The American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary alongside the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency organized their second annual conference on competitive education, inviting secondary school students to share their vision about how they imagine the future of education and workplaces

An important pillar of AmCham’s 19-point strategic working plan that aims to improve Hungary’s competitiveness concerns the fully-fledged reform of education. Therefore, as part of a joint initiative with HIPA, a nationwide competition called #TudszJobbat (You Know Better in English) was launched in autumn. Youngsters were asked to send in creative projects, videos or presentations about their dream school or workplace, with a total of 66 submissions filed in the two categories.

Click on the image to view our gallery of the event!

At the conference honoring the award winners, AmCham President Ferenc Pongrácz welcomed the audience by pointing out that the barrier of entry has disappeared in many industrial segments. “Youngsters have access to the same platforms as celebrities, which holds the promise of vast opportunities for self-expression. AmCham prides itself on gathering together the coolest companies in the country, and students participating in the contest have the chance to meet their representatives in order to gain key information about them,” he said, referring to our partners - Morgan Stanley, Celanese, Colibri, Hanon Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Tata Consultancy Services, Telenor, the Ministry of Human Capacities and the Ministry for National Economy - all of them could be contacted on the spot at their stands in the hall of Akvárium Klub.

István Papp, the vice president of HIPA, co-host of the event, explained to the young audience that HIPA is dedicated to bringing as many quality jobs to Hungary as possible. “Competitiveness depends mostly on how great the education is and, finally, students are now engaged in shaping the process, which cannot work without them,” he said.

“Entrepreneurship is highly valued by AmCham, and accordingly, we provided the teams with a book called Vállalkozni Jó. Following this spirit, the winner was a team that chose to go down this path,” Andrea Juhos, AmCham board member said. The award went to the Waking Dreams Co. from Bálint Márton Elementary and Secondary School, because their application put the emphasis on the clear assignment of tasks, social inclusion and performance-driven assessment. A central focus was directed on the potential of teleworking and the importance of employee well-being.

The dream school category saw similarly inspiring applications; methodology as well as creativity were among the most appreciated factors by the jurors. The winning team, Kosztolányi Dezső Secondary School, presented a project called ‘The Future is Ours’ that featured social sensitivity and a logic for progressive change to be achieved by small steps. Their dream scenario included widespread use of e-books and ergonomic solutions, practice-oriented education, and having thematic days at school dedicated to a single subject.

The awards ceremony was followed by a roundtable discussion where students, teachers, industry experts and government representatives including State Secretary for Education László Palkovics and Deputy State Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education László Odrobina exchanged their thoughts. State secretary Dr. László Palkovics said. “A valid question is how do we get students ready for something that doesn’t exist. The clear purpose of education cannot be anything less than making them able to apply knowledge and to acquire the ability to learn.”

On the basis of the input from participants, a package of proposals will be put together that, it is hoped, will be implemented in the future.

At the Conference's finale, Mary Popkids put on a great show for the students.

We would like to thank our partners, Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency, Ministry of Human Capacities and the Ministry for National Economy and of course our sponsors, Morgan Stanley, Celanese, Telenor, Hanon Systems Hungary, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Coca-Cola and TATA Consultancy Services for their dedicated support.