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Innovation and entrepreneurship – promising examples in Hungarian higher education

On 29 November 2017 a new report on “Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education in Hungary” was launched in Budapest by the Hungarian Minister of State for Education Laszlo Palkovics, the Deputy Director General of the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission (EC) Jens Nymand Christensen and the Head of the OECD Division for Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED), Sylvain Giguere. The joint OECD-EC report is the result of the HEInnovate Country Review of Hungary undertaken by the OECD and the EC in cooperation with the Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary and the Tempus Public Foundation (TPF) in the period December 2015 to November 2016 (see also ACA Newsletter – December 2016 edition).

The report presents evidence-based analysis of current strategies and practices at higher education institutions (HEIs) in Hungary towards a value-creating use of knowledge resources for innovation and entrepreneurship. It shows that to effectively support entrepreneurship and innovation, HEIs themselves need to be entrepreneurial and innovative in how they organise education, research and engagement with business and the wider world. Several HEIs in Hungary have taken a proactive approach and piloted new ways of integrating new teaching methods into their curricula, developing activities to stimulate the entrepreneurial mindset, supporting start-ups, strengthening collaboration with business and the wider world, and taking a more international approach to their activities.


The country review has already had concrete policy impact. The Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities, in collaboration with TPF, has developed a set of practical recommendations and support mechanisms for Hungarian HEIs. The work is supported by an expert group made of representatives from various HEIs, innovative companies and various policy actors. The analysis and recommendations are highly relevant for policy makers and HEI leaders in other countries as well, seeing how increased attention to innovation and entrepreneurship both from public policy actors and HEI leadership has triggered an incremental change process in HEIs’ organisational culture and a new approach to education and research for students and staff. 


Participants and all parties involved expressed their interest in the further development of the Hungarian HEInnovate network through the exchange of good practices, peer-learning activities (PLAs), workshops and a constructive dialogue on the reactions to and the implementation of the report’s recommendations as well as on the Hungarian Higher Education Strategy. The Ministry of Human Capacities and TPF confirmed that they will support the process of mutual policy learning in the international HEInnovate network as well.