The history and the present state of agricultural education in Hungary and its importance considering the number of students in agricultural studies

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Szilárd Horváth

Abstract

The contribution of agriculture to the GDP in Hungary is higher than the European average. Consequently, agriculture plays an important role in the Hungarian economy. However, the overall productivity of this sector is still a fraction of those in some Western European countries. According to some economists, this is due to the inadequate number of skilled manpower and the poor supply of agricultural professionals. It is often said, which has also been shown by a number of research studies, that agricultural credentials are not particularly appealing to young people due to the generally reputed low prestige attached to this field. In this paper, I investigate whether the number of participants in secondary level and higher level agricultural education has indeed been declining and how this trend relates to the demographic characteristics of Hungary. I intend to highlight whether the relatively low productivity of the agricultural sector can be rightfully explained, amongst other factors, by the low number of skilled workers and the insufficient supply of agriculture graduates.


 

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