Thursday, 4 March 2010


The PAI's oklevél* is now accepted as a Hungarian teaching qualification, so all Hungarian-trained conductors are now recognised as teachers across the EU

A change in regulations by the Hungarian Ministry of Education means that the Pető Institute's conductor qualification (the oklevél) is now recognised as a teaching qualification within Hungary – and EU 'harmonisation' regulations therefore mean that it is also automatically acceptable as such across the European Union.
  • I understand that this has been the case now for at least eighteen months, but that some conductors and their employers may still not know about it.
  • It may have material implications, not least for the salaries of those affected in some instance
  • Those directly affected are conductors in their forties and older, working or intending to work in any of the EU's member states.
  • It may also have a rhetorical effect for the employment conditions of conductors working or seeking to work elsewhere in the world.
  • I am told that all that needs to be done for eligible conductors to benefit from this change is to submit their oklevél to the Ministry of Education in Budapest. It is not possible to do this by post, though personal submission by somebody other than the conductor is acceptable.
  • There is no change in the status of younger conductors who have received the joint qualification of 'conductor-teacher' in their initial training – nor are there implications for older conductors who have taken a post-experience teaching qualification.
  • Neither the earlier conductor qualification nor the conductor-teacher qualification that has run for the last two decades counts formally as a degree (whatever might be claimed to the contrary). I do nor know whether the Ministry's retrospective ratification of the 'old' conductor's oklevél as a teacher's qualification will also apply to prospectively to the bachelor's degree soon to be awarded at the Pető Institute.
  • This does does not mean that Conductive Education and conductors as such are any more 'recognised' across Europe that hitherto – just their formal status as schoolteachers is confirmed.should they wish this.
  • I have no idea why this change has been made.
I cannot vouch for the exact details of all the above. Everyone whom it might affect, either conductors or those who employ them, is strongly advised to check personally – and not with me!

Oh, conductors...

I heard about this important change only yesterday, from a conductor long resident and working in the UK, who had only just heard of it herself. She was not best pleased to find that some conductors similarly placed to herself had known of this for some time and acted upon it themselves – but not passed the information on. One has to wonder how many other conductors are similarly placed.

The Pető Institute has an alma mater organisation, and one hears of all sorts of Europe-wide and national aspirations for 'professional' status and registration of conductors. What can one say?

Were I stil an employer of conductors I would have regarded myself seriously remiss for not having spotted this change ages ago, and done something about it. I am no longer stretched upon that rack and can but hope that now this development is at last in the public domain, other employers of conductors will look to their own duties and responsibilities towards their conductor-employees, and take any necessary action.

Since I suspect that many of those who employ conductors may not see Conductive World, I leave it to those who do to draw this change to the attention to any employers who might not yet know about this change – and inform any conductors who might still not know.

* The oklevél

This is passport-sized 'little black book' that confirms the Pető Institute's formal qualification as conductor. It is sometimes rather misleadingly referred to in English as a 'diploma' (or even as a 'diplom').

A better English translation in this context might be the status-neutral word 'award'. The Pető Institute's oklevél is not equivalent, as may sometimes be heard stated, to a bachelor's degree.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing is as simple as it seems. Tunde Rozsahegyi writes -


    May I add a few comments:

    The conductor 'oklevel' is recognised in the UK as an ordinary BA degree not as a BA (Hons). For teaching in the UK you have to have a BEd, or BA(Hons) and a QTS.

    Only those conductors who have the teaching qualification from a teacher college in Hungary can get their QTS here in the UK, which gives them the licence to be considered as teachers. All officially translated paperwork has to be sent to the General Teaching Council. They are extremely helpful and with a very quick response they issue the QTS and the QTS number.

    Whatever happens in Hungary in the Ministry of Education it still depends on the particular EU country of how they dealing with the conductor or conductor-teacher diploma; for instance, France does not recognise this qualification at all regardless the evidence from the Hungarian Ministry of Education.


    Tunde Rozsahegyi
    Senior Lecturer
    School of Education
    University of Wolverhampton

    Further specific information very welcome...