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Vera Messing and Zsuzsanna Arendas on the Hungarian Education System

“The rigidity of the Hungarian education system can be a very strong barrier to migration motivation,” our Research Fellow Vera Messing said to Qubit. The Hungarian school system is based on "nerdification, uniformization," our Research Fellow Zsuzsanna Arendas added.

The article, written by our Research Affiliate Agnes Kende, is based on their book chapter co-authored with Judit Durst and Noemi Katona.

“Hungarian parents will think ten times before exposing their child to the risk of leaving and then coming back later. They may choose to maintain their home country's student status while trying to integrate in a foreign language of a foreign country, in order to have a way back to the Hungarian school, thus placing a huge burden on their child. But if they don't do this, the return becomes at the very least uncertain, and it is not known in which year the child will be able to continue school when they return home,” Vera Messing continued. “Some of the people we spoke to saw the need to return as a failure,” she added.

The ability to think strategically also implies several types of capital, economic, cultural, social or symbolic, which are most likely to be possessed by those in the middle class and even higher status. "They have the skills and the reserves to develop a strategy," Zsuzsanna Arendas argued. "There is a saying that high-status people have more to gain from spatial mobility than low-status people, but we can further chisel this out by saying that the reverse is also true for both categories: there is much to gain from the bottom, but also much to lose from the top," she said.

Read the full article (in Hungarian) here.

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