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The present transition from industrial to knowledge-based societies is characterised by major changes in working conditions and labour-market requirements. This process has resulted in a historically very fast restructuring in the scale of values. For example the flexibility, non-hierarchic structure and high adaptation capacity are becoming key factors both at individual and organisational level. The traditional educational system is slow to react effectively to this challenge, which may raise walls against further technical developments. Three interdependent parallel processes should be managed successfully in order to enjoy the advantages of our new age: (1) the renewal of knowledge, (2) the high-speed changes in labour-market demands and (3) the changes of applied tools and methods in learning. The existing mismatch between supply and demand in the labour market may lead to a very dangerous situation: a sharp division of the society into two groups by knowledge-based society skills, namely to small number of winners and a large majority of losers. Countries (like Hungary) should listen to these lessons and based on their best traditions they must react to the challenges in time and in a proper way. Otherwise the favourable foundations created by social, economic and political transformation in the 1990s may not serve the real adjustment to the global trends and the prices of social modernisation will become extremely high.

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