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Hungary  [5]  Funding framework of VET/HRD research

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R&D activities related to VET/HRD in Hungary are financed primarily by public resources and by Structural Funds assistance (primarily) through the Human Resources Development Operational Programme (HRD OP) of the Ist National Development Plan of Hungary. 

The most significant national sources of financing VET/HRD R&D are the Munkaerö-piaci Alap (MPA, Labour Market Fund) and the state budget. The MPA was created in 1999 by merging several former independent state funds. Its income comes from various kinds of taxes (employers’, workers’, entrepreneurs’, rehabilitation, and the vocational training contribution, a kind of training levy), the state budget, and other revenues. The MPA has several sub-funds of which the Training and the Employment sub-funds are most relevant to financing VET/HRD R&D projects. These sub-funds in turn have different sections dedicated to various fields and development objectives whose resources are allocated in differing ways but in all cases with the participation of the social partners.

Training sub-fund of the MPA: 

  • this sub-fund is dedicated primarily to supporting VET practical training and its development, but R&D activities are also financed from this source, in particular the R&D projects carried out/coordinated by the Nemzeti Szakképzési Intézet (NSZI, National Institute of Vocational Education), including VET/HRD central development programmes such as the Szakiskolai Fejlesztési Program (Development Programme of Vocational Schools), as well as tenders coordinated by the national public foundations dedicated to improving specific fields of R&D activities (e.g. Apertus Közalapítvány, Apertus Public Foundation,, set up by the government to support the development and introduction of open and distance learning; or the national tenders of the Tempus Közalapítvány, Tempus Public Foundation,; 
  • tendering of subsidies from its central section is organized and evaluated by the Országos Szakképzési Tanács (OSZT, National Vocational Training Council) and coordinated by the Oktatási Minisztérium Alapkezelö Igazgatósága (OMAI, Fundmanager Directorate of the Ministry of Education, http:\\, while tendering of sources from the decentralized section (providing support primarily for infrastructural development in accordance with the priorities defined by the Minister of Education) is assisted and coordinated by the regionális fejlesztési és képzési bizottságok (regional development and training committees). The Councils as well as the committees involve social partners who advise the decisions of the Minister of Education.
Employment sub-fund of the MPA:
  • this sub-fund provides funding for the tenders of the Országos Foglalkoztatási Közalapítvány (National Employment Public Foundation, supporting research projects related to the labour market (aimed at enhancing employment), while its adult training section is dedicated to financing R&D projects carried out, or tenders coordinated, by the Nemzeti Felnöttképzési Intézet (NFI, National Institute for Adult Education).
  • allocation of sources of the employment sub-fund for financing labour market research tendered by the OFA is assisted by the Munkaeröpiaci Alap Irányító Testülete (MAT, Governing Board of the Labour Market Fund), while in tendering sources from the adult training section of this sub-fund, the Országos Felnöttképzési Tanács (OFkT, National Adult Education Board) advises the final decision of the Minister of Employment and Labour. 
The central budget provides support - as defined in the annual budget acts - for the following research activities (in addition to providing financial “normative” assistance to higher education institutions for their research work):
  • research projects carried out by national R&D institutions (e.g. Országos Közoktatási Intézet, OKI, National Institute of Public Education; Felsöoktatási Kutatóintézet, FKI, Hungarian Institute for Education Research) - these institutions, however, finance their research activities from multiple sources (including participation in tenders announced by public foundations, etc.),
  • research work and the support frameworks of the Magyar Tudományos Akadémia (MTA, Hungarian Academy of Science), including scholarships or the Országos Tudományos Kutatási Alapprogramok (OTKA, Hungarian Scientific Research Fund programmes, that provides financial support for basic scientific research through tendering, 
  • research in priority areas related to education policy supported by the Országos Kiemelésü Társadalomkutatási Kutatások (Nationally Prioritized Social Science Research) programme through tendering coordinated by the Oktatásért Közalapítvány (Public Foundation for Education), and
  • research that may be (on availability of funding) tendered by various ministries (often in cooperation with each other or other institutions, e.g. the joint tenders of the Ministry of Education and the MTA Pedagógiai Bizottság, Pedagogical Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Science).
Finally, there is also a national research fund, the Kutatási és Technológiai Innovációs Alap (Research and Technological Innovation Fund), that supports R&D activities with the primary objective to improve the competitiveness and the sustainable development of the economy, which may also finance some projects related to VET/HRD (e.g. through the Nemzeti Kutatási és Fejlesztési Program, National Research and Development Programme, now called Jedlik Ányos programme). It was set up in 2003, and the use of its sources (50% of its revenue come from a tax levied on economic organizations except for small enterprises, amounting to 0.25% of their turnover, the other half from the budget) is managed by the Nemzeti Kutatási és Technológiai Hivatal (NKTH, National Office for Research and Technology, supervised by the Minister of Education and the Minister of Economy and Transport. 

As regards EU financial support, the Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus and other community programmes are coordinated by the Tempus Közalapítvány. Structural Funds assistance through the HRD OP measures is provided either through central programmes (e.g. those coordinated by the NSZI and by the NFI), or through tendering implemented by the OMAI, the ESZA Európai Szociális Alap Nemzeti Programirányító Iroda Társadalmi Szolgáltató Kht. (European Social Fund Implementing Agency,, and by the Ministry of Health, Social and Family Affairs Structural Funds Program Office.

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Hungary (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO