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Tudástár >> Az oktatás társadalmi-gazdasági környezete >> Közoktatás és regionális fejlődés

Public Education and Regional Development – Summary

2009. június 17.

Public Education and Regional Development
Summary

Subject and terminology

Public education is conceptualised in this volume as an important factor of human resource development (HRD). The role of education in HRD is traditionally seen in its contribution to economic competitiveness, which is fulfilled by higher education and vocational training in general views. Recently the contribution of public education to HRD is also taken into consideration but mainly from the aspect of knowledge transfer and its quality. According to the author this narrow concept also has three different segments: (a) how public education can develop skills needed for the knowledge economy, of the mass; (b) what it can do for establishing and promoting outstanding individual achievements and (c) how it can contribute to preventing social and cultural dropping behind. The common frame of fulfilling all this is the socialisation function of school, which leads to a broader understanding of the concept on the role of public education in HRD. Socialisation includes different forms, degrees and ways of micro-and macro level social integration of the individual, implying also negative processes of socialisation, e.g. distancing, refusal or – from the point of view of the social medium receiving it – segregation or stigmatisation. In modern societies there can be different models of integrations. Cohesion of the society can be gained by a broad set of individual and social integrations, which maintain the ’working ability’ of the society on one hand and its patterns accepted by the public, on the other.

Strengthening social cohesion by developing social competencies that can ensure cooperation between different socialisation pathways is a major function of public education. Though possibilities of the school are diminishing compared to other – often virtual – socialisation agents, it has remained one of the main institutions of the socialisation process. Specifically because compulsory schooling, involving almost all the young, is a long period in modern societies. Expansion of education raises also the importance of socialisation function at higher vertical levels of education.

Concerning economic competitiveness, this work adds new approach to be considered. Knowledge economy requires not only R+D workers but a large number of workforce with adaptability for changing circumstances and also people, temporarily or permanently out of work, with individual autonomy and ability to act. Building skills for lifelong learning (LLL), based on individual responsibility therefore should be included in the tasks of public education serving economic competitiveness.

The role of public education in HRD is discussed in the volume with the content of simultaneous and harmonious accomplishment of supporting economic competitiveness and strengthening social cohesion. Fulfilling however more perfectly educational tasks, serving one of these dimensions or each of their segments, is dysfunctional from the point of view of HRD. Since in the open European space excessive inequalities can threaten competitiveness (and are much less accepted by European culture than by the US’ one), social cohesion can also be seen as a condition of that. Among responsibilities that public education should take, there is a unique one: diminishing social inequalities that has to be handled together with giving freedom and individual choice (where the latter two allow competition and market processes).

Educational supply is available in a concrete geographical space, in the field of turbulent social processes. The regional structure of public education can be characterized by immobility, which is reasoned by the regulation frame of the system of education, by its operation as a public service of the state; by its building up on the general principle of closeness to the consumers and by its conservative feature of preserving human values. Spatial concentration is emerging by the functions of the educational sub-systems in respect to the higher vertical levels. Within these general characteristics, possibilities of spatial mobilisation within a geographical area, based on historical, cultural, economic and social factors, are shaped by Krugman’s centripetal and centrifugal forces. In the ’tug-of-war’ of the need for cost-efficiency, causing spatial concentration, for example, and consumers’ demand affecting against the latter, specific spatial processes can play a role and market elements can also appear amongst them. It depends on the territory in what forms they appear and how strong their effect will be.

Specific aspects of regional public education are not only factual but also legitimate in modern systems. The main reasons for that are decentralisation, deregulation and plurality of education. Within the general framework of state regulation there is a wide range of autonomy at lower levels and shared responsibility involve many stakeholders. Freedom in school choice, establishing educational institutions, selecting special content above the compulsory minimum and methods how to teach it, etc., make it possible to bring about different patterns of regional public education systems, the work of which can influence regional development, by way of strengthening or weakening other social effects.

The term ’regional system of public education’, introduced in this research, refers to conglomerates below the national level, having their specific characteristics and their own way of working. They have relevance for the regional policy. The volume uses the term in the case of two concrete territorial levels: county-level (NUTS III; in Hungary they have historical origins) and regional level (NUTS II; in Hungary they were introduced in 1996 as planning and statistical regions, not having identity) but the term can be extended to other levels.

The field of formation of regional educational processes in Hungary can be summarized briefly by the following. Possibilities of divergent territorial development in public education are principally given at settlement level since the main owners of schools (90%) are local authorities. Approximately 2,400 of 3,200 local authorities maintain educational institutions of ISCED 0, 1 and 2 levels. ISCED 3 level education – to be provided by county-level but this possibility is given also to local authorities by Hungarian law – is significant also at local level, basically in towns. Vocational institutes and pedagogical services are those that are maintained mostly by county-level authorities. From the 90s the continuously growing non-state educational sector (church, foundation and private schools) and a rather slowly forming educational cooperation of small regions have been colouring the picture of territorial processes of education. The development of regional systems of public education has been supported by a county level planning system since 1996; that was extended to local level planning in 1998. The buds of regional level educational planning can also be seen in some regions but not regulated by law at present; these efforts will likely increase with Hungary’s membership in the European Union.

Divergent regional development requires that the contribution of public education to HRD can be grasped at the given territorial level. For this the term of achievement of the regional system of public education was introduced and operationalised in the research. This term express to what extent regional public education system contributes to HRD in two dimensions: maintaining and promoting social cohesion as well as establishing and increasing economic competitiveness in a way that was outlined before. It is measured by the tasks undertaken at different vertical and horizontal levels of the regional system of public education and by the outcomes they reach. Indirectly influential factors are also taken into consideration (see Model of the analysis).

Model of the analysis

The achievement characterizes the regional system relative to the national average. The term – implying also approaches of sociology and education-policy – focuses on the potential of education, relevant to a pluralistic approach to divergent regional development. Therefore it does not prescribe normative criteria to achievement, the only criteria is whether it fits the strategic (mid- or longer term), complex, cross- and multi-sectoral regional development needs the given territory draws up.

In this work the achievement of the regional system of public education is analysed at the turning point of the millennium in Hungary at county (20 territorial units) and regional (7 units) levels.

Basic hypothesis and its verification

The research that this volume is based on seeks the answer to the question whether the spatial division of the achievements of regional public education systems follows that of the economy and social status or not. According to the basic hypothesis, the geographical structure of differences in the achievement of the regional systems of Hungarian public education contributing to human resources development is different from the structure suggested by the regional economic and societal development indicators. In the view of the author it is true both at NUTS II and NUTS III level.

Favourable economic conditions and/or lack of – or less, compared to the typical national – social problems do not have an automatic consequence in a high level achievement of public education. It is exactly better general conditions that can cover some problems of public education in contributing to HRD. It can also happen that economic processes of the transformation period do not create an adequate challenge to education system in the long run (e.g. by establishing obsolete technologies). On the other hand, a public education system of a stagnant or crisis region can produce achievement not only by its consolidated operation or by compensation of its drawbacks but even more: some features and outputs of it can be taken as contributing to a long-term regional development. According to the author there are underdeveloped regions in Hungary where some elements of the achievement of the public education system are better than in some – in national perspective – developed regions.

On the other hand there are barriers of differences in achievement of public education among regions from the point of view of the hypothesis. Because of the general frame of state regulation, the basic characteristics of public services and other specific features, the measure of differences in education field are considered smaller than in the economy or in the society of the given territorial level.

The verification of the hypothesis is elaborated on NUTS II and III levels. The author is fully aware of two kinds of weakness of it: (1) real processes of education cross the borderlines of public administration; (2) most of them materialize in smaller scale than the levels analysed. As to the latter, there are no national data available in smaller than county level, usable for the verification. (Gathering and analysing such data is an aim of future research). As to the first weakness, development-centred strategic planning focuses on units formed by the boundaries of public administration therefore it requires data of such kind. To some extent, the research deals with outreaching by analysing pupil migration between ISCED 2 and 3 levels. Supplementary analyses used for territorial planning should based on the approach of social ecology in smaller areas of natural gravitation, can deepen the results of county- and regional level analyses.

To analyse the achievement of regional education system standard databases were needed. Since there were no national, territorial level databases available, needed for verifying the hypothesis, as a part of the research the author established county and a regional level databases with the following. (1) Information on social-economic >, used traditionally by regional policy analysis (GDP per capita, active enterprises per population, economic activity rate, unemployment rate /total, of the young/, R+D investments per population and R+D employees per economically active population, division of employment among economic sectors /total labour force, young labour force/, (b) indicators of social wellness (rate of flats connected to drain network, proportion of wired telephone supply, passenger cars, family doctors per inhabitants, net average wages), (c) indicators of social problems (ratio of Roma, social allowance, child care, suicide, alcoholics), (d) indicators of urbanisation and (e) demographical background data. /Sources: Central Statistical Office, 2000 year; national census, 2001 year/. (In some cases there are new indicators or old ones used in a new context). (2) Indicators on public education on ISCED 0, 1, 2 3a, 3b (and some of 5) levels: (a) Indicators of provision and conditions (e.g. pupil per teacher and per institution, percentage of small schools, provision of foreign language laboratories, ICT rooms, library with ICT, percentage of unskilled teachers, gender ratio of teachers, vision of future of school heads, pupil migration, etc.); (b) Participation ratios (e.g. children in kindergarten per age cohorts, students in secondary education per age cohorts, students in secondary general education per secondary students, etc.); (c) Indicators of social functions, undertaken or refused by schools (e.g. day-care, meal supply in percentage of pupils, health infrastructure, segregation of pupils with special educational needs, pupils in minority education per pupils of the level (considered also in the following dimension) etc.); (d) Indicators of non-compulsory and advanced educational tasks, undertaken by schools (e.g. percentage of foreign language learners, percentage of subjects learnt at advanced level (ISCED 1 and 2), percentage of special sections, ratio of bilingual schools and students (ISCED 3a), students of different vocational training models per students in vocation training; (e) Output indicators (drop-out rates, results of secondary school leaving examination, percentage of those taking/passing school-leaving exams in adult education per young cohorts, per those of regular students, application and entrance rates to higher education, division of entrance in different levels and sections of higher ed); (f) Indicators of innovativeness (based on research data of innovativeness, flexibility and openness, supplemented by data on participation in international projects, Hungarian pedagogical alternatives, innovative projects); (g) Indicators of pluralism (percentage of church and foundation schools and students per ISCED 1-2 and 3); (h) Demand and supply (measures and division of family/student applications and of schools offer, ISCED 3, ISCED 5) /Sources: statistical data of 1999/2000 and 2000/2001 school years, Ministry of Education, Central Statistical Office; research data of own and other empirical studies, 1996-2002; 5 databases (see appendix)/.

The county- and region level databases were established in SPSS format in which mathematic-statistical analysis could be made to verify the hypothesis. In the first phase preparing cross tabs, comparing means, standardizations, correlations were made to describe phenomena. Principal component, regression and cluster analyses were applied to find structures of items of achievements of regional educational systems and socio-economic background. Qualitative research results (own research and secondary analysis of other research) were used to contribute to findings of the quantitative analysis.

Comparing the geographical structure of educational and socio-economic achievements, the differences among them, describable in ordinal scale, were accepted as verification of the basic hypothesis.

Main results

The thesis is innovative in theoretical, methodological content and development policy aspects. The volume gives an example how public education can be operationalised from the point of view of its contribution to regional development. In methodological respect many indicators of this operationalisation, gathered and partly developed by the author, are new. After testing the reliability and validity of the indicators and enlargement of data there is a possibility to use regional analysis in HRD potential of public education.

Results of the analysis in the thesis can be utilized in human resource development both in public education policy-making and establishing county-level and regional human resource development strategies and programs as well as supporting cross-sectoral professional communication, including widening the set of tools for regional planning, programming and monitoring.

Content results of the results, shown in this publication, are important because they verify the basic hypothesis and by this also back that – in favourable concurrence of other circumstances – previously underdeveloped regions could catch up with developed ones since human resources development is not an obstacle to that.

In detail, tasks undertaken by regional public education systems that serve social cohesion are influenced both by surrounding social characteristics and inner educational conditions. These items are hardly linked to each other. There are four components having significant regional differences. (1) Pre-school education. Since participation in kindergarten in Hungary is compulsory just one year before school and there is a fee for this supply therefore it depends more on social background than on education system how the system can fulfil their tasks at that level. Participation rate per age cohorts of 3-5 year olds is significantly lower in four, economically underdeveloped counties. But there is a poor county in the region of Southern Great Plain where the participation is very high and more counties of poor economic status have higher proportions than the average. Participation ratio is diminishing by the order of Roma inhabitants. (2) Special education. A general weakness of Hungarian public education concerning social cohesion is that a higher proportion of pupils are directed into special education than in developed countries. Former pedagogical culture may be an underlying cause of this phenomenon but the present social values do not accept to maintain this. Social segregation of pupils with special needs can be detected most in two counties of two regions, Southern Transdanubia and Northern Hungary. It can partly be connected to the higher proportion of Roma (in region of Northern Hungary and Northern Great Plain) but appears without it, too (Central and Western Transdanubia regions). The opposite of segregation in a county of rather high Roma proportion can also be seen, in the region of Northern Great Plain. (3) Non-educational tasks of schools (day-care, meal, health care). There are four types of territories by wide/narrow access of the provision and by good/poor conditions of it. There is no strict rank order of them by economic development; this set of supply for most pupils, among poor circumstances is peculiar to poor regions, expressing the efforts of these public education systems to deal with social problems. (4) Minority education. Participation in this kind of education serving national identity is high in all territories where national minorities live. German minority language education is much higher than the proportion of this nationality because other families’ needs to learn German as a foreign language also appear in this pedagogical service. That is why this supply can also serve economic competitiveness.

Some components of education tasks undertaken that serve economic competitiveness are connected to the economic development level of the region but some others are not. The proportion of pupils receiving compulsory foreign language teaching in primary and lower secondary education for example, is related to economic competitiveness. Notwithstanding it is likely that less the differences in social demands and more the ones in the language teacher supply appear in this phenomenon. It is indirectly proved by the fact that the higher the participation in general schools in learning subjects at advanced level, the lower the economic achievement of the county. The only place where the two provisions are balanced is the capital. There are no regional and county-wide differences in supply of advanced programmes in secondary schools (teaching subjects in more contact hours, mainly to prepare students for further education) because it is widely extended, following familiar needs and the interests of schools, rooted in the demographic decline an therefore, their competition for pupils. At ISCED 3 level the basic hypothesis can be verified by the rate of bilingual teaching, which does not have any relation to economic background; indeed it is very low in some economically developed regions. The responsibility to teach foreign languages here can more easily be shifted to families by education policy but it can be a drawback for gifted and ambitious pupils living in these regions in poor family conditions.

At higher secondary level there are similarly significant data on vocational training. The process of modernising secondary vocational training sector was stronger in underdeveloped regions, mainly in Eastern Hungary. After introducing it in a smooth spatial distribution, institutions that joined the second (voluntary) phase of the so-called World Bank model for example were schools in disadvantageous regions. The new model of vocational training, leading to obtaining certificates of the new National Training Register, was not introduced in several counties of the so called Budapest-Vienna axis where economic restructuring had already started in the transition period. The reason why public education policy did not have any interest in changing the previous system is that the old vocational training model of German–Austrian type seemingly fits the short term needs of the structure of economy of the region better. (And that had terminated by the second half of the 90s). On the other hand, the proportion of traditional but advanced technician training in some economically developed regions was also below the country average. The branch of vocational training for the tertiary economic sector (services, administration) is very popular everywhere in the country. In Eastern regions this branch is one of the trainings that have a buffer role since the labour market cannot absorb school leavers.

Amongst infrastructural conditions of schooling there are hardly any differences among regional educational systems. Concerning ICT supply (computer/pupil ratio, proportion of schools with ICT laboratory), there can be two reasons for this. Actors of economy and social partners of schools do not participate in computerizing schools. Besides, at the turn of the millennium ICT development did not exceed the phase of supply of quantitative minimum in Hungary. Supply of school libraries is rather poor but there are no differences among regions; neither rates of supply nor rates of integrated ICT-supported school libraries are concerned.

There is a diffuse structure of regional systems of public education concerning a balanced or one-sided fulfilment of tasks related to social cohesion and to economic competitiveness but the result of them cannot be connected to the economic development, the social well-being or the urbanization of the regions. The research revealed that balancing between competitiveness and cohesion has a positive effect on the success of national education competition, the results of which can be seen as outstanding indicators contributing to economic competitiveness of the traditional approach. It is rather the domination of cohesion that seems to support an educational context enhancing individual development than one-sided competitiveness. Neglecting both functions generally coincides with failure in educational competition. The only exception is one county where educational competitiveness coincides with a narrow, elite-type secondary general schooling.

In the series of output components of educational achievements of public education, drop-outs from general school (ISCED 2) is higher in two kinds of regions: in the economically most developed one, in the capital, which is also the most heterogeneous in social composition, and in the least favourable, poorest ones. The rates increase by youth unemployment and by proportion of Roma among inhabitants, on the other hand they are the lowest in mid-developed counties. At secondary level more output indicators available are not applicable for analysis because the secondary school leaving examination was a non-standardized, national one in Hungary in the period of the research. The results of final exams in Maths could be examined because of the relatively unified professional culture of the subject. Rates of failure do not show a significant difference among counties or regions according to economic and social background variables. The failure rates increase as the proportion of the expansion of secondary education in the territories concerned increases but its measure is less than half a percent; that is why the author of this volume considers it to be a very low price, compared to the effect of expansion in the long run that can be reached in human resource development of the region.

Expansion of secondary education (ISCED 3a and 3b levels) is considered as an asset in the volume even in its ’parking’ function as long as its process is organic, that is its measure is built in the previously established social culture and structure of needs. The ’organic nature’ of this process, approached by the comparison between the measure of present expansion and previous processes, namely the education level of the young adult population, also contributes to the verification of the hypothesis. Present expansion in Central and partly Western Transdanubia regions, an economically fairly developed area, some counties do not follow the direction of previous educational processes because of the ’message’ of the real sphere. Though the economy of these regions has become lively since the social transformation, the majority of new enterprises established here were of low technologies with need for semiskilled or traditionally skilled workforce. On the other hand, neither appeared the threat to become unemployed – a motive to invest in schooling for a longer time. The majority of Western Transdanubia can balance between satisfying short term and long term economic needs. There is an organic and dynamic process of secondary expansion in Southern Great Plain region, followed by a higher education expansion around a university centre. It can be experienced also in areas of other regional higher education centres but at a less organic way. In Southern Transdanubia it is a special feature of non-organic expansion that there is a gap between the best and worst educational levels of the young adults.

Examining education expansion by social demand and regional supply, the thesis shows that social needs generally initiate a pulling power concerning the expansion process. Within this, social demand for general secondary schooling is stronger in towns – both in developed and crisis regions – while needs for vocational training, including lower vocational courses, are generally stronger in villages. Though the discrepancy between needs and supply is the highest in the lower vocational sub-sector. This sector was especially destroyed in Budapest and two Eastern, in the previous era industrial centres, therefore there is the lowest gap between demand and supply.

From the aspect of verifying the hypothesis it is an important result that the ratio of students with secondary education entering higher education cannot be connected to the economic performance of the regions. The highest ratio of successful entrance to universities of sciences can be found in underdeveloped counties while that of successful entrance to any institutions of higher education can be found in both favourable and unfavourable ones. The rates are not independent from the higher education supply of the region, which, at mainly university level, is lower in areas of good economic status, with the exception of the capital, and which influences also regional aspirations. On the other hand, the width of territorial spectrum of competition, appearing most in Budapest, decreases the chances of secondary school leavers of the region. Especially in underdeveloped regions, nevertheless, higher education is important not only for recruiting a new generation of intelligentsia but also for its general orienteering effect on public education of the region. This effect relates also to pupils who do not, or do not at present, want to continue education. The quality of secondary education, especially among the circumstances of expansion, is maintained by the stimulating frame of higher education and so gives ’parking’ function an economically long-term or perspective meaning.

Regional differences in pupils’ ratios having foreign language competences – proved by a state exam certificate – are significant by regional economic differences but this is due to family contributions (that is, the social welfare of the region) therefore high foreign language competence rate is not the achievement of regional education system. (This rate in country average is much higher than it can be judged by efficient school level teaching). But compulsory teaching of foreign language in primary schools has a positive effect on the ratio of foreign language exams.

Data on participation and achievement in adult education within the education system contribute to the increase of the education level of the region and can have a positive effect on the dissemination of lifelong learning culture. High rate of participation in adult education as a kind of correction pathway can be seen in one of the economically and socially less favourable county in the Northern Great Plain region where more elements of the achievements of regional public education systems are also above the country average. Expansion of secondary and higher education, the growing participation in adult education with a better output achievement in this sphere (rates of final examinees per young adult population and per examinees in daytime education, rates of them in evening courses versus distant/correspondent ones) here and in some other territories throughout the Northern stripe of the country gives a chance to make a synergy of education in LLL.

Innovative character, flexibility and openness of public education are examined based on empirical research data of 2001/02 year. (To help in interpreting results, there is a description of information, used for this dimension of analysis). Fourteen variables, compressed into three principal components of three dimensions of innovation were analysed in the book: (a) Innovation shown in ICT culture (computer use in schools for preparing home pages; e-mailing; intranet; regular use of them in teaching other than informatics-based subjects; integrated and ICT-based library system); (b) innovations of pedagogical content and methods (their range; new elements in content, independently of compulsory ones, to fit content regulation; innovative elements in pedagogical praxis: more integrated (e.g. into cultural domain) subjects, ’forest school’, field studies, applying project method in teaching); (c) innovative potential of teachers (computer users both at school and at home; non language teachers with foreign language competencies, teachers registered as pedagogical experts– in percentage of teacher staff, at all variables). Flexibility seen as conditions of innovation and ways of its presence were investigated by eight variables, giving three factors of the following fields: (a) Flexibility towards school actors (distribution of pupils in classes on their own wish, key role of pupil organization in way of spending leisure time in school, the same in suggestions of further education, percentage of teachers with part-time teaching jobs outside the school per teaching staff, free computer availability for pupils, for teachers) (b) flexibility of pedagogical praxis (teaching subjects, modules in blocks, in epochal form, supporting individual learning by temporary exemption of pupils from regular participation in classes or school); (c) flexibility beyond school (applications to funds for school development). Openness supports recognition and exchange of new ideas so it can be seen as one of the indicators of innovation. This dimension was analysed by the followings: (a) professional connections of school heads (principal component of variables of the percentage of school heads visiting foreign countries for professional purpose, number of travels and of countries); (b) foreign language competency of school heads; (c) proportion of e-communication in their managerial work; (d) foreign language competencies of non language teachers; (e) spectrum of the connection network of the school (compulsory and regular connections, e.g. with the maintainer not considered).

From the analyses it came to light that all the phenomena expressing innovation, appearing together, are rare in Hungary in the period investigated and certain elements of them can be detected above the country average only in a few regions but their occurrence cannot be connected to economic competitiveness; they can be linked to urbanisation but not in a linear way.

Among the four types of the combination of innovation, flexibility and openness that can be connected to certain regions, a fairly wide range of innovativeness, based on modern tools and using innovative potential of teachers, with a considerable level of flexibility and also with openness can be experienced in the Southern Great Plain region. At the following level of innovativeness the novelties lack ICT applications but they are peculiar in pedagogical praxis, supported by the innovative potential of teachers, though without a wide connection network of schools. This is seen in three counties in the central part of the country around the capital scattered. In half of the counties of very different background circumstances – in bigger part of Transdanubia and in counties near to the Eastern–Eastern-Southern borders – innovativeness is not peculiar but openness is; though some lack in teachers’ and school heads’ foreign language competences can impede it in a wider context. Some areas are ’free from innovations’ in different geographical places and economical circumstances. All this can be coloured by information on international and domestic cooperative projects. In the capital and in two counties of Southern Great Plain and Western Transdanubia regions these are not only frequent but involve many agents and by them public education systems can also get a fairly high extra financial support. Many of these projects appear in counties of Northern–Eastern Hungary but they are accessible to a narrow circle of participants and with lower financial basis therefore their radiating power is much limited.

Among other indirect features, density of teacher supply and ratio of school heads leaving education influence the inner characteristics of education achievements of regions dissimilarly. Mobility of education agents is much lower than that of people in the market sphere. Not independently from the age of school heads, the leaving rates are higher in the prosperous regions. In Eastern Hungary circumstances make school heads stay in their position due to lack of rival possibilities and lack of economic conditions of mobility; they can be considered as indicators of social underdevelopment though may increase human resources that can be used in the region. Spill over effects of public education on the other hand are neither considered to be negative since they can contribute to the human potential of the country.

The research on the whole verified the basic hypothesis. Detailed analyses showed also moments having strong validity and other ones with weaknesses of it or, more rarely, that stand opposite the premises. It is likely that social–economic circumstances of the time of the research just as frame conditions and characteristics of public education will not change so deeply in a conceivable period that the validity of the results could basically be questioned.

Conclusions

Achievements of regional public educational systems, showing a less wide range of inequalities than in the economy and having notable potential to knowledge society, do not hamper Hungarian society’s and economy’s lining up to the European Union. On the other hand, spatial differences in the market sphere are also minor than in many European countries. Globalisation of economic space and effects of informatics structure for Hungary indicate the same kind of discontinuity as in other countries that is why previous spatial development perspectives do not have determining effects for the future.

In the case of the scenario, described by Enyedi György and called the ’de-concentrated regional development scenario’ is bound to happen in Hungary and as a consequence of it, the country arrives at the lower middle field of the European stage, the public education of the country and of the regions can play active roles in this development.

Public education in Hungary is affected by many problems; these problems, e.g. modernisation of content of teaching and learning, with special respect to basic skills, applying LLL paradigm in education and also efficiency problems, require a change of paradigm everywhere not just here. Public education systems of some regions of Hungary, having unfavourable social and economic background, can use as a kind of their potential the fact that they previously could not evade problems. Whereas making the economy dynamic in in some regions in the 90s were not knowledge-demanding therefore did not give impulse to education neither to school users to move or claim to adequate developments; that is why adaptability of these education systems is weak. Because of their geographical placing these regions have a comparative advantage for future economic join, the success of which can influence the possibilities of peripheral regions.

To exploit regional potentials of public education to HRD a diversified policy, adaptable to local/regional needs and possibilities and agreed in main goals by professionals and the public, built on a cross-sectoral approach, is needed, in spite of a normative approach to development strategy.

Possibilities of endogenous development of the regions can be strengthened by devolution; rationalization and fulfilment of decentralisation. As a consequence of these processes colourful public education systems can fulfil both their general frame goals and specific local/regional missions.

New inequalities will likely be brought to light by all that. The EU membership of Hungary for example, can set off migration processes, different from the previously experienced ones, the regional profits and deficits of that will depend on the speed and rhythm of spatial development. In Eastern Hungarian regions that will be closer to Europe than before, spill over effects of educational output can increasingly appear. However it takes place parallel to even increasing mobilisation of other, mainly market, sectors and, on the other hand, can include not only drawbacks but can be converted into advantages by mutual learning, contributing to strengthening competitiveness of Hungary.

A honlapon található tanulmányok, egyéb szellemi termékek, illetve szerzői művek (a továbbiakban: művek) jogtulajdonosa az Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő Intézet. A jogtulajdonos egyértelmű forrásmegjelölés mellett felhasználást enged a művekkel kapcsolatban oktatási, tudományos, kulturális célból. A jogtulajdonos a művekkel kapcsolatos anyagi haszonszerzést azonban kifejezetten megtiltja.