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Hungary, Academic Career Structure

Higher Education in Hungary

Hungarian higher education has a dual system with colleges and universities. Higher education institutions include 17 state universities, 1 non-state university, 13 colleges, 26 Church universities and colleges and 9 colleges run by foundations.

Higher education institutions are subject to the authority of the Ministry of Education, although autonomy in the institutions is growing. Among other things, they can design their own curriculum and hire their own staff.

Between 1949 and 1993 it was the Hungarian Academy of Science (HAS) that provided PhD training, separated out entirely from the universities which could not award PhDs. Since 1989 many changes took place in this centralised training structure. In 1999 doctoral schools were set up in Hungary.

As the country is trying to adjust to the Bologna Process and due to increasing demands for flexibility and internationalisation, the structure of the Higher Education System is changing rapidly.

There has also been a sharp decline in the funding of higher education institutions. In 2012, funding levels in Hungary were half of what they were in 2008.

 

Career Curriculum

1. PhD Candidate/Doctor of the Academy
2. Assistant Lecturer
3. Lecturer
4. Reader
5. Professor

 

Requirements for Positions

A PhD degree is normally required for lecturer positions. A PhD degree is required for reader and professor positions. The Habilitation is required for professor positions, but not for lecturers and readers.

Most academic posts are filled through open competition. For a position of researcher or teacher one can also be invited. Readers and professors are always selected in open competition. There is no tenure-track career in Hungary. Promotion depends on experience in teaching and research.

In Hungary, research remains one of the main criteria for promotion at all levels, and especially for promotion to the senior level. The publication of a Habilitation, a second major piece of research after the doctorate, is a requirement for applying for a professorship. The Habilitation committee, which grants the degree, is set up by the individual institutions.

Although the institutions advertise for their own staff, university professors are (officially) appointed by the President of the Republic of Hungary, whilst the Prime Minister appoints college professors. Appointments are in a certain department in a specific discipline. Yet, once an appointment has been obtained and as long as a person has the appropriate qualifications, s/he can also teach in different programs and disciplines.

The highest research position in Hungarian academe, the kutatò professzor (scientific researcher), requires the title of Doctor of Sciences administered by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS). Therefore, one has to be a member of this organisation before one can be considered for such a position.

 

Research Career

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Barriers to Career Advancement

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Job Security

Professors in both universities and colleges are civil servants. Lecturers and teachers are usually on temporary, renewable contracts.

 

Contracts and Duties

Assistant lecturers have to teach and do research. Their contract is normally temporary and lasts a maximum  of four years and can be renewed once.

Lecturers have to teach and do research as well as contribute to the development and organisation of courses and curriculum. Their contract is normally temporary (lasting four years) and can be renewed twice.

Readers have to teach and do research. Moreover, they are expected to supervise and teach doctorate students and give lecturers in a foreign language.

Professors have the same duties as readers, but are expected to take extra part in the departmental and institutional development.

 

Sabbatical Opportunities

Every five years members of the teaching staff and researchers may be granted a sabbatical period of up to one year, with the purpose of developing their individual research. At the end of the sabbatical period, one is obliged to present the results to the institution.

 

Gross Salaries

Gross monthly salary levels from 2007

 StartAverageMax

PhD Candidate

--

--

--

Assistant Lecturer

--

--

--

Lecturer

--

--

--

Reader

--

--

--

Professor

--

--

--

Source:

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Number of Existing Positions

 
   All Disciplines

PhD Candidate

--

--

--

Assistant Lecturer

--

--

--

Lecturer

--

--

--

Reader

--

--

--

Professors

--

--

--

Source:

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Internal Recruitment

Internal mobility in Hungarian academia is generally low. One usually studies, works and retires from same institution. This is due to the fact that academics with permanent posts are civil servants and guaranteed a position for life, and because cultural traditions, family structures etc. seem to play a large role.

 

Accessibility for Non-Nationals

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National Universities

 

International Universities

 

Research Institutions

PhD holders may embark on research careers conducted entirely apart from the university and without any teaching. For example, in Hungary (as in France), the Hungarian Academy of Science (HAS), finances research and appoints researchers.

 

Academic Unions

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Useful Websites

 

Info for History

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Info for Economics

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Info for Law

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Info for Social and Political Science

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Postdoctoral Information

 

Websites for Job Postings

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Sources

Jakab et al. (2005), 'Disciplinary Boundaries between the Social Sciences and Humanities. National Report on Hungary', Report written for the Research and Integration Project, University of Hull, UK.

Griffin, G., T. Green, et al. (2005), 'The Relationship between the Process of Professionalization in Academe and Interdisciplinarity:
A Comparative Study of Eight European Countries', University of Hull, UK

Higher Education Act CXXXIX, 2005

Ministry of Education (2005), 'Towards Bologna – The Hungarian Universities Program - Higher Education Reform Project'

 

 

Page last updated on 09 March 2017