The situation of migrant children in the Hungarian and the Austrian education system: Multilingualism, interculturalism, and integration

The migration crisis of the past few years has influenced Hungary and Austria; therefore, migration, as well as its linguistic effect on society and education, and the cultural and social variation came to the front in both countries’ educational policies. Nonetheless, while Austria is a well-developed welfare country, and according to Esping-Andersen’s analysis, a conservative/ corporatist welfare regime, Hungary is a post-communist developing welfare state, which is currently conservative. In terms of their divergent historical and political trajectories, immigration policy, the number of immigrants, their native language, and country of origin, the two countries present significant differences. It is controversial whether education has a crucial role in economic and social integration of migrants. Despite contextual differences, Austrian and Hungarian educational systems are confronted with challenges emerging from the presence of migrant children in education. The aim of this article is to present the Austrian and Hungarian models with regard to migrant children in formal education: at macro level to identify the educational policies applying to migrant children, analyzing the syllabuses that provide control in the consistency of education, and at micro level analyzing the implementation of these guidelines and the syllabuses in the pedagogical practice and the challenges for educational integration.

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