Hall of Fame Class of 2022
Prof. András Benedek is an internationally recognized figure in Hungary's research and development of vocational training and adult education. Over the past 40 years, he has played a significant role in the professional development of adult education and in raising awareness of its importance. He has devoted his career to creating the conditions for vocational and adult education following the 1989 political regime change in Hungary and played a vital role in that nation's first Adult Education Act (2001). His main research interests are the structure and pedagogy of vocational and adult education, formal and informal learning, and mobile and visual learning.
A scholar and policymaker, he significantly contributed to developing and modernizing the vocational and adult education system, bringing it closer to the European mainstream. His policy work was vital to creating the regulatory environment and introducing a quality assurance system for adult learning in the early 2000s. Additionally, he has managed and coordinated engineering education and training programs for vocational teachers and adult education professionals at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME). As a professor at BME, he has taught generations of teachers in professional teacher education, adult learning, educational theory, and digital pedagogy. As a result of his work, the BME became prominent in equipping teachers for adult and continuing education.
Benedek has been and continues to be active on the international stage. He has been involved in numerous UNESCO, OECD, ILO, World Bank, and EU projects in human resource development. In addition, he has collaborated with some of the leading research communities on financing adult education, the development of the teaching profession, and digital teaching and learning.
From 1991 until 2006, he was Deputy and Permanent State Secretary in the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Education. Perhaps his single most significant contribution has been his involvement in preparing and adopting the first legal regulation of adult education. This forward-looking and innovative initiative adjusted to Hungary's economic and political realities. In 1990, he established the National Institute for Vocational Training, serving as its first director-general. In addition, he helped create the Vocational Education and Training Act of 1993 and a national register of qualifications, which unified state vocational qualifications.
Author of more than 300 publications, he is a regular keynote speaker at prestigious national and international adult education conferences. He was editor-in-chief of the Hungarian Encyclopedia of Adult Education and Training (2002). He has been editor of the periodicals Education Sciences, Adult Education, Social and Management Sciences, Vocational Training Review, and others. He initiated and served as editor-in-chief of Opus et Educatio, an online academic journal dealing with teaching and learning in a digitally-constrained environment. He is editor of the Peter Lang book series Visual Learning and organizer of the annual international conference on visual learning. He was instrumental in founding the Hungarian Association for Vocational Education and Training in 1989, for which he served as president (2003-2010). He has been president of the Hungarian Society of Education since 2009. In 2019, he was awarded the EDEN (European Distance and E-Learning Network) Senior Fellow Award for promoting distance learning and e-learning.
Benedek's work also has been recognized with several state awards: the Trefort Ágoston Prize (2020), the József Nádor Memorial Plaque (2016), and the János Apáczai Csere Prize (2008) in recognition of his outstanding educational and scientific activity, and the Middle (Silver) Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (2006), one of Hungary's highest state orders.