The leader of the Research Centre:

Prof. Dr. Gabriella Pusztai

My main research topic is the investigation of the achievement of the students and the institutions, the exploration of the engagement of the churches in public and higher education, and the measurement of the school career of religious and nationality minorities. My most important academic result is the pioneering application of the social capital theory in the national and in the Central- and Eastern-European educational researches in the comparative investigations of the denominational public and higher education of the region. In my academic doctoral thesis, I investigated the influence of the student network on higher educational career taking the achievement of students engaged in religious communities into particular regard. I am the leader of the Doctoral School of Human Sciences of the University of Debrecen; furthermore, I am a professor as well. In 2007, I received the Bolyai Plaque of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; in addition, I was honoured with the National Excellence Award.


Senior researchers:

Prof. Dr. István Polónyi

I am an educator in the Institute of Educational Studies and Cultural Management at the University of Debrecen. I take on a role as an educator and a supervisor in the Education and Society Doctoral School of Education at the University of Pécs; furthermore, I am a core member of the Doctoral School of Human Sciences at the University of Debrecen. I received my degree in 1994 in economics. I make my investigations in the field of the economics and policy of education, the financing of education and research, human resource development, economy and adult education.


Károly Teperics

I investigate education research from the beginning of the 1990s. I involved the agglomeration researches from the field of geography into the territorial network of education. My investigation extends to the questions of the international relationships (foreigners in Hungarian public and higher education) and to the interrelation of the development of human resources with the development of the system of the institution and with regional development. In higher educational researches, I investigate the labour market characteristics of graduated people parallel to the institutional agglomeration. As an educator with experiences and relationships in public education (A-level exam president and public educational expert) and dealing with methodology as well, I know the problems of teacher education and I am seeking the possibilities for the reformation of teacher education related to science. My supervised doctoral students investigate the territorial relationships of higher education and the questions of gipsy integration. Regarding my work, the monography explaining the territorial relationships of the University of Debrecen and the chapters of university handbooks exploring regional development are the most important. The number of my academic publications is 100 which have 158 references. I am the member of the Educational Subsection of the X. Section of Earth Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; furthermore, I am the president of Hungarian Geographical Society in the Class of Debrecen. I work at the University of Debrecen at the Faculty of Science and Technology in the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development where I am a senior lecturer.


András Kun

I graduated as an economist in 2002 in the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Debrecen, and I received my PhD degree in 2009 in the Doctoral School of Economics of the University of Debrecen. My main research areas are connected to information asymmetry, economics of education, labour market studies, higher education research (as well as their connections) and human resource management (especially recruitment, selection and organizational culture). Currently, I am an associate professor in the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Debrecen, Department of Human Resource Management. I am tutoring subjects on bachelor, master and PhD levels (in Hungarian and in English) in the following fields: human resource management, labour market studies, and research methodology. I also have teaching experience in organizational behaviour, project management and operational management.


Ágnes Engler

I am the senior lecturer of the Institute of Educational Sciences of the University of Debrecen. My research interest is directed to the common problems of educational sociology, adult education and demography. In the focus on my research are standing the basic questions of the family and the education on family life. In my previous researches, I measured the academic achievement and career prospects of students who get their certification with a child. Related to formal adult education, I also discover the academic career of mature students regarding the compatibility of learning, work and family. An outstanding area of my researches on higher education is the investigation of the future plans of students linked to family and career.


Hajnalka Fényes

I graduated as economist-sociologist in 1991 at Budapest, I had my PhD degree in Sociology in 2001, and I made my habilitation in Education science in 2010. I am an associate professor in University of Debrecen at the Department of Sociology and Social Policy. I am educator and supervisor in the Doctoral School of Human Sciences (University of Debrecen) in two Doctoral Programs (in Educational and Cultural Sciences and in Sociology Program). My main research focus on higher education students. Since 2002, I work with the colleges of CHERD, and I participated in the 6 biggest research of CHERD (Regional University Research, TERD, HERD, Campus-lét, IESA and now in a project dealing with dropout of students). My research is in the borderline of sociology and education science, and I am interested in quantitative methodology of sociology as well (multilevel analyses, contextual analysis). My research fields: 1. the social mobility of HE students (the role of financial and cultural capital on students’ achievement and on further status); 2. differences between males and females in the whole education system (male disadvantage hypothesis: males are socially less mobile in higher education and nowadays they are in minority in HE as well, gender role and father role attitudes of students; 3. Volunteering of students (motivations of volunteering: new forms of volunteering among higher education students (career development, enlarging social capital etc) and traditional volunteering: the role of religiosity on volunteering).


Veronika Bocsi

I graduated on History and sociology science at the University of Debrecen, than I made my doctoral studies in the field of educational sciences and I made my habilitation at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Debrecen. Currently, I am the associate professor of the Faculty of Child and Adult Education. Furthermore, I am educator and supervisor in the Doctoral Program on Educational and Cultural Sciences (Doctoral School of Human Sciences, University of Debrecen). Two monographs, 20 journal articles and 49 book chapters were published. My main research field is higher education. My work draws the attention mainly on student life from the different perspectives of the sociology (lifestyle sociology, cultural sociology) but they concern to topics related to romology, sociology of religion and public education as well. I have taken part in 20 national and international research projects. In the focus of my educational work are standing subjects related to sociology and research methodology. I am also the member of Talent Council of the University of Debrecen, the coordinator of the Talent Management Program (DETEP) and the president of the Council of Scientific Students' Associations. In addition, I received the Ferenc Erdei Ferenc Erdei Prize of the Hungarian Sociological Association.


Katinka Bacskai

I am a sociologist and history-sociology teacher. My main research topic is public education. My research fields are the efficiency of teachers teaching children in low socio-economic status, the school dropout and the comparison of public and private sectors. I am familiar with both quantitative and qualitative research methods; I analyze big Hungarian (e.g. National Competence Measurement) and OECD databases as well. I acquired my PhD degree in 2014, the title of my dissertation is ’What the teacher worth if it is Central-European? Teachers teaching low SES children in two Central – European countries’ [Mit ér (el) a tanár, ha közép-európai?: Alacsony státusú diákokat tanító tanárok két közép-európai országban.] Currently I am teaching teacher candidates in teacher training, and BA and MA students in pedagogy major.


Klára Kovács

The aim of my researches is to introduce and analyse sporting habits of students in the Carpathian Basin and to examine what are the socio-cultural, environmental and individual factors that affect it, whether that involves a student sport activities during his or her university studies. I examine the relationships between healthy or unhealthy behaviour, subjective well-being, achievement and sport as a social protective factor: how contributes sport to students’ well-being and academic and non-academic achievement. The aim of my researches is to explore the role and importance of sport in the higher education institutions of the Hungarian, Slovakian, Ukrainian, Serbian and Romanian border regions and in minority Hungarian student groups. My comparative study investigates the characteristics and forms of sporting activities in the above institutions as well as the similarities and differences in the role, influence and institutional infrastructure of sport at the universities and colleges of the region surveyed. Besides, as a follow-up to our previous research, I intend to identify the social and individual factors that influence sporting habits.



Founding members:

Center for Higher Educational Research & Development (later CHERD-Hungary) held its constitutive meeting in the Hall of the Debrecen Academic Committee with the participation of the following organisation and their representatives:

Founding chairman: Prof. Emer. Tamás Kozma

University of Debrecen, Faculty of Arts, Department of Educational Sciences (Prof. Emer. Tamás Kozma, Prof. Dr. Gabriella Pusztai, Prof. Dr. László Tamás Szabó)

University of Debrecen, Department of Cultural Sciences and Adult Education (Dr. habil. Csaba Éles)

University of Debrecen, Institute of Politics and Sociology (Prof. Dr. Süli-Zakar István)

University of Debrecen, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Socio-Geography and Territorial Development (Prof. Dr. István Süli-Zakar)

University of Debrecen, Faculty of Economics, Department of Management and Marketing (Prof. Dr. Polónyi István)

College of Nyíregyháza, Faculty of Teacher Training (Prof. Dr. László Brezsnyánszky)

Árpád Kiss Association of the Doctoral Students (Debrecen) (Dr. Erika Juhász)

Károly Eszterházy College, Faculty of Teacher Traning and Knowledge (Eger) (Magdolna Dr. Estefánné dr. Varga)

Transcarpathian Ferenc Rákóczi II Hungarian College (Beregszász) (Dr. Ildikó Orosz)

Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (Satu Mare) (Prof. Dr. László Bura)

Partium Christian University (Oradea) (Dr. István Szűcs)


Members of the Research Centre:

Ágnes Dusa

During my master studies, I joined to the work of the CHERD research group because of the suggestion of my supervisor and mentor, Professor Ildikó Szabó. As a full-time PhD student of the Doctoral Program on Educational Sciences, I investigated the characteristics of student mobility at the University of Debrecen in the further investigations of the research group. The regular surveys of the research centre provided for me the possibility to explore the learning mobility of the students of the University of Debrecen in a time series analysis. Student mobility includes a significant part of the progress of the internalisation of higher education, and it is often measured in education policy researches and higher education researches as well. Firstly, I investigate the progress and factors influencing taking part or stay out of student mobility and the differences between mobile and immobile students in my researches.


Tímea Ceglédi

In the focus of my research stand students who enrol higher education with outstanding input achievement despite their social disadvantages who are called ‘resilient-promises’. The ‘promise’ attribute is a kind of differentiation which is valid in the context of tertiary education and refers to the fact that successful enrolment is just a promise and not a guarantee for the resilient career at this level. Another focus of my researches is drawn to the higher educational talent promotion and its social openness. I have a huge experience in the field of educational sociology through 23 national and international research projects related to public and tertiary education such as graduate career tracking, shadow education, social cohesion, education of pedagogues, further education of pedagogues, special need education, disadvantaged situation, strengthening their competitiveness, talent promotion, added value, learning regions, and resilience. Currently, I am a PhD candidate in the Doctoral Program on Educational and Cultural Sciences at the University of Debrecen. I worked as the scientific researcher in the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development, in the Center for Higher Education Research and Development (CHERD-Hungary, University of Debrecen), furthermore, as an associate lecturer in the Institute of Educational Sciences. My supervisor is Dr. Habil. Hajnalka Fényes.


Zsuzsanna Márkus

I am Zsuzsanna Márkus, secretary and researcher of the Center for Higher Education Research and Development, and PhD candidate of the Doctoral Program on Educational and Cultural Sciences of the University of Debrecen. In my researches, I investigate the minority Hungarian higher education outside Hungary. In the focus of my interest are standing the institutional environment and the students’ academic achievement of the colleges and universities of the region, besides the Hungarian educational institutional network and higher education options. The aim of my research program to measure with what intra-institutional and extra-institutional factors can the tertiary educational academic achievement of the minority Hungarian students be grabbed and how they fit to the current theoretical approaches of educational researches. In my previous analyses, I investigated the social background of the Hungarian minority higher educational students of four big cross-border regions, furthermore, the compound of their available sources, their academic career and their pathways on which they reached tertiary education. I also identified their intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships and which support them in their studies. I measured their institution and department selecting motivations, their academic engagement and their career prospects as well. I made comparative measurements with multivariate statistical methods in all cases. I compared the minority Hungarian students with each other, with majority and Hungarian students. Beyond the detailed investigation of my research topic, my aim was to discover whether coherent differences, which unambiguously alter from the majority of the mother country, can be deduced from student life according to which youth studying in cross-border HE institutions in Hungarian can be categorised as a coherent group. My results are regularly published in publications and conference presentations.


Laura Morvai

I am Laura Morvai, a PhD candidate in the Doctoral Program on Educational and Cultural Sciences in the Doctoral School of Human Sciences at the University of Debrecen. During the years of my doctoral studies, I investigated firstly the world of ecclesiastical schools; I measured some aspects of the extension progress which began in 2010 concerning both pedagogues and students. Secondly, I analysed the higher educational student's plans regarding further education and the educational values of teacher candidates. My researches were generally made in databases with huge samples; however, I made qualitative researches as well. I had the possibility to explore the pedagogues' further learning needs and plans, educational values and pedagogical aims. Regarding the level of the students, the attention was drawn firstly on their academic achievement. With my research colleagues, we measured the achievement picture of the different actors of an ecclesiastical secondary school, the disadvantage compensating role of an ecclesiastical school, the effect of the structural crisis of the families on academic achievement, and the further education demands and attitudes toward the ecclesiastical education of the teachers of religious schools. In my thesis, my aim was to discover the academic achievement of secondary technical and secondary grammar school students learning in the different sustaining sectors of the Hungarian educational system, drawing particular attention on the ecclesiastical sector with the differentiation of schools which were already ecclesiastical in 2010 and which became ecclesiastical only after it. To measure this, the data of National Competence Measurements in 2014 were used in the level of students, premises and institutions. During the analyses, different kind of statistical methods and multivariate analyses were applied. The dependent variables of the investigation were the points of mathematics and comprehension competencies, the outstanding extra-curricular activity, the graduation aspiration and mathematics and comprehension results controlled with the cultural capital of the family. Regarding the interpreting variables, enrolment possibilities of the premises, the structure and status of the students' family, the composition of the premises, the parent-school relationship and the effect of the school environment were measured. During my career, I have already been the coordinator of more researches; furthermore, I was the associate editor of an academic as well.


Fruzsina Szigeti

I am Fruzsina Szigeti, a PhD candidate of the Doctoral Program on Educational and Cultural Sciences (Doctoral School of Human Sciences) at the University of Debrecen. Regarding the negatively influencing factors on our nation’s demographical status, the migration potential among PhD students stands in the focus of my research. My aim is to discover the migration opinions of the PhD students, to create groups on this basis and to describe their characteristics. To recognise the background and motivation of the real migration as an activity, it is necessary to recognise the (self)selection of the (potential) migrants at the beginning of the progress. Who are those who suppose likely to settle down abroad for a longer or shorter time? Which factors can hinder their migration mechanisms? What kind of factors can determine their migration opinions: the so-called hard socio-demographical (gender, age, family status) and socio-cultural (educational level of the father and mother, socioeconomic status, type of settlement) background or one of the life quality dimensions which provide a more nuanced picture? The novelty of the research can be found in the mapping of connection between the migration willingness and the dimensions of the quality of life of the research group.


Barbara Szabó

I am Barbara Éva Szabó, PhD candidate and the Education Organiser of the Institute of Educational and Cultural Management at the University of Debrecen. I graduated in Andragogy, Communication and Media Sciences, and Pedagogy Teacher Master Studies. During my university years, I supported the work of the institution as a demonstrator, a student with Republican Scholarship and later as a PhD student. My research topic is the appearance of vocational education in higher education. Firstly, I investigate the sociocultural environment, academic career and dropout chances of students learning in higher vocational education. In addition, the exploration of cultural sciences and the communication and civics and the possibilities of the methodological improvement of learning are in the focus of my researches. I was awarded the National Excellence Program Loránd Eötvös Student Scholarship in 2013 and the New National Excellence Program scholarship for doctoral candidates in 2017.


Valéria Markos

I am the active member of the CHERD-Hungary research group since 2014. As a sociology bachelor student, my research topic was the investigation of the working motivation and working values of higher educational students involved in voluntary and paid work. As a social policy master student, I started to discover the secondary educational students’ attitudes toward community services that I currently measure with qualitative and quantitative methods. The main aim of my research is to measure whether community service can improve certain social and civic skills and abilities among students. I also explore whether it influences in the number of voluntary workers in a positive or negative way and whether it supports the secondary students in their career choices. I research the attitudes toward community services through a multi-factorial approach as I investigate the opinion of the parents, the coordinators of the receiving organisations and the secondary school teachers.


Karolina Eszter Kovács

I am Karolina Eszter Kovács, a third-year PhD student in the Doctoral Program on Educational and Cultural Sciences. I am a school psychologist and English-Hungarian arts and humanities translator; furthermore, currently I am the editor of the Book Reviews of Hungarian Educational Research Journal (HERJ). In the middle of my researches are standing adolescents’ health behaviour and attitudes toward health-awareness which are investigated by different psychological and pedagogical aspects. I explore the distribution of the trends of health-behavioural elements like nutrition habits, health-damaging behaviour (firstly smoking, alcohol consumption and substance use), sport and their psychological components as anxiety, coping and well-being. These can be regarded as factors of non-academic achievement, and comparing them with the factors of academic achievement, they can provide precious information regarding the society and public education. In my researches, I mainly draw the attention on a special group of institutions of public education namely on sport schools which have been in the centre of only a few investigations. My own research project is in progress which is called ‘The academic and non-academic achievement of the students of sport schools and traditional schools. My aim is to measure the composition of the students learning in sport schools in secondary level, to discover their characteristics of health-awareness (health and risk behaviour) and non-academic achievement, furthermore, to compare their academic and non-academic achievement to their peers learning in traditional schools.


Anna Dorina Tóth

I am a second-year doctoral student. I graduated in master studies of Educational Sciences at the University of Debrecen. During my university years, I investigated education history: I discovered the path of life of the teachers who fought in the First World War and I analysed their letters that they sent home. After the graduation, there was a direct route towards the Doctoral Program on Educational Sciences where I changed my topic from education history to higher education policy. I undertook to investigate Community Higher Education Centres (CHEC). I explore what kind of student and educators the institutions of the North-Grate Plain have; furthermore, I find the answer to the question whether this institution can fulfil its economy developing role in the underdeveloped in the north-eastern regions which seems to lag behind. The Community Higher Education Centre is similar to the American community colleges because of their potential function in social inclusion; on the other hand, it shares some features with the German and Austrian ‘Fachhochschule’ because of its role in the economy. Because of the common features, I investigate the Community Higher Education Centre in international comparisons as well.


Katalin Pallay

I am Katalin Pallay, a second-year PhD student in the Doctoral Program on Educational and Cultural Sciences in the Doctoral School of Human Sciences at the University of Debrecen. My research topic is Career tracking of Transcarpathian graduate students of the International Preparatory Institute. Student mobility is related to my research topic, and the learning mobility of the Hungarians living abroad into their motherland and the investigation of the Hungarian-Hungarian relations. In 2016, I joined the Center for Higher Educational Research and Development (CHERD) of the University of Debrecen and I became the member of the Hungarian Educational Research Association (HERA). Currently, I work as the assistant lecturer of the Pedagogy and Psychology Department of the Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education and as the young researcher of the Lehoczky Social Sciences Research Center.

Zsófia Kocsis

I am Zsófia Kocsis, a first-year PhD student in the Doctoral Program on Educational and Cultural Sciences. I was studying in Nyíregyháza then in Debrecen. I already made small studies during my bachelor studies; however, I acquired the knowledge of making high-quality research during my master studies on educational sciences). I started to explore the topic of students’ employment within the framework of the New National Excellence Program. The results were introduced at the 33rd National Conference of Scientific Students' Associations which was awarded first prize. In this phase of the research, the working habits of the university students of Debrecen and Nyíregyháza were investigated. During our research, we tried to find the answer to the questions of the students’ employment in a complex way, taking the perspectives of the students, the educators and the work organizations into regard as well. The characteristics of students’ employment were discovered with qualitative and quantitative methods. Due to qualitative methods, we were able to recognise the attitudes and motivations of the target group. Our aim is still to excavate the underlying meanings and patterns of the connection.


Zsuzsanna Karászi

I am Zsuzsanna Karászi, a first-year PhD student in the Doctoral Program on Educational and Cultural Sciences. Regarding my profession, I have English-Hungarian bachelor degree and Multilingualism and multiculturality master degree that I made at Partium Christian University in Oradea. During my studies, the semester spent in Switzerland at the University of Fribourg had a significant role. I was a regular participant of the conferences of the university as the National Scientific Students' Associations Conference, Philip Roth Conference (International Philip Roth: Across Cultures, Across Disciplines), Scientific Students' Associations Conference in Transylvania and Educational Conference of the Carpathian Basin. After this, I enrolled in the Doctoral Program on Educational and Cultural Sciences. My research topic is the comparison of ecclesiastical and public higher educational institutions in Hungary and in the cross-border areas. Furthermore, I will investigate the religiosity of the students in the institutions as well. My supervisor is Prof. Dr. Gabriella Pusztai.


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