Percorso:ANSA > Nuova Europa > News > Hungary approves stricter terms for Soros-founded university

Hungary approves stricter terms for Soros-founded university

Bill modifies rules regulating 28 foreign institutions

04 April, 15:28
(ANSA) - BUDAPEST - Lawmakers from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party on Tuesday approved a draft education bill that critics say targets a university founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros, AP reported.

The bill modifies rules regulating the 28 foreign universities in Hungary. Central European University said parts of the bill directly target it, and could force it to close.

Orban, a former Soros scholarship recipient, has been increasingly critical of the Hungarian-born philanthropist, accusing him of wanting to influence Hungarian politics.

He said last week that CEU was "cheating" because it did not have a campus in its country of origin and because it issued diplomas recognized both in Hungary and the United States, giving it an undue advantage over local institutions. The CEU is accredited in New York state but does not have a U.S. campus.

The U.S. State Department as well as hundreds of academics and universities have expressed support for CEU, founded in 1991. It currently enrolls 1,400 students from 108 countries.

Zoltan Balog, whose ministry oversees education, appeared to link CEU to the non-governmental organizations supported by Soros in Hungary. Speaking at the start of the debate in parliament, he described them as "faux-civic, agent organizations" seeking to hinder the democratically-elected Hungarian government. Balog said Hungary's government was ready to negotiate with the U.S. government on an agreement about the university.


© Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved