In Hungary, secondary education generally lasts for 4 years; most students finish secondary school education at the age of 18 or 19. There are three different types of secondary schools:

It provides general education and care, preparing students for the school leaving examination and for commencing higher educational studies. Once completing the final year of secondary school, students take a school leaving examination called érettségi (Matura). This final exam can be compared to A-level exams or Abitur. Since 2005 Hungarian Matura consists of five different subjects, including a written exam in mathematics, oral and written exams in Hungarian literature and grammar, a foreign language, history, and a written and / or oral exam in a subject of the student’s choice. The school leaving examination plays a significant part in the entrance requirements to higher education institutions.


Besides providing students with the general knowledge of secondary education, vocational secondary schools also offer professional theoretical and practical training in order to prepare students to enter specialised higher education or enter a job in a related field. Once completing vocational secondary school, students obtain a vocational school leaving examination certificate.

Vocational schools have five grades, of which three are vocational grades, comprising of general knowledge on the subject and adequate training requirements for obtaining a state-accredited vocational qualification, as well as professional theoretical and practical training; and two other grades preparing students for the secondary school leaving examination (optional). To find out more about secondary schools and vocational schools maintained either by the School District Centre of Debrecen or the churches, public institutions, or various foundations, visit the official website of the city of Debrecen (only available in Hungarian) and their respective website.

In addition, the Upper School section of the International School of Debrecen (ISD) offers an academically challenging and balanced programme of education, which leads to an internationally recognized secondary school diploma. For detailed information about the ISD and its programme, visit the section on the ‘International School of Debrecen’ or the official website of ISD.

The array of educational institutions will be further extended with the opening of the Deutsche Schule Debrecen (German Primary School and Secondary School of Debrecen). The school will offer a German curriculum and a diploma that is equivalent to one that can be obtained in Germany.