The drastic higher education reforms the Hungarian government has introduced in the last months of 2012 have sparked nationwide protests. But while the government continues to implement contradictory reform, resistance from below is gaining ground.
Since the current government came into power in 2010, changes in the education system have been generally characterized by centralization, state control, overregulation and questioning of the role of the intelligentsia and the importance of higher education.
Students are now only required to stay in school until age 16 (down from 18), schools are being nationalized, the regulation of curricula has been strengthened to tie the hands of schools and teachers, and national curricula have been rewritten to promote the Government’s ideology. This means that the special curricula of schools that work with disadvantaged children (the government has also cut funding for these schools) and the curricula of great institutions for gifted students will go into the dustbin, or will at least be rewritten according to the wishes of the government. The remuneration of teachers, like that of others working in the public sector, is very low, and has decreased with the reforms.