Education System in Hungary

Education System in Hungary

Pre-school education

In Hungary, pre-school education takes place in kindergartens under the supervision of preschool teachers, who are assisted by qualified support staff (carers or nannies). Preschool kindergarten education is compulsory and provided for all children between three and six years old, after which school attendance is also compulsory until the age of sixteen.

Application form to enter pre-school (kindergarten) education is downloadable here (only available in Hungarian) or can be requested from kindergartens maintained by the City Council.

To complete kindergarten registration, both the child’s and parent’s identification documents (ID card and residence card) have to be shown.

The application deadline to enter kindergarten is generally in February and/or March.

Primary education

Primary education is provided in 8-form entry schools with a standardised structure, which includes primary education (from grade 1 to grade 4) and lower secondary education (from grade 5 to grade 8).

Application form to enter primary school education is downloadable here (only available in Hungarian) or can be requested from primary schools maintained by the School District Centre of Debrecen (under the section ‘Jelentkezési lap állami fenntartású általános iskolába’)

To complete primary school registration, the application form has to be submitted either to the child’s kindergarten (if located in Debrecen) or the primary school of choice (if the child’s kindergarten is not located in Debrecen).

The application deadline to enter primary school is generally in February and/or March.

Secondary education

Secondary education is carried out in grammar schools/general secondary schools, vocational secondary schools, and vocational schools. Art schools are also educational institutions, the aim of which is to develop artistic skills, to enhance and nurture artistic talent,and to prepare for specialised further education. 

The application form for the written entrance exam can be downloaded here (in Hungarian only). The application deadline to enter secondary school is generally around December. 

Higher education

Higher education institutions include colleges and universities. Universities offer Bachelor’s (3 years) and Master’s degrees (2 years), as well as doctoral programs (3-4 years).



schools in Debrecen

The International School of Debrecen (ISD) provides learning opportunities in English for students from kindergarten to the end of secondary school, while Deutsche Schule Debrecen provides a German-language curriculum for students in grades 1-4, with native German-speaking teachers.


Tuition fees

Most Hungarian schools and universities are public, and students traditionally study for free. In higher education, this depends on the student’s academic performance. If students are not admitted to a state-funded university or college, they can also attend a self-financed higher education course.

Most educational institutions organise open days to provide parents and children with the opportunity to visit the respective kindergarten / school and to view facilities, and to learn more about the various programmes the institution has to offer.  

Parents are usually also involved in the school’s activities and classes often have a parent-teacher association whose members represent the respective class. These partnerships primarily aim to support and improve the learning and development of children and adolescents. Parent-teacher meetings are organised on a monthly basis in which parents and teachers have an opportunity to discuss emerging issues and communicate ideas.


Exchange programmes and scholarships

There is a wide range of scholarship opportunities offered for foreigners with an aspiration to study in Hungarian educational institutions.


Most educational institutions provide catering opportunities for their staff and students.

Canteens (menza) usually offer various menu options, which provide a good selection for a balanced and healthy diet. Improving food quality and addressing nutrition has been an important policy implemented in most Hungarian schools. Buffets and vending machines are also generally to be found on the schools’ premises.

Special dietary requirements (i.e. food allergies and intolerances, vegetarians / vegans, dietary restrictions related to religious traditions) need to be stated on registration at the school. School meals are optional and are provided for a fee.

Adult education and language learning

Debrecen offers a wide range of adult and language learning opportunities for people living, working and studying in the city.