The aim of this study is to draw
attention to national minorities as a group distinct from immigrants.
Additionally, it attempts to introduce a global perspective on national
minorities, specifically on Hungarians in Central Europe, where, instead of concentrating
on the respective countries separately, it adopts a comparative approach. As
there are no specific theories addressing the issue of national minorities from
the educational point of view, immigrant theories might be a useful starting
point. For example, Ogbu's categorization of minorities on the basis of
voluntariness (free will) allows us to distinguish between immigrants and
national minorities as two distinct categories. The applicability of Ogbu's
theory on national minorities gives us a good opportunity to test the utility
of his thesis in European context. Using empirical evidence from a nationally
representative survey carried out in the Carpathian Basin I find little support
for Ogbu's thesis. According to the data, there is a high discrepancy between
the autochthonous minorities examined in the study which questions the
possibility of generalisation of minorities based solely on voluntariness.
Additionally, the empirical analysis testing Ogbu's concept on the example of
Hungarians does not favour the thesis of oppositional culture. The Hungarian
national minority as an involuntary group is not significantly disadvantaged
with respect to educational attainment (with the exception of Slovakia). On the
contrary, they seem to catch up with the majority i.e. the gap between majority
and minority appears to be closing.