Research findings of the past 10 years on higher education students'
Over the past decade the CHERD-Hungary research centre has monitored the volunteering and voluntary group membership of students in higher education in the historical region of Partium (consisting Eastern Hungary, the Western part of Transylvania (Romania), and Transcarpathia (Ukraine), and for the 2019 survey the sample was extended to Southern Slovakia and Vojvodina (Serbia). Nevertheless, students from Hungary have made up at least the half of each sample of 1,500 to 3,000 people between 2010 and 2019. This paper not only presents research findings of the past ten years but also reflects on the first National Volunteer Strategy of Hungary (2012-2020). The 2019 survey includes the impacts of the School Community Service, which was introduced in Hungary in the secondary schools, as the first cohort taking part in this programme entered the higher education in 2016. The introductory section of this paper offers an insight into the main trends of volunteering of students over the period of 2010 and 2019. Then, it addresses important questions with regard to definition of volunteering, such as the dilemmas whether volunteering might be compulsory, or it must be non-compulsory, and whether it may also be beneficial to the volunteers or only to those who are receiving assistance by volunteers. By looking at the individual benefits of volunteers, this paper also analyses the changes in the motivations of students. A particular attention is paid to the discussion about the formal and informal volunteering as well as voluntary group memberships of students. Based on these theoretical discussions the paper provides a detailed research analysis via a multivariate model focusing on the background variables which might affect volunteering and its motivations. By doing this, it also highlights the differences among the regions and countries analysed. Finally, this paper makes an attempt to answer the crucial policy question what higher education institutions could do to promote volunteering.
Keywords: higher education students, volunteering and voluntary group membership, national volunteer strategy, motivations for volunteering