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Under-education within the EU

More and more adult workers have to return to school to improve their professional skills, as one fifths of the young unemployed are uneducated or under-educated, the Budapest Business School (BBS), the National Resources Ministry and the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education concluded at a recent conference.

More than 100 education experts from 17 countries took part in the conference, evaluating the state of short cycle education programs in Europe, BBS said in a press release. Approximately 1.7 million students are enrolled in such programs across Europe. In Hungary, 40,000 students take part in its equivalent, the 4-semester “higher vocational programs”.

There is a need for strengthening the links and transferability between short cycle education programs and traditional bachelor programs. Trainings would be more effective and appear more attractive on the job market, if students were given a degree after the successful completion of their studies, similar to practices in the United Kingdom and some Nordic countries.

The lack of a degree at the end of higher vocational programs is a problem in Hungary, too. Ákos Niklai, the vice president of the Confederation of Hungarian Employers and Industrialists stressed that vocational education is an important part of higher education, and that the current system in the country needs improvement in line with needs of employers. (DK)