Information for parents and families on enrollment in kindergarten and school for the academic year 2022/2023

Can I enroll my child in a Hungarian school?

Why should I enroll my child into a Hungarian school?

When should I enroll my child?

How do I enroll my child into Kindergarten?

How do I enroll my child into a Primary School?

How do I enroll my child into a Secondary School (Grade 9 – 12)?

What documents do I need to enroll my child in school?

Does my child need to be vaccinated to attend school?

What grade will my child attend?

I am still uncertain where in Hungary I will stay – what shall I do?

What happens if I decide to return to Ukraine or move to another country?

Where do I find more information?

Where can I get further support or assistance with the enrollment process? 

Can I enroll my child in a Hungarian school?

Yes! Refugees, asylum seekers and children in subsidiary protection status, as well as temporary protection status holders, have the right to go to kindergarten (from the age of 3) and to school, like all Hungarian children.

Education is compulsory between the age of 3 and 16 in Hungary.

Kindergartens and primary schools are obliged to offer access to their institutions for all children within their educational districts, unless they do not have the capacity to do so. In these cases, the child should have access to a neighboring school.

▸Kindergartens, primary and secondary education is free of charge in Hungary in public institutions (mainly state or church-run). You have the right to choose private institutions as well, but please note that those are fee-paying.

▸Compulsory education cannot be fulfilled through unregistered, community-led schools.

Primary education is provided by primary schools (Grade 1-8 between age 6-14), after which children can enter secondary schools (Grade 9-12 between age 15-18)[1], such as general secondary schools or vocational training institutions: this includes technical and vocational schools.

[1] Please note that some secondary schools accept students after Grade 4 or 6.

Why should I enroll my child into a Hungarian school?

School attendance is essential for the development of the child.

▸ It will help prepare children for possible future developments – to return to Ukraine after a temporary period at an EU school, or to develop long-term plans to stay in the EU, if needed.

▸Studying in a Hungarian school allows putting the focus on ensuring quality education and makes it easier for children to interact with their peers, experience a sense of normalcy and receive appropriate support services, regardless of the length of the intended stay.

▸Studying in a Hungarian school is sustainable, since temporary or ‘pop up’ schools may not have the resources to continue operating for a full academic year, leading to further disruption of children’s education.

▸Children, especially adolescents, who are not included in education by taking up a place in the host-country schools run a higher risk of leaving education and training early.

When should I enroll my child?

The school year is starting on 1 September 2022.

▸The enrollment process might take time, so it is advised to initiate the registration process as soon as possible to ensure that your child can start kindergarten or school the first day.

How do I enroll my child into Kindergarten?

▸Kindergarten covers children between 3 – 6 years.

On this link you can find which kindergarten is assigned to you based on your address.

▸However, there is a free choice of kindergartens for parents, so you have the right to contact any kindergarten you wish, but they might not be able to accept your child.  

It is advised to directly reach out to the kindergarten of your choice but you can seek further information and support from the local municipality or the local Family Support and Child Welfare Services.  

In case you don`t speak Hungarian, please make sure to have someone accompany you and support you with translation.

How do I enroll my child into a Primary School?

▸Primary School covers Grade 1 – 8.

On this link you can find which school is assigned to you based on your address. In some cases there are more than one school in your educational district, then from those you can choose the school you prefer.

▸However, there is a free choice of school for parents, so you have the right to contact any school you wish, but they might not be able to accept your child.  

▸It is advised to directly reach out to the school of your choice but you can seek further information and assistance in finding a place for your child from the relevant educational district center.   

In case you don`t speak Hungarian, please make sure to have someone accompany you and support you with translation.

How do I enroll my child into a Secondary School (Grade 9 – 12)?

▸You are advised to contact the secondary schools directly to discuss the enrollment procedures.

▸There is a free choice of school in case of secondary schools as well but schools are free to decide on entry criteria.

▸In case there are challenges in finding a suitable school that is able to enroll your child, please reach out to the educational district center in your district for support.

What documents do I need to enroll my child in school?

Schools may be requesting certain documents for enrollment, which may include the following:

▸Filled-in application document

▸Birth certificate of your child

▸Document indicating the ID of your child (e.g. passport, ID card)

▸Health insurance number of the child (Temporary protection card number may be sufficient)

▸Document indicating your ID (e.g. passport, ID card)

▸Temporary Protection card or other residency card

If you do not have these documents, please do not be discouraged and explain your situation to the school management.

Does my child need to be vaccinated to attend school?

▸There are different mandatory vaccines for every child in Hungary depending on their age.

▸It is advised to contact a pediatrician to discuss the vaccination plan for your child.

▸You might be requested to show a proof of vaccination during the kindergarten or school enrollment process.

▸If your child has been vaccinated in Ukraine but you don’t have a proof, please ask the pediatrician for advice.

What grade will my child attend?

The school director, together with the parents, will decide on what grade the child is enrolled.

▸This decision should be made together with the parents, but the child might also be requested to fill some tests.

I am still uncertain where in Hungary I will stay – what shall I do?

▸Given that the school starts shortly, we advise that you enroll your child at the place of your current residence and in case you move to another part of Hungary later, you register your child there once you move.

▸It is very important that your child continues their education and does not remain out of school.

What happens if I decide to return to Ukraine or move to another country?

▸In case you decide to return to Ukraine, you can cancel the enrollment.

▸Please inform the school about your date of departure and request a confirmation about your child’s school attendance.

Where do I find more information? 

UNHCR Help Page:  

https://help.unhcr.org/hungary/help/education/

https://help.unhcr.org/hungary/are-you-under-18-years-old/

Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in Hungary:

https://www.ajbh.hu/web/ajbh-en/important-information-for-persons-fleeing-ukraine-in-ukrainian

Where can I get further support or assistance with the enrollment process? 

Please note that all the services listed below are free of charge.

Hungarian Baptist Aid

Contact: [email protected] 

Please mainly reach out to to them if you plan to enroll your child to a school run by the Hungarian Baptist Church. You can find those institutions on the following link: https://m.baptistaoktatas.hu/intezmenyek   

Hungarian Red Cross 

Contact: [email protected]

For in person assistance please mainly reach out to them in Budapest, Dunaújváros, Szeged and Győr.

Informational and Coordinational Service of Public Interests

Contact: [email protected]

Address: 1102, Budapest, Kőrösi Csoma Sándor Street 22., Bajor Irodaház, 2nd floor Room no. 216. (Opening hours: 08.00-17.00)

Jesuit Refugee Service

Contact: [email protected], +36 30 703 5030

They can mainly support with enrollment to secondary school. 

Menedék Hungarian Association for Migrants  

Contact: [email protected], +36 20 450 7245

Website: https://menedek.hu/en

For in person assistance please mainly reach out to them in Budapest.

Romaversitas

Contact: [email protected], +36 70 604 4408

Website: https://romaversitas.hu/en/

UNHCR

Contact: [email protected]

In case you need over the phone translation for the school enrollment process please send us a request via e-mail in advance.

UNHCR has compiled the above information based on publicly available sources and consultations with different stakeholders.