Hungary has consistently worked on the improvement of policies when it comes toeducation and has continually introduced new policies that recognize the right to education andprohibit the denial of education. In the Hungarian public education system, compulsoryeducation begins at the age of 6 of the child, but at the latest upon reaching the age of 7, andaccording to the current legislation, it finishes at the age of 16. However, Hungary remains toface some poverty and gender inequality struggles that possibly inhibit the right of education.Hungary has been supporting and promoting education long before 1367 as The University ofPécs was established in 1367 to study law and medicine, and a number of other universitieswere established as early as the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. For many years theHungarian system of education was seen as one of the finest in the world. “Humanities are veryimportant for teaching critical citizens,” notes Zoltán Fleck, head of the Centre for Theory ofLaw and Society at Budapest’s Eötvös Loránd University. Indeed, at one point Hungary hadproduced more Nobel Prize winners per capita than any other nation. It particularly excelled inscience, where such important figures as Dr. Leó Szilárd and Dr. Edward Teller, atomic scientistson the Manhattan project, and Van Kaman, the helicopter pioneer, were all Hungarian born andtrained. Perhaps more recognizable are Ernö Rubik, the Hungarian mathematician whoinvented the Rubik's cube, and József Bíró, who invented the Biro disposable pen. Finally, AndyGrove, the CEO of Intel Corporation and the 1998 Time magazine Man of the Year was born inBudapest. Today the challenge presented by the need to restructure the Hungarian educationalsystem puts this legacy of educational excellence at serious risk.Good education and skills are important requisites for finding a job. In Hungary, 83% of adultsaged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, higher than the OECD average of 74%.Around 85% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 82% of women. Interms of the quality of the education system the average student scored 474 in reading literacy,math and science in the OECD's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), lowerthan the OECD average of 486. On average in Hungary, girls outperformed boys by 5 points,more than the average OECD gap of 2 points. In terms of health, life expectancy at birth inHungary is 76 years, four years lower than the OECD average of 80 years, and one of the lowestin the OECD. Life expectancy for women is 79 years, compared with 72 for men. The level ofatmospheric PM2.5 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to thelungs – is 19.4 micrograms per cubic meter, higher than the OECD average of 13.9 microgramsper cubic meter. Hungary could perform better in terms of water quality, as 76% of people saythey are satisfied with the quality of their water, lower than the OECD average of 81%.Recent policy responses1. The government adopted several strategies to promote quality, improve opportunitiesand tackle early school leaving. These include 1) the Mid-term Strategy Against SchoolLeaving Without Qualification (2014) to prevent and tackle early-school leaving,improve students’ skills and competences and foster employability; 2) the PublicEducation Development Strategy (2014-20) to foster inclusive education; and 3) theNational Social Inclusion Strategy (2011-20) to promote inclusion measures in childwelfare, education and employment.2. The national Higher Education Strategy (2014) (see Spotlight 4) stipulates that allstudents admitted to higher education will need to pass a competence test at the beginningof the program. Mentoring, coaching and catch-up courses will be organized for studentswith lower results on this test to prevent them from dropping out.3. Hungary is gradually introducing a Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan toprovide all 15-24- year-olds with an offer of employment, a place in further educationwithin four months of registering with the National Employment Service. The plan willbe fully operational in 2018 and will also cover training for NEETs.4. The Career Guidance System (2012-15) has involved development and continuousupdating of national career guidance and training for 4 000 teachers and counsellors whoprovide career guidance.5. Public Education Bridge Programs (National Public Education Act, 2011) aim to assiststudents who could not complete primary education to enroll in upper secondaryeducation or obtain knowledge for entering the labor market.