuated over time. In modern times, Hungary has become an ethnically homogeneous state. According to the 2001 Hungarian Census, Hungarians constituted 92%, whilst the largest minority are the Roma people.

Historically, Hungary was home to a significant Jewish community. Some Hungarian Jews were able to escape the Holocaust during World War II, but most were deported to concentration camps and killed. Most Jewish people who remain in Hungary live in the centre of Budapest.

The Hungarian language belongs to the Finno-Ugric family and is one of the handful of languages spoken within the European Union that are not of Indo-European origin.

Further information

For further general information see Wikipedia:Hungary.

Education in Hungary

Sourced from: TEMPUS Public Foundation

In Hungary the school year is made up of 183 teaching days that usually starts from the beginning of September and lasts until the middle of June. There are three one-week school breaks in autumn, winter and spring, and a long 10-11-week summer break. Pupils go to school five days a week, have between 4-8 lessons a day and lessons usually last 45 minutes.

Structure HES.jpg

Pre-primary schools (Óvoda)

In Hungary most parents regard pre-primary schools as an essential part of education. In spite of the fact that attending óvoda is optional (except beyond the age of 5), more than 80 per cent of children between the age of 3 and 7 use this educational service. Public and private pre-primary schools both make an effort to meet the growing parental demand for extra courses, such as familiarization with computers, language learning or sporting activities.

Primary schools (Általános iskola)

All children start their primary education in an általános iskola. Traditionally the primary school has 8 grades, but there are some with 4 or 6 years' courses after which pupils continue their education in another 8-year or 6-year secondary school of some type.

General secondary schools (Gimnázium)

Most pupils who plan to go on to higher education follow their secondary education in a gimnázium, which provides general education leading to what is known as the maturity examination. Gimnáziums offer four, six or eight-year courses and have diverse curricula.

Secondary vocational schools (Szakközépiskola)

These schools offer usually 4 years of general eduation finished with a school leaving exam and lead to a certificate. Then the learners can choose to participate 1-3 year long vocational training to obtain vocational qualification.

Vocational schools (Szakiskola)

This school type provides general and pre-vocational education and training where students can obtain a vocational qualification. Graduates can enter the labour market as skilled workers. To progress to higher education they need to pass additional programmes.In September 2010, 'early VET programmes' were introduced which offer three years of vocational training right after completion of primary and lower secondary education.

Education Reform

Sourced from: European Schoolnet - Hungary Country Report on ICT in Education

Several changes regarding the education system have been initiated in 2010. These changes aim to influence and transform all education levels; activities include the renewal of the National Core Curriculum, the Act of Public Education and of Higher Education, along with creating a teacher career profile, while the vocational training system is also under transformation. These changes have been recently codified and they are intensely disputed.

The primary task of public education is to support the personal development of students, for which the new educational acts and the new National Core Curriculum, are to establish the guidelines and core values.

The law introduces new regulations on content, supplementing the National Core Curriculum with compulsory elements of basic content and a system of mandatory framework curricula.

In order to prevent lagging behind, several new structural elements are integrated into the new system of public education, of which talent support will be an integral part. Professional revisions, assessments and counselling by independent professionals will take place on a regular basis.

Key Challenges and Priorities for Public Education

According to the new aim of Public Education the key challenges and proposed actions are as follows:

  • The government takes the responsibility and the control of public education. The state holds the right of regulation and control regardless of the provider being a private entity or a church.
  • The new regulation considers the state as the responsible entity that may outsource some schools to the local authorities for a certain period by contract. The government centralizes the pedagogical services of the country.
  • Free provision of school books in the primary level (grades1-8) will be gradually introduced.
  • Several measures are being taken to make the system more efficient. The compulsory feature of the frame curricula, the new regulation of the school leaving exam system which diminishes the dual level system and aims at raising the level as well as the new system of external control are aimed at making the system more effective.
  • A new external control system, also connected to teachers’ career model, is going to be introduced.
  • A central financing will replace the previous system providing teachers’ salaries, along with a revised compulsory number of hours to be spent at school even after teaching.

The kindergarten education will be compulsory from the age of 3. The new bill lowers the age limit of compulsory education from 18 to 16. In primary education (age 6-14) free school books are to be offered by the school but these books will be owned by the school. In the first 4 grades teaching will be provided during the whole day, not just for the morning (whole day school).

The refined National Core Curriculum defines the content much more precisely than the one currently running. Several frame curricula will be prepared on the basis of the core curriculum and schools will be obliged to choose from them. 10% of the content of school curricula can be decided locally.

More information:

Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources

The System of Education in Hungary

Eurydice webpage: Hungarian education system and ongoing reforms


Sourced: The Development of eServices in an Enlarged EU: eLearning in Hungary

Research and studies state that the state of e-learning in Hungary is significantly below the EU average. According to the Economist’s eLearning index, Hungary ranks 30th (out of 60 countries) with a score of 6.09. Taking the usage of eLearning indicators into consideration, Hungary does not seem to exploit fully the potential of eLearning. However, more and more institutions provide eLearning opportunities.

The role of ICT supported education in the class has gained more importance in the past years. At primary and secondary schools, digital learning materials are used in almost every subject. Computer science is compulsory in public education.

An increasing number of Hungarian higher education institutions provide courses within the framework of distance education. There are examples showing ICT usage for teaching, storing information and for administration and communication, as well as for research and learning.

E-Learning has become more and more popular in the workplace, especially in large enterprises. eLearning provides appropriate formats for individuals taking part in lifelong learning, whether formal, non-formal or informal.

The most important sources of financing eLearning developments are the state budget and the ministerial budgets, and the municipalities' own resources. EU Structural Funds and the European Social Fund play an increasing role in financing different programmes for improving Information Society developments. European strategies and action plans related to the Information Society have influenced Hungarian policy making in the field of eLearning. The eLearning developments are supported by national policies, which focus on the improvement of the quality of the workforce and the development of ICT infrastructure in education institutions.

The first comprehensive policy for the Hungarian information society was the Hungarian Information Society Strategy in 2004. The National Broadband Strategy focuses on the improvement of broadband access in the whole country and emphasizes developments in the field of eGovernment, eBusiness and eCulture. The strategy of the Ministry of Education and Culture, aims to establish an IT network and to elaborate teaching methods in order to meet the requirements of a modern knowledge-based economy.

Due to these strategies and other programmes set up by the government and ministries, progress has been achieved in ICT infrastructural developments and human resource developments. The digital divide has been reduced, since greater access to ICT in households and public institutions has been provided. Education and research institutions and libraries are well equipped with computers and the number and quality of digital learning materials has increased significantly. ICT in-service training for teachers has been successful; the number of teachers with qualification in informatics has significantly increased. In the future an increasing demand for eLearning solutions can be expected.

Different factors have affected the eLearning developments in the country. On one hand, the general macroeconomic situation in the country in the past years has influenced ICT advancements and eLearning developments positively, as has the labour market created need for more qualified people. On the other hand, legal factors, like slow legislation or accreditation processes influence eLearning developments negatively. Socio-cultural factors, like a low level of digital literacy and a negative attitude in older age groups towards ICT and participation in learning activities hinder the dissemination of eLearning.

ICT Policies for Schools

The State Secretariat for Education provides money per student for ICT development. It is the managing authority (local or county authority, Church or private provider) which can apply for the money on a yearly basis. This amount is now 1750 HUF per student, which is about 6.4 EUR. 30% of that amount has to be spent on the purchase or maintenance of educational administration software. (2011)

The largest call in which a significant amount of tools, trainings and mentoring was available is TAMOP 3.1.4. (Social Renewal Operative Programme) with a total amount of 17.5 billion HUF, roughly 63 million EUR. This initiative was aimed at changing the culture of teaching and learning, fostering the shift toward devel-oping the skills for life-long learning, competency based education through complex development pro-cesses which included learning programmes, materials, teacher trainings and mentors for the schools participating. ICT development was an integral part of the initiative.

The first priority of the overarching Social Infrastructure Operative Program TIOP 2007-2013 is the development of the infrastructure of the education system as a whole, while the first sub-priority is the “Development of the infrastructure of school-based education – The Intelligent School”. This initiative is the main vehicle of equipping schools via different calls and tenders like “Development of the IT infrastructure supporting pedagogical and methodological reforms”. In 2009-2010 approximately 27.5 billion HUF (approximately 1 billion EUR) were spent for this purpose. The next phase of the same call will distribute 10.3 billion HUF (approximately 0.37 billion EUR). The Intelligent School Program provides the schools with uniform basic infra-structure with strong emphasis on learning modern foreign languages, while it also concentrates on 1:1 access, equipping students with laptops. This call does not require the school providers to share the cost; they do not have to put money into the implementation process. The smallest amount available is 5 million HUF (approximately 17300 EUR) per school.

Funding of ICT in Education – NDA

The National Development Agency (NDA) launches calls for tenders for the provision of ICT (new equipment, services and training). The NDA consults the Ministry responsible for public education, now called the State Secretariat for Education within the Ministry of National Resources.

These calls use European Union funding and in recent years the school authorities have had to bear a share of the costs as well as of the responsibility – shared with the schools - for sustaining the results of the developments. It is not the schools which can apply for those tenders but local authorities, churches, foundations.

The e-Learning Directorate of the EDUCATIO Public Utility Company plays a major role in planning and implementing measures that are carried out by means of NDA calls. This Directorate used to be the ICT agency of the Ministry of Education, but now it operates under the Ministry of National Development.

The National Development Agency is responsible among other duties for the following tasks:

  • it prepares materials for informed decision-making, regarding the distribution of the Ministry resources available for the development of the public education, regarding public calls; it also contributes to the modernisation and transformation of the education system, formulates programs to meet these aims and monitors the process;
  • it designs and implements trainings for a variety of actors in education;
  • it develops digital pedagogy and supports its implementation in schools;
  • it is responsible for developing digital learning resources, accreditation process and also for developing and operating the national digital learning resource pool, the Sulinet Digital Database;
  • it provides a framework for publishing digital learning tools and both public and vocational education;
  • it implements and sustains programmes sup-ported by the EU in the field of education and ICT in education, and works for their dissemination;
  • it develops and operates all the sub-systems of the central educational information system of the country.

There are no other agencies or offices centrally responsible for ICT in public education. Some research programmes are occasionally conducted at universities or at the research institute of the State Secretariat for Education called National Institute for Educational Research and Development, but these initiatives are hardly centralised or harmonized.

E-Learning services in primary and secondary school

SDT - Sulinet Digital Knowledge Base

SDT is a digital curriculum database and a content management tool for teachers and students, launched in September 2004. The goal was to create a complete curriculum database covering the curriculum of grades 1-12. Subjects of History and Geography were available at the beginning, and by the end of 2004 eight other subjects were involved in the system, resulting in about 200 000 learning assets. Examples, animations, demonstration films, supplementary databases, background information, lecture drafts and methodological assistance are available for free. At the beginning of 2007 digital learning materials in nine major subjects are available for all grades. Besides that, extra learning materials in Arts or in Music are also presented.

SDT provides digital materials for vocational schools in many subjects as well. The internal storage of data and publishing is aligned with international standards (SCORM, IMS, LOM, Dublin Core) towards the enhancement of independence from the content-suppliers and the portability of the content. Book publishers and teachers are also involved in the process. Besides the developing of the Sulinet Digital Knowledge Base, the training of the teachers has been ongoing.

Quality procedures

Quality assurance in higher education

Sourced from:

The Hungarian Accreditation Committee was established with the country's first higher education law in 1993. It is, according to the 2011 National Higher Education Act, a national body of experts facilitating the control, assurance and evaluation of the scientific quality of education, scientific research and artistic activity at higher education institutions. The HAC conducts ex ante and ex post evaluation of both programs and institutions.

In 2005, in accordance with the Bologna process, bachelor and master programs replaced the traditional, single stream college or university programs. The majority of new bachelor programs began in 2006 and master programs in 2009. All of them have undergone the evaluation process. An ECTS compatible credit system was introduced at all institutions by law in September 2003. The Diploma Supplement is issued to graduated students in both Hungarian and English.

Based on the new National Higher Education Act, from 1 March 2012 on the HAC has 18 full members. The Ministry for National Resources delegates nine members, three are delegated by the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference, two by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, two by the Churches that have their own higher education institutions, one by the Hungarian Academy of Arts, and one by the National Union of Doctoral Students. The president is nominated from among the 18 members by the minister in agreement with the president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The president and members receive their letters of appointment from the Prime Minister for a six-year term, which is once renewable. The law stipulates a Financial Supervisory Board, and since its inception the HAC has had an International Advisory Board.

In compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines, the HAC was evaluated by an external team of experts in 2008/09 and consequently has renewed its membership in ENQA, the European Association of Quality Assurance for another five-year term

Quality assurance of the use of ICT in schools

Within an EU-funded development project (TÁMOP 3.1.1) a public system has been developed and it is freely available to all schools that wish to assess their status regarding the ICT use with a whole school approach. The system has an English version fully testable at

As a result of the self-review procedure, the system:

  • gives an overall picture to the school about how ICT is used in different fields of education;
  • provides help to the conscious and self-motivated development of the school;
  • shows the ways in which ICT tools can support the development of learning, teaching and the whole school;
  • surveys the technical resources and infrastructure necessary to achieve these goals;
  • helps the school create its own digital strategy on the basis of the overall pic-ture by providing a template;
  • supports the school’s participation in a new, national classification system, and with this motivates planned school development.

The self-review is based on four areas: learning, teaching, school management and infrastructure. The four areas can be reviewed separately as well, it is not compulsory to evaluate all the areas at the same time. The recorded data can be modified any time; every six months, however, the data are stored and a new record is generated. This enables the school to compare the new results with the previous ones in case of modifications, thus observing change and development.

After the self-review is finished, the data are stored in a database, which is not available to the public. Users can only check their own school’s results and compare those to their previous results or to the total means of all the schools in the eLEMÉR system.

Once a year, the database is analysed for all the schools using data less than 12 months old, and a statistical analysis of a national review is carried out.

Internet in Hungary

Internet Growth and Population Statistics

% Pop.
7.0 %
34.9 %
61.8 %

There are 6,516,627 Internet users as of Dec. 31, 2011, meaning 65.3% penetration, per ITU and 3,970,360 Facebook users on Mar 31/12, 39.8% penetration rate.

The number of internet subscriptions reached 4.3 million at the end of 2011 in Hungary (72% of people), according to the Hungarian Central Statistical Office. This was up from 67.6% (3.3 million ) in 2010. (Hungarian Central Statistical Office, March 2012)

According to The Digital Connected Consumers 2011 study of GfK Hungária, more and more people in the relatively older age groups are discovering the advantages of the web.

Internet Services

In January 2012, the penetration rate of fixed broadband is 22.1% of the population, up 1.6 percentage points (p.p.) year-on-year but still 5.6 p.p. below the EU average of 27.7%.

Hungary has 49% of fixed lines providing speeds of 10 Mbps and above. With regards to high and ultra fast speeds, only 12.2% of lines provide speeds between 30Mbps and below 100Mbps and 1.5% of fixed lines provide speeds equal or above 100 Mbps.

Almost half of broadband lines in Hungary are above 10Mbps (49%),  this implies a 0.6 p.p. above the EU average rate of 48.4% of lines in this speed range.

Mobile broadband penetration is 17.2%, up by 9.4 p.p. year-on-year but it is 26 p.p. below the EU average penetration level and is one of the last countries in the ranking of mobile penetration.

In 2011 66% of the population use the internet regularly (eg at least once a week), up 6 p.p. since 2010, and 1 p.p. below the EU average of 68%. With regards to disadvantaged people, the rate was 47%, 5 percentage points below the EU average of 53%.

28% of citizens have never used the internet, a reduction of 4 p.p. since 2010.

Hungarian Telecommunications Market

Hungary’s broadband market has experienced strong growth, predominantly driven by the incumbent’s focus on broadband to offset falls in fixed-line voice revenue. Although a number of bit stream and LLU agreements have been concluded, the fixed-line incumbent accounts for the majority of broadband subscribers. ADSL2+ services have been launched and take up is expected to be healthy as the market develops.Cable broadband is also widely available due to the network penetration of the country’s cable operators. The broadband market is expected to experience significant growth as the regulator has reduced access tariffs and introduced a wholesale system based on retail tariffs to ensure suitable margin for alternative operators. Digital cable services have been launched by a handful of the smaller cable operators.

60.8% of households in Hungary had a broadband internet connection in 2011, according to the Hungarian Central Statistical Office. This was up from 52.2% in 2010. (Hungarian Central Statistical Office, March 2012)

Mobile / Smartphones

The number of wireless internet subscriptions reached 2.3 million at the end of 2011 in Hungary, of which 2.2 million accounted for mobile internet. This was up from 1.4 million wireless internet subscriptions / 1.3 mobile internet subscriptions in 2010. (Hungarian Central Statistical Office, March 2012)


26.6% of individuals in Hungary have ever ordered goods or services over the internet in 2011, (Hungarian Statistical Office). This was up from 22.2% in 2010. Take-up of eCommerce is low, with 22% of the population buying online, up 4 p.p. since 2010. 17.9% of businesses purchased online, and 9.7`% sold online, while 17.6 and 9.3% of SMEs did so respectively. 


eGovernment usage among citizens is still below EU27 average at 38% although a bit closer with respect to previous year. eGovernment usage by enterprises has made good progress (+12 pp to 83% in 2011) and it's close to the EU27 average of 84%.

Digital Strategy for Hungary

The Digital Hungary programme of the Government (2010-2014) is a recent major initiative for the development of the IT sector and the digital economy, however its implementation is slowing down because of the re-arrangement of power centers within the governmental structure, resulting the decreasing priority of ICTs in the system.

The development activity of the major IT companies has been reduced since the introduction of the targeted “crisis taxes” for the sector in the past two years.

In the programm, the further integration of ICTs in public education and support of spreading and dissemination of the e-learning (multimedia supported distance learning) solutions is foreseen.

A focal point of efforts is to ensure the access to academic-scientific content in higher education.

In order to reach that aim,

  • the access to the disciplinary and multidisciplinary data bases, digital archives, e-books and repositories should reach the EU average figures;
  • in the system of open access, the technology based and IPR compatible solutions should be dominantly applied and the national data base procurements integrated into a coherent programme.

Internet in Education

Internet in higher education

Hungarian universities are well equipped with ICT. All of them are connected to the Internet with broadband connection. Internet and PCs are available not only in universities or library buildings but it is very common to have Internet access at student hostels for free or at a low price.

Using ICT in teaching is accepted. Few Hungarian universities provide eLearning courses, which usually mean that students do not take part in the traditional education in a given subject, or traditional education is completed with eLearning materials via the Internet. In this sense eLearning is used as a complementary solution.

More and more Hungarian higher education institutions provide courses within the framework of distance education. Courses can be attended both online and offline eLearning. Some universities and colleges play a leading role in Hungarian eLearning by providing well-elaborated, user-friendly distance courses. eLearning activity may include not only learning, but also consulting with tutors or professors and taking exams or tests online.

Computer supported administration systems – ETR or Neptun system – are already well accepted and used in everyday life. These systems facilitate most administration tasks related to higher education: e-registration for courses and exams; financial operations and registration of grades, as well as serving as a common information base for users.

Another task in higher education institutions is to ensure advanced equipment in libraries and in computer and language labs. Online public access catalogues facilitate research work for students and professors within the local systems. Furthermore, access to international catalogues and electronic journals is also provided.

In higher education there is a definite expectation from students to have basic eSkills, which they have to use daily. Most of their home assignments, reports or presentations have to be submitted using computers. Computer labs are available at universities and colleges; however the levels range from the simple word-processed training materials to the professional multimedia labs. In the field of natural sciences, engineering, public administration or economics special software use is widespread.

Evermore higher education institutes are useing LMS – Learning Management System – e.g. Moodle to establish their virtual campuses using their own, adapted or purchased eLearning materials. The Cisco Academy exists at several technical colleges and universities. They use high quality eLearning materials for the preparation for internationally recognized exams.

Internet in schools

Using computers at nursery schools promotes early socialisation to the information society. In preprimary education computers are used first of all for playing. According to a Hungarian survey one third of the children in this age band have already used computers. The aim of using computers at nursery schools is to base the attitude of children towards ICT supported education and to reduce the digital divide. There is little digital content only for this age group available in Hungarian, however developing ICT skills in childhood should be very important.

Due to the actions of the Ministry of Education and Culture almost all Hungarian schools use computers for teaching and have Internet access. 77% use the Internet via broadband connection. With this figure Hungary ranks at number 11 of the EU countries.

The use of computers in Hungarian schools has almost reached the 100% saturation point. According to European data, the number of computers per 100 pupils is the highest in Denmark, where there are 27 computers per 100 pupils, while the EU average is 11.3, and the NMS average is 7.1. Hungary is not so far from the EU average with its 9.6 computers per 100 people, out of which 8.6 computers are Internet connected. Improving computer and Internet penetration in schools was one of the strategically important measures of the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Ministry ensured that all Hungarian schools are equipped with computers, labs and Internet connection. Due to the Sulinet Programme launched in 1996, most of the Hungarian schools are equipped with computers and labs; however primary schools represent lower ICT penetration rates than secondary schools. Moreover, in 2004 more than 1100 schools received digital trolleys and suitcases equipped with multimedia devices. As a general rule Hungarian schools are equipped with hardware, although ICT penetration in schools could be further improved. These infrastructural developments can make teaching traditional subjects more colourful and fulfil the infrastructural requirements of using digital content in everyday education.

Besides technological conditions the number and quality of digital content have strongly advanced in Hungary. According to a ministerial initiative the Sulinet Digital Knowledge Base, which was completed in September 2004, is available for teachers and students via Internet.

The low level of ICT knowledge of teachers and their low motivation to use eLearning applications in traditional education are big problems. In order to solve or at least to alleviate them, in-service training is organised for teachers. The Ministry of Culture and Education enable teachers to take part in ICT training where they can learn how to integrate ICT in teaching process. According to a survey, only a low percentage (43%) of Hungarian classroom teachers used computers in class. Comparing this figure to other EU countries one can conclude that Hungary is below the EU average (74%). Among the reasons for not using ICT application in teaching factors such as, lack of skills, no or unclear benefits in using ICT and lack of interest were mentioned.

Copyright law in Hungary

General outline about IPR and copyright in Hungary can be read at

Copyright law in Education

The relevant parts of the Act No. LXXVI of 1999 on copyright (consolidated text as of 01.01. 2007) are quoted below:

Chapter IV: The Free Use of the Work and Other Limitations to the Copyright General Provisions - Article 33

(2) The use under the provisions relating to free use is permitted and not subject to the payment of a fee only so far as it does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author, and it is in compliance with the requirements of fairness and is not designed for a purpose incompatible with the intention of free use.

(4) For purposes of the provisions of this chapter the use shall be taken to serve the purposes of school education if it is implemented in accordance with the requirements of education and with the curricula respectively used in kindergarten, primary school, secondary school, industrial school, vocational school education, the primary education of arts, as well as in higher education falling under the scope of the law on higher education.

Cases of Free Use - Article 34

(2) Part of a literary or musical work or such a type of an entire work of a minor volume disclosed to the public may be borrowed for the purposes of illustration for teaching and scientific research, with the indication of the source and the author named therein, to the extent justified by the purpose on condition that the borrowing work is not used for commercial purposes. Borrowing shall mean the use of a work in another work to an extent that goes beyond citation.

(3) The non-commercial reproduction and distribution of the borrowing work mentioned in paragraph (2) shall not be subject to the author's authorization where the borrowing work is, pursuant to the relevant legislation, qualified as a textbook or a reference book and the school education purpose is indicated on its front page.

Article 35

(1) A copy of the work may be made by a natural person for private purposes if it is not intended for earning or increasing income even in an indirect way. This provision shall not apply to architectural works, to engineering structures, to software and to databases operated by a computer device, as well as to the fixation of the public performance of a work on video or sound carrier. It shall not be allowed to reproduce sheet music by means of reprography [Article 21(1)] even for private purposes or in the cases mentioned in paragraph (4) b) to d).

(4) Publicly accessible libraries, educational establishments [Article 33(4)] museums and archives as well as audio and audiovisual archives shall be allowed to make a copy of a work for internal institutional purposes – outside the scope of entrepreneurial activity – to the extent and in the way justified by such a purpose if it is not intended for earning or increasing income even in an indirect way and if the copy is

a) required for scientific research,

b) made for archiving from an own copy of such an institution for scientific purpose or for public library supply,

c) made of a minor part of a work made public or of an article published in a newspaper or periodical,

(5) Specific parts of a work published as a book as well as newspaper and periodical articles may be reproduced for purposes of school education in a number corresponding to the number of pupils in a class, or for purposes of exams in public and higher education in a number necessary for the said purpose.

OER Initiatives in Hungary

National OER initiatives

The Budapest Open Access Initiative – An international movement started in Hungary

The Budapest Open Access Initiative arises from a meeting convened in Budapest by the Open Society Institute (OSI) in December 2001. The purpose of the meeting was to accelerate progress in the international effort to make research articles in all academic fields freely available on the internet.

Participants explored how OSI and other foundations could use their resources most productively to aid the transition to open access and to make open-access publishing economically self-sustaining. The result is the Budapest Open Access Initiative. It is at once a statement of principle, a statement of strategy, and a statement of commitment.

The initiative has been signed by the Budapest participants and a growing number of individuals and organizations from around the world who represent researchers, universities, laboratories, libraries, foundations, journals, publishers, learned societies, and open-access initiatives.

The initiative recommended two complementary strategies.

I. Self-Archiving: Scholars need the tools and assistance to deposit their refereed journal articles in open electronic archives, a practice commonly called, self-archiving. When these archives conform to standards created by the Open Archives Initiative, then search engines and other tools can treat the separate archives as one. Users then need not know which archives exist or where they are located in order to find and make use of their contents.

II. Open-access Journals: Scholars need the means to launch a new generation of journals committed to open access, and to help existing journals that elect to make the transition to open access. Because journal articles should be disseminated as widely as possible, these new journals will no longer invoke copyright to restrict access to and use of the material they publish. Instead they will use copyright and other tools to ensure permanent open access to all the articles they publish.

The National Research Fund Policy

Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA), the country’s major scientific research funder requires all funded researchers to deposit in an OA repository or publish in an OA journal. There is also a Thesis mandate vide Government Decree no 33 (2007) on Doctoral dissertations.

OTKA signed the Berlin Declaration in 2008. "The scientific publication supported by an OTKA grant has to be made freely available according to the standards of Open Access, either through providing the right of free access during publication, or through depositing the publication to an open access repository. Depositing is possible in a repository of an institution or that of a scientific field, as well as in the Repository of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences - REAL." (

Some groups of the Hungarian research community are aware of Open Access and its benefits, but part of the community are still reluctant to provide Open Access to their publications. The main obstacles are a lack of knowledge about relevant copyright issues and the resistance by researchers to allocate time and effort to the depositing process. Advocacy programmes (attached to a network of institutional repositories) by higher education libraries might be a way of increasing national research visibility and impact.

Open Learning Centres in Hungary

To address shortages in provision for adult learning in Hungary, nine open learning centres were established in 2010 in disadvantaged areas of the country.

Supported by the EEA and Norway Grants, a network bringing together the nine centres is now up and running through joint action from Norwegian and Hungarian project partners.

A traditional emphasis on formal qualifications has meant that the benefits of non-formal and informal learning have not always been recognised. Compounded by insufficient public resources and a lack of support from the business sector, this has resulted in a serious deficit in infrastructure provision for adult education.

To tackle this, the Hungarian Association of Lifelong Learning (ALLL) teamed up with the Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning (VOX) to establish the Network of Open Learning Centres entitled the ”Learning Partnership Initiatives”. With backing of €650,000 from the EEA and Norway Grants, the project has had a positive impact on social inclusion and community development, as well as helped to improve skills and boost employability at a local level.

The centres are located in areas struggling with high unemployment rates and social deprivation. There is an open approach to local learning to attract as many participants as possible and reach out to often-excluded groups. The project is using a low entry threshold where the learning environment is flexible and easily accessible to all.

Each centre operates tailored programmes focusing on skills which are relevant for the local area and works out competence development programmes in tandem with the local municipalities to ensure that the training offer matches the needs. The training focuses on developing core competences, such as digital communications, foreign languages and entrepreneurial skills.

The Open Access portal

The Open Access Portal – earlier: HUNOR – Hungarian Open Repositories - is aimed to provide systematic and updated information about open access and the latest trends in scientific communication, including OA journals, repositories, the business models and related IPR issues (in Hungarian)

Open standards for documents in the Hungarian Public Sector including Schools

The Hungarian government has decided that, from April 2012, public administrations in Hungary should only provide official documents in internationally recognised open standards-based document formats and must be able to accept and process such documents. The Hungarian government recommends that public administrations and other public organisations switch to free open source office software – otherwise, they will need to give reasons for their continued use of proprietary software.

The government also decided that the licence for proprietary office suites in all schools will not be renewed. The Hungarian ministry of Education explained that "The ministry is convinced that the needs of the educational institutions can be satisfied by using free and open source software".

National Digital Textbook Library

The Kempelen Farkas National Digital Textbook Library, launched and operated by the Educatio Non-Profit Ltd (state-owned) makes available for free since 2005 study books, higher education course contents, e-books and journals in digital format on the Internet, in support of students, in particular in higher education. They are using the acknowledged standards and easily useable formats, with easy search-archive and print services. The electronic documents cover a wide spectrum of disciplines, from literature to medicine, agriculture etc. For the financing of the initiative, EU grants also are available.

The KF Digital Library has recently been linked to the Arcanum Digital Science Repository, offering access to the highly ranked Hungarian academic journals. By the beginning of 2013, over 2000 digital documents will be available, covering over 2 million pages.

Hungarian Electronic Library

The Hungarian Electronic Library collects, preserves and provides free of charge digital material in all fields of science and art. In the initiative phase of the project the accession mostly relied on sources already available in some kind of digital form or ones that could be digitised with relatively small effort. The range of sources was (and continues to be) rather wide: besides original Internet-sources, volunteer digitisers, pub­lishing houses and authors could act as donators. The new status of the MEK project enables us to use significant financial means to acquire documents, thus adding more high-quality and voluminous docu­ments to the collection. In 2004 we have launched our largest digitisation project: the Digital Library of Hungarology, aimed at converting and publishing hundreds of important reference works in electronic form.

One can find information in all fields of interest in the MEK, and all kinds of document types: novels, poems, scientific books and papers, lexicons, dictionaries, maps and paintings. The majority of the documents are in Hungarian, but there are sources in foreign languages as well, in particular the achievements of Hun­ga­rian science and culture translated to other languages.

All documents that are selected to be added to the collection undergo a thorough quality-check, are converted into the most popular formats (HTML, XML, PDF, RTF) with standard features, and are described according to current library standards that can be applied to digital items, before going on-line. Due to exten­sive and detailed metadata attached to each item, the documents are thoroughly indexed and can be found easily via the major search engines.

Digital Archive of the Hungarian Social Sciences

Mtd@ is a private initiative, aiming to research, discover and publish the works of the significant authors of the Hungarian social science and historical sociology.

Its concept is content centric and states that offering equal access to that content is possible in digital environment only.

In order to respect the copyright and IPR regulations, the Archive prefers publishing online the works of authors who died for 70 years at least.

Regional OER initiatives

Institutional OER initiatives

University of Miskolc - ViCaDiS (Virtual Campus for Digital Students)

Project with the involvement of ODL actors from EU and CEE countries, focusing on developing an innovative approach for enhancing international eLearning. It produces a pedagogical shift inside universities eLearning moving the focus from the education materials and technology to the user-student, to user generated content. The project aims to build a virtual campus for digital students aimed at providing open educational resources and tools available and accessible for all students and to ensure the interoperability between the different eLearning environments.

Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest – Faculty of Social Sciences

At the Department of Economy of the Faculty, online courses have been developed with renewed, content for BSc students. The digital courseware repository enables the continuous refreshment of knowledge. The e-learning courses have been elaborated in collaboration with the Hungarian Academy of Science and and will be available on the Tankönyvtár as open access materials. The project was supported by EU funds.

Spontaneous movements Large repositories of syllabi, handouts, course outlines, curricula, examination tests and alike are available on the web, at home pages developed spontaneously by students (secondary and tertiary educational institutions) as a kind of social collaboration activity (similar to Wikipedia). The serve in a targetted ways the preparation of students to the examinations, Baccaleurate, etc.

Update 2014

Country Report on ICT in Education - HUNGARY 2013

European Schoolnet


In December 2011, the government passed the Public Education Act, which assigns the fundamental responsibility for public education to the state.

The development areas/educational goals are: ethical education; national identity/patriotic education; civic and democratic education; the development of self-recognition and social culture; education for family life; physical and mental health education; responsibility for others and volunteering; sustainability and environmental awareness; career orientation; economic and financial education, education for media consciousness; and learning to learn.

The state appoints the heads of the relevant institutions (e.g. the National Development Agency, the Education Office and the Institute for Education Research and Development) through government offices.

The framework curricula define basic education principles, the goals of education, development goals, core competences and content areas, in line with the National Core Curriculum. These are defined for each school year, subject and school type.

Informatics is introduced as a subject in grade 6. The previous National Core Curriculum recommended that 2-5% of all lessons in grades 1-4 should be devoted to informatics. This curriculum also formulated related learning aims to be reached by the end of grade 4. In addition, pupils’ digital competences should be developed in other subjects.

According to the Public Education Act of 2011, among the key priorities are: • to enhance and unify the quality of public education; • to revise the system for in-service teacher training; • to create a system of professional control by the state; • to assign the responsibility and control of public education to the government; • the professional pedagogical services have been centralised; • the framework curricula aim to make the system more effective; • in primary education (age 6-14), free school books will be provided.


The State Secretariat for Info-communication of the Hungarian Ministry for National Development deals with issues related to the national ICT strategy. The Digital Renewal Action Plan 2010-2014 provides the guidelines for the national strategy, assesses the state of info-communication, presents vision and action plan for the future. The plan is in line with the recommendations and goals of the Europe 2020 Digital Renewal Action Plan strategy

The main institutions for implementing the ICT strategy are:

1. The National Development Agency (NDA), which was established to carry out long- and medium-term development and planning tasks, to prepare plans required for the access to financial aid from the European Union, and to prepare operational programmes and establish the institutional framework for utilising these aids.

2. The Ministry of Human Resources (MHR) of the State Secretariat for Education, which is responsible for the functioning of the Hungarian social and healthcare service system, the development of school education, the protection of cu-rural values, the assurance of the interests of children and the youth, and the implementation of government plans concerning Hungarian sports.

3. The Educatio Public Services Non-Profit Limited Liability Company, whose primary goal is the conceptualisation of services regarding development in content, methodology and administration in public and higher education, the implementation of development programmes, the coordination of developments that aim to reform public education, as well as the creation of equal opportunities in education.

4. The Education Office (EO), is active in both public and higher education and harmonises the diverse fields of education in Hungary.

5. The Institute for Education Research and Development (OFI), which is the strategic research, development and service institution of the education sector.

6. The Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Centre (KIMC), which holds the responsibility for state control of public education.


In general, the State Secretariat for Education provides funding per student for ICT development and the managing authority (local or county authority, church or private provider) applies for this money on a yearly basis. This current level of funding is 1750 HUF (€5.8) per student. 50% of that amount must be spent on the purchase or maintenance of educational administration software.

The largest call which made available a significant amount of tools, trainings and mentoring programmes, was the Social Renewal Operative Programme 3.1.4. (2009 - 2012). The programme aimed at a comprehensive reform of teaching and learning, focusing on developing competences and skills for life-long learning. At a national level the programme was supported by the Social Renewal Operative Programme 3.1.1 through the "21st Century Public Education – Development, Coordination” priority project. It was implemented by the Educatio Public Services Non-Profit LLC and the Institute for Education Research and Development. The aim of the project was to foster the general use of competence-based education and to help its implementation in practice, as well as to further improve the quality and effectiveness of education, and to reduce the gap in opportunities.

An electronic information system, which collected and grouped professional information and products and services, supported the implementation of other programmes. The second term of the initiative was launched in 2012, with the continued aim of providing professional and ICT support to the development of public education, and also ensuring the quality of education and monitoring innovation.

Although the Education Act of 2011 and the new frame-work curricula create a new context for this work, there has been no major change in the focus of the activities and many developments are continuations of previous work. Nonetheless, there are some new activities, such as the further development of the Public Education Information System, which collects and provides data on public education in general.


• Interactive whiteboards, laptops/notebooks, tablets or other mobile technology.

• In the Eszterházy Károly College in Eger (academic year 2011/2012), a group of future teacher students used iPads in all classes as well as textbooks that had been developed in iBook format. Prospective teachers collaborated on the development of the iBooks, and enriched the texts with interactive tasks, anima-tions, tests.

• Cloud computing: The Közháló (Public Net) service provided all educational institutions with the use of e-mailing and web storage services free of charge for the maintenance of school web pages.

• Inclusion and special needs: A programme called Ráhangolás (Tuning In) helped young people with hearing impairment to find work.

• Network (Wi-Fi, optical fibre, internet connection): All educational institutions are centrally equipped with internet access. The development of the network is on-going and is coordinated by the National Information Infrastructure Development Institute (NIIFI).

• Learning Contexts in the 21st century: New functions and contents were added to the Sulinet portal.

• Microsoft Partnership: The Hungarian State has signed a co-operation agreement with Microsoft Hungary, which allows for an increase of services offered by the company to public education. Microsoft will cooperate with the Hungarian state to develop a national digital portal for public education and will implement the “digital home programme”. This programme will aim to provide access to internet and digital technology to people who did not previously have access. Participating households will receive equipment for free or at a reduced price and benefit from training. The “digital home programme” began with a pilot in the town of Miskolc, a post-industrial town in north-eastern Hungary that faces economic difficulties and high unemployment rates.

• Microsoft Partners in Learning ICT Academy – a society of teachers, with around 100 participants, who take part training and mini conferences. The participants learnt together for 6 months, regularly receiving learning materials, newsletters, building their professional network and sharing their ideas on blogs and at conferences.

Where are we today with online education in Hungary?

A conference was organised at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (KommON Workshop for Communication) under the title “The state of online education in Hungary”in April 2014.

The use of elearning in Hungary is still embryonic after more than 20 years of its first appearences. This is true despite that estimations show that online learning may help 50% cost saving and 40% decrease in time needed for organization and delivery of teaching. Computer and web-based courses in the public education and adult education institutions make 25% of all training. Most such training takes place in "blended learning" format.

In teacher education, higher education institutions delivering teacher training have recognized the needs and challenges thus launched courses on the use of new technologies in learning. At the Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Pedagogy, since 2009 in the master degree education, the subject "Modern tools for pedagogy" is a compulsory one. The university also organizes conferences for teachers on "Digital generation" and "The Digital Teacher". There are many self-training opportunities for teachers on the web including blogs, Youtube channels, discussion groups.

In the public education, the role of elearning is intended to be a kind of complementary support, for young pupils as competence development aid, for elder pupils for the development of independent learning capabilities. A free access national Sulinet Knowledge Base [1], helps classroom based and independent online learning with high number of digital courses and audio-visual materials.

According to the conference conclusions, main problems causing the Hungarian online education lagging behind the international mainstream are the lack of support, lack of time of teachers to develop digital courses, and that the Hungarian law (IPR) does not quite know/cannot interpret the terms of online education.

Experts said that public education and higher education should be treated rather differently from the perspective of online learning. In the HE sector the introduction of the new learning forms is emerging already as burning question.

The Hungarian legislation is only recognising as forms of education in higher education only three: the regular full time learning, the so called evening classes and distance learning. Online education is classified under the distance education category but there is no legislation in power about it. The Public education act does not contain any mentioning of online learning. This means in practice a decade of lagging behind the international developments.

According to the State Secretariat for Higher Education (Ministry of Human Resources): In the higher education in Hungary there are no accredited online courses and it is not foreseen either to have any. Like in public education, in higher education as well, the personal contact between student and teacher is necessary, thus there is no space for online courses in either of the educational sectors. In adult learning using such courses may be possible.

In the meantime, some examples show that digital materials may be available, like in frames of the the Digital Miskolc [2] program (in a large city in North-Hungary) in which thousands of people got digital devices and learning guidance.

For the transition to the development and use of digital materials there is hardly any financial support available in practice, even though in principle already many online courses are available. Enthusiastic teachers keep on trying to use digital materials at their lessons but these remain mostly isolated, without recognition and reward.

Learning management systems are available, such as the open source Moodle or Ilias but the teachers hardly use them, if yes, mostly just upload their materials, further sophisticated learning functions are not exploited.

MOOCs: While the information society, media convergence starts repositioning higher education worldwide, in Hungary majority of higher education institutions refuse these systemic developments. Arguments come from the fields of lack of trust and confidence: difficult to control, almost anyone can upload anything, it can not be traced back etc. There are problems with the obtainable "diplomas" credibility, social inclusion of young people in the online learning raises problems.


ReVica/VISCED page for Hungary (


> Countries

>> Main Page