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The Situation and Chances of Roma students in Secondary and Tertiary Education in Hungary
Published April 28, 2020
26-35

Addressing student drop-out or early school leaving has long been a major challenge for education policy makers at both national and international levels. This phenomenon affects all levels of education and has a profound impact on those classes of society that are economically and socio-culturally disadvantaged. This is particularly the case o...f the largest minority group in Hungary, the Roma, and its roots go back to primary education. Since the 1990s, so from the change of the regime, a positive tendency could have been observed in the completion of primary education, but in secondary school graduation and in obtaining a higher education degree they are still far behind the non-Roma population. In the current study, we identify causes of their learning failures, and we also present a selection of study grants that are available to young Roma students and support them to achieve higher levels of education. We also highlight the difficulties faced by those Roma youth, who have origins in traditional communities but obtain higher educational degrees.

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For the Sake of the Cause – Persistence of Romanian Higher Education Students in Finishing their Studies
Published October 31, 2019
22-30

As a consequence of the expansion in higher education, the number of students has increased and the academic population has diversified but at the same time the university dropout has become a general problem since the last century (Trow, 2005; Kozma, 2010; Barro & Jong, 2013; Stanciu, 2014; Berei, 2018). In this paper, I proposed to analyz...e the persistence of students from 5 universities from Romania. We examine at institutional and individual level the perspective of their willingness to finish their studies. In partnership with the Center for Higher Education Research and Development - Hungary, named CHERD – H, from the University of Debrecen, was collected dates among students in 2012 (N=1323) and in 2014 - 2015 (N=323). Through a quantitative analysis, on a longitudinal perspective, I used SPSS statistical program to analyze data. The question of the research was: is there any difference between students` intentions to graduate on private and state institutions? Who is intending to finish and who is preparing to abandon his study? I concluded that students with unfavorable family background have nearly two times lower chance to enroll at state university and in private institutions students intention to enter into possesion of diploma was significant lower. With logistic regression I found also, that low financial status or low schooling of parents is not a significant obstacle on student academic path if they make every effort to participate in educational programs, submit assignments on time and are able to prepare for exams.

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Different Forms of Civil Activity and Employment in Hungary and Abroad, and the Development of Student Drop-out
Published October 1, 2019
41-54

Young people involved in higher education have created a specific culture, to which, in addition to their studies, social and cultural activities associated with university life are also related (Kozma, 2006). Among these activities, student employment and participation in civic organizations should be highlighted. Voluntary and paid work among... higher education students is increasing. These activities have several advantages in terms of future benefits; however, the attracting role of the labour market is one possible reason for dropout. In our current research, we emphasize the role of employment and civil activity in the development of student dropout. Masevičiūtė et al. (2018) found that a quarter of students stopped studying for work-related reasons. In addition, a negative perception of the marketability of the course they are on may lead to the interruption of university studies. In our study, we analysed the extent to which students are willing to interrupt their higher education studies in exchange for voluntary work. In our current research, we examined how often and for what reasons students who dropped out did paid work and volunteering during their studies.

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The Connection between Extracurricular, Leisure Time Activities, Religiosity and the Reasons for Drop-out
Published October 1, 2019
55-67

The interruption of tertiary education and the reduction in the dropout rate have been a central issue in educational sociology and education research. Exploring the possible reasons for dropping out can significantly contribute to reducing the trend. Our aim is to map the links between students dropping out and individual factors. Consequently..., we investigate the connection between extracurricular and leisure-time activities, health behaviour and religiosity in relation to dropout. This is explained by the fact that one of the axioms of the literature on dropout is that belonging to civil networks usually strengthens the commitment to the successful completion of studies. In our analysis, we used the database created during the research carried out in 2018 by the Center for Higher Education Research and Development (CHERD-H) in the framework of project No. 123847 of the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund of Hungary, entitled The Role of Social and Organisational Factors in Student Dropout (DEPART 2018, N=605). Our results show that the neglect of study obligations among those who are disappointed in the course and further education is closely related to the shift in value preferences and an increase in the time spent with entertainment activities and partying. It can also be stated that students take part indifferent types of extracurricular activities only to a limited extent, and the different forms of participation in activities and religiosity are not related to the causes of dropout.

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The Mentoring’s Role among Alumni Students of István Wáli Roma College for Advanced Studies of the Reformed Church
Published April 28, 2020
36-52

Colleges for Advanced Studies (CASs) are the oldest institutionalized talent development initiatives of higher education in Hungary (since 1895). The Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education initiated the creation of a national network of denominational Roma CASs. In a CAS, students live in a dormitory, build a strong community, get schola...rships and support from tutors and mentors. Important elements of Roma CASs are the following: religious education, social responsibility for society, and Roma identity empowerment (Godó et al., 2019; Kardos, 2013; Charta, 2011). In this study, we examined alumni (ex-university students) of a Roma CAS in Debrecen. Among other things, we were interested in how they relate to the mentoring process, how they feel about it, and how mentoring is perceived in their own lives. We are also interested in what types of mentors are mentioned and whether there is any form of mentoring in their current activities. Method of our research: qualitative interview analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2018 with 17 alumni selected by snowball method. According to our results, the former students named 2 types of mentors who were next to them: layman and professional mentors, or they themselves can be typed as mentors on the basis of the following: layman mentors (layman persons involved in mentoring activities) and professional mentors. We consider it important to emphasize the role of the pastor in a Reformed institution, who has also been promoted to the professional mentoring category. In addition, our goal is to investigate the characteristics of networking patterns that emerge around specialist college students.

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First Generation Students in the Hungarian Higher Educational System
Published April 28, 2020
53-65

The first part of the study attempts to summarise the most frequently used and cited theories and empirical findings in the field of first generation students. The specialist literature has identified those factors (cultural background of family, parents’ special attitude toward learning, the features of the time-budget etc.) which can genera...te a disadvantageous situation within the higher education system for these students. However, the presence of this group is a significant indicator of the openness of a society and social mobility, and a more careful analysis of this population may reduce the drop-out rate, as well. During the empirical analysis two databases were used (Eurostudent VI, Hungarian Youth Research 2012 and 2016). Our results draw attention to the process of social closure and the decreasing chance of attending higher education for young people from lower social groups. This unfavourable shift can mirror the relatively closed features of Hungarian society, but at the same time it can make the distances among social groups more rigid.

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Dropped-out Students and the Decision to Drop-out in Hungary
Published October 1, 2019
31-40

The interpretation of the phenomenon of student dropout, which represents a waste of a relatively large proportion of human and material capital in the social, individual and institutional domain, is impossible without examining dropout students. In this study, we analysed the DEPART 2018 database, which contains data from 605 Hungarian dropout... students. We tried to identify higher education dropout scenarios and pointed out that higher educational dropout is a complex phenomenon. Based on the students' reports on their interpretation and evaluation of their dropouts, four student clusters were created. We compared the groups with their socio-cultural background and their decision to drop out from higher education, and their assessment of that decision. The most important result of the study is that it identifies a new group in addition to the international dropout types, and provides a detailed picture that calls our attention to the diversity of dropout groups, thereby moving beyond the over-generalised image of the dropout student.

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International Academic Mobility as a Capacity Building Factor in Higher Education
Published April 28, 2020
82-91

International academic mobility means the teaching or research activity of higher educational instructors or researchers, which spans a couple of days or a few months, during which individual professional growth, the establishment of international cooperation and networks, personal relations and friendships may develop. It is also considered to... be a fundamental necessity for building capacity and an outstanding supremacy, even if a country’s academic resources are modest. Thus it is crucial to gain information about its current and actual state, quality, standards, struggles and the direction it is heading towards. As a part of a bigger research study, we wanted to know how international academic mobility, used for capacity building, changes over time, and whether country-specific features and patterns could be traced. In this present study we made an attempt to uncover the international activity based on the academic mobility of the full-time instructors at two Hungarian higher educational institutions. One of them is a large university that plays a leading role in internationalization. The other is a dynamically developing regional knowledge center. We examined the instructors of two faculties from the first, and everybody from the regional knowledge center, since it is smaller in size. Altogether 210 instructors responded to our 60 questions in the survey. The surveys were processed in the SPSS statistical analysis program. Concerning the examined discussions, categories and proposed topics, our research was built upon two previously carried out investigations – a Hungarian and a Norwegian one. We found that in Hungary in the given time period (2012-2014), the instructors with the strongest international activity were: 1. the men; 2. those who held higher academic positions; 3. those who were married or were in a relationship; and 4. who were from the field of social science.

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The interaction of meso and macro contexts with students’ careers. Three applied analysis
Published October 25, 2019
10-21

This paper presents three applied analysis. Our principal interest is to understand how meso (university level) and macro (national level) contexts interact with micro phenomena such as students’ careers. To achieve this aim, the paper shows a secondary analysis of longitudinal administrative data by means of Sequence Analysis and Event Histo...ry Models. Furthermore, it shows the results of an additional analysis using a quasi-experimental research on longitudinal data.

The paper examines typical pathways of Italian students, by means of administrative information’s on student enrollment from Sapienza University of Rome. The aim of this paper is triple: 1. describe students’ careers in higher education by building a typology of pathways using Sequence Analysis. 2. Identify how socio-economic and macro level characteristics affect students’ careers by multinomial logistic regression model where clusters are used as dependent variables and focus on the study of the “event” by using Event History analysis. 3. Evaluate the Italian Higher Education reform policies and their main outcomes throughout a quasi-experimental research.

Mainly, the outcomes show the importance of the warming-up period, the individual choice and the exogenous events after enrolment in determining the success/failure of each career. Our outcomes suggest that Italian universities should rethink the mechanisms available to manage failure and guide student choices.

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Higher Education Research on the Issue of Dropout
Published October 22, 2019
90-94

Book review on Pusztai, G., Szigeti, F. (eds.): Dropout and Persistence in Higher Education. Debrecen University Press, University of Debrecen, 2018.

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Non-completed Studies: What Factors Affect Academic Success or Failure?
Published October 31, 2019
79-89

The ratio of early school leavers is 12.5 in Hungary, which means 22nd place within the EU28. Early school leaving is an important issue in all European countries, because those who finished their studies after primary education are more likely unemployed and it causes problems for both them and ...the society. Higher educational drop-out also an important issue, although for other reasons than early school leaving. It is even more difficult to find precise data on this: we don’t know what proportion of the students is affected by this in Hungary. In this study I analyze the database of the Hungarian Youth Research 2016. This survey was conducted on a representative sample of 15-29 year olds, questioning 8,000 people, therefore, early school leavers and higher educational drop-outs should be found among the interviewees. The results show that early school leavers have significantly worse status both financial and cultural. Some of those who had finished only primary school think that they have successfully completed their studies. They answered that despite 18.3 percent of them have started a vocational training, which didn’t finish. Despite the expectations, not much is known about the higher educational drop-outs. 4.5 percent of the interviewees did not answer the question of whether they had completed their studies: they are probably the drop-outs, but we can just assume that. The results show that they have better cultural status than the others.

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Students’ Motivations to Study Abroad: The Case of International Students at the University of Debrecen
Published April 28, 2020
76-81

Today there is a growing demand among international students to study in Hungary, more specifically with the launching of Stipendium Hungaricum program in 2013. The number of international scholarship holders increases each year, but till now, we have no significant research results about their study motivations, research has focused only on in...stitutional perspectives (Kasza, & Hangyál 2018). The motivation of students is an important research field in higher education, particularly because there could be various factors to motivate students studying abroad. The motives can be categorised as intrinsic and extrinsic. Our research question is, what are the main intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors that encourage students to study in Hungary? We performed 15 qualitative interviews among international scholarship holders on postgraduate levels. We gathered semi-structured interviews with the help of an interview scheme with five main questions. The investigated dimensions include the following: 1. introduction and context of interviewees, 2. Reasons for leaving the country of origin, 3. Reasons for country choice, 4. Preliminary knowledge about Hungary, 5. Personal expectations. After the data collection, we analysed texts with open coding process in which line by line and word for word was analysed (Khandkar, 2009). Then we were able to form a typology of motivations and we found subcategories within the intrinsic and extrinsic classification.

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Use of Electronic Resources in Teaching Religion in Higher Education: Best Practices from the SULSIT, Bulgaria
Published July 13, 2020
56-60

This paper describes actually methodical attempts to use library electronic resources in academic education. Some opportunities for improving the teaching of religious cultural heritage and for diversify the methods of assessment of students in Bulgarian universities are commented. The text describes the personal experience of the authors with ...students of 3rd-4th grades from the State University of Library Studies and IT (SULSIT), Bulgaria. Among the “best practices” are tasks of performing on-line survey of digital resources of periodicals from the digital resources of the “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” National Library, of making content analysis of the database on a particular subject, of preparing bibliographic descriptions of the new discovered resources, of writing historical analyses, of generating thematic bibliographies on topics related to religion, using the resources of the electronic catalogs of regional public libraries in the country.

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A Test of the Effect of Denominational Schools in Romania
Published July 13, 2020
38-47

Studies in sociology of education in recent decades have consistently found an advantage for students in denominational schools - those with religious subordination - in terms of educational performance, compared with those in secular schools. Although in Romania a large part of the students from pre-university education attend confessional sch...ools this advantage has not been investigated for the Romanian case. Taking advantage of the increased validity of the Romanian baccalaureate exam, following the measures from 2011-2012 and the availability of the statistical data regarding the schools in Oradea (Bihor county), we checked whether the hypothesis of such an advantage is confirmed in the Romanian case. Applying bivariate analyzes by type of schools (secular vs. confessional) and by types of tracks of the net pass rates (from the total of the graduates) we find that, although the promotion rates are higher for denominational schools, the support for the hypothesis of an advantage of denominational schools is fragile as much of the difference can be attributed to the academic orientation of denominational schools and to the fact that they succeed, probably, in selecting students with better educational skills.

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Large Blossom of Small Flowers, i.e. Resilient Promises in Higher Education
Published April 28, 2020
112-114

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Criteria determining school choice among the ethnic minority high school students
Published April 28, 2020
17-25

In our paper we sought for the answer to the question: based on which motives do students from various types of high schools (in our case, denominational or non- denominational school) make their choice of educational institution? The target group of our research consists of the 9th and 11th grade students of Harghita County’s denominational ...(Roman Catholic, Reformed, Unitarian) schools and the non-denominational ones added to them. All in all, eight high schools got into our sample. We conducted a survey by questionnaire, the sample including 1,064 people. We analyzed the decision criteria formed based on motives behind the decision (primary and secondary effects) on the one hand, and followed the decision making process on the other. The non-denominational sector is often chosen by the elite- and institution-oriented student group, who has great expectations of the institution, e.g. - top of the line standards of education, outstanding achievement indicators, prestige of the institution, local reputation. According to the clusters created from the motives, the value- and community-oriented student group, as well as the one following the orientation of the peer group, can be found in significantly higher proportion in denominational schools.

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