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Hungary producedmore Nobel Prize winners per capita

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Hungary has consistently worked on the improvement of policies when it comes to educationand has continually introduced new policies that recognize the right to education and prohibitthe denial of education. In the Hungarian public education system, compulsory educationbegins at the age of 6 of the child, but at the latest upon reaching the age of 7, and according tothe current legislation, it finishes at the age of 16. However, Hungary remains to face somepoverty and gender inequality struggles that possibly inhibit the right of education. Hungary hasbeen supporting and promoting education long before 1367 as The University of Pécs wasestablished in 1367 to study law and medicine, and a number of other universities wereestablished as early as the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. For many years the Hungariansystem of education was seen as one of the finest in the world. “Humanities are very importantfor teaching critical citizens,” notes Zoltán Fleck, head of the Centre for Theory of Law andSociety at Budapest’s Eötvös Loránd University. Indeed, at one point Hungary had producedmore Nobel Prize winners per capita than any other nation. It particularly excelled in science,where such important figures as Dr. Leó Szilárd and Dr. Edward Teller, and Van Kaman, thehelicopter pioneer, were all Hungarian born and trained. Perhaps more recognizable are ErnöRubik, the Hungarian mathematician who invented the Rubik's cube, and József Bíró, whoinvented the Biro disposable pen. Today the challenge presented by the need to restructure theHungarian educational system puts this legacy of educational excellence at serious risk.Good education and skills are important requisites for finding a job. In Hungary, 83% of adultsaged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, higher than the OECD average of 74%.Around 85% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 82% of women.In terms of the quality of the education system the average student scored 474 in readingliteracy, math and science in the OECD's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA),lower than the OECD average of 486. On average in Hungary, girls outperformed boys by 5points, more than the average OECD gap of 2 points.Recent policy responses1. The government adopted several strategies to promote quality, improve opportunitiesand tackle early school leaving. These include 1) the Mid-term Strategy Against SchoolLeaving Without Qualification (2014) to prevent and tackle early-school leaving,improve students’ skills and competences and foster employability; 2) the PublicEducation Development Strategy (2014-20) to foster inclusive education; and 3) theNational Social Inclusion Strategy (2011-20) to promote inclusion measures in childwelfare, education and employment.2. The national Higher Education Strategy (2014) (see Spotlight 4) stipulates that allstudents admitted to higher education will need to pass a competence test at the beginningof the program. Mentoring, coaching and catch-up courses will be organized for studentswith lower results on this test to prevent them from dropping out.3. Hungary is gradually introducing a Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan toprovide all 15-24- year-olds with an offer of employment, a place in further educationwithin four months of registering with the National Employment Service. The plan willbe fully operational in 2018 and will also cover training for NEETs.4. The Career Guidance System (2012-15) has involved development and continuousupdating of national career guidance and training for 4 000 teachers and counsellors whoprovide career guidance.5. Public Education Bridge Programs (National Public Education Act, 2011) aim to assiststudents who could not complete primary education to enroll in upper secondaryeducation or obtain knowledge for entering the labor market.

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