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The Political Background of Structural Changes in the Educational System of Hungary, 1985-1994

Horn, Daniel
Equality of opportunity in the current Hungarian education system is low by international standards. Highly selective educational institutions, especially the age of selection, play an important role in this. This paper presents and explicates the evolution of the contemporary education system in Hungary. Focusing on the pivotal years between 1985 and 1994, it asks why and how the country’s previously comprehensive education system transformed into a highly selective one during the process of post-communist transition. Bringing together data from a range of sources, the paper parses out the key factors that gave way to this transformation and analyzes the roles of those who had the largest impact on it. It argues that three intertwined factors led to the emergence of the present system and, especially, to the development of early selective tracks: historical conditions, decentralization, and democracy.
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Contributor: Center for Policy Studies - http://cps.ceu.hu
Topic: Politics and Governance
Country: Hungary
Document Type: Policy Analyses
Year: 2010
Keywords: Democracy, Decentralization, Education, Transition
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