School and Education in Hungary

Since 1990, democratization of education has been central in Hungary. The education system has become decentralized. Traditionally, the country has had centrally drawn up curricula, but since 1990 there has been room for local adaptations. There are major differences between the school offerings in cities and in the countryside. It is compulsory school for anyone aged 6 to 16 years. The primary school is usually 8 years old. There are three types of upper secondary education, of which 4-year high schools and vocational schools with an elementary education are most sought after. While Russian language was previously compulsory, English and German are now the dominant foreign languages.

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Land area 93,028 km²
Total population 9,771,827
Residents per km² 105
Capital Budapest
Official language Hungarian
Income per capita $ 29,600
Currency Forints
ISO 3166 code HU
Internet TLD .hu
License plate H
Telephone code +36
Time zone UTC UTC + 1, daylight saving time UTC + 2
Geographic coordinates 47 00 N, 20 00 O

There are 89 higher education institutions. The oldest is the University of Pécs (1367, restored 1923) and Loránd Eötvös University of Budapest (1635).

Hungary Country Flag

Hungary flag source:

1848 Revolution

Aristocrat Istvan Szecheny became a leading reform figure in the first half of the 19th century. His book “Credit” (1825) became an inspiration for the reform movement, which worked not only for the League but for the development of science, art and modern production conditions. But at the same time new clear contradictions arose between the Hungarians and the many nationalities, who together were majority in the kingdom. These contradictions were to prove fatal during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49.

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In the period before the revolution – triggered by the new European uprising against the established order – the prominent nationalist wing under Lajos Kossuth won over Szecheny’s more moderate reform movement. But the revolution became a great tragedy. The minorities supported Austria, which was also assisted by Russia. Kossuth had to flee from Hungary, while the Habsburgs took a cruel revenge and created a harsh central government. See for all countries starting with H.

Indirectly, however, the revolution became a victory because it clearly showed that, at length, the national demands of the Hungarians could not be suppressed. The 1850-60s also brought economic progress, especially for the capital Budapest. In time, Emperor Franz Josef also understood that the kingdom had to be reorganized on a new basis. The result was the famous “Ausgleich” – a 1867 compromise that created the double-monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Franz Josef was crowned Hungarian King, and the two parts of the state were equated, but with common foreign and defense policy. The scheme was the prelude to a new heyday in the history of Hungary. At the same time, it became a major cause of the collapse of the double monarchy, because the other nationalities in Austria and especially Hungary did not meet their fair demands.

An alliance of nobility and liberal citizenship soon took over power in Hungary. Nationalism became a central ideological force and democracy was limited to a small elite. Neither the social nor the national problems were solved. As before, the peasants trampled on the large estates, with neither they nor the new growing industrial working class having the right to vote. For the bourgeoisie, it became a prosperous city center in Budapest that became a modern European metropolis.

Major politics was dominated by the ongoing conflict with Vienna for money and rights, while Hungarians under the joint Foreign Minister Gyula Andrassy actively supported the Germans in fighting the Slavic peoples. Throughout the 1890s, the followers of Lajos Kossuth gained a stronger influence, leading to an even stronger Hungarian nationalism.

After the year 1900, a new radical cultural movement emerged, including the young philosopher György Lukács and the great poet Endre Ady. The young radicals turned to ruling pompous nationalism, and many of them sought contact with the socialist labor movement, which was primarily fighting for universal suffrage. But the electoral system was arranged so that, before 1918, the Socialists were not able to get elected representatives into parliament.

The strong man was Istvan Tisza – prime minister in 1913-17. He fought to the last against the League of Nationalists. Facing him was Democratic Count Mihaly Karoly, who became prime minister in October 1918 when the Austro-Hungarian empire finally collapsed. After some months he too had to give up – threatened by external and internal enemies. Two-thirds of the country was then occupied by Serbs, Czechs and Romanians.