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Hungarian Parliament to Force Foreign University Out the Country

Posted by Richard Ward

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Staff, students and supporters have rallied against a bill passed by MPs that could force a Budapest university to leave Hungry.

Parliament voted 123 to 38 in favour of tougher legislation that aims to crack down on liberalism.

The main target is believed to be the Central European University (CEU) and its founder, George Soros. The English-speaking university is partly funded by Mr Soros and is ranked within the top 200 universities in the world, in eight separate disciplines.

Hungary's Fidesz party sees the university as an upholder of liberalism and the prime minister is known to be critic, particularly as he has a strained relationship with Mr Soros.

The bill will essentially force the university from Hungry, as it requires foreign university to have a campus both in the capital and their home countries.

Within hours of the bill being passed, supporters of CEU marched around the university showing their support for the institution.

A CEU spokesman suggested the bill marked the first time "that a member of the European Union dared to legislate an attack on the academic freedom of a university".

The university currently has nearly 1,500 students, with 335 domiciled from Hungry and the rest coming from 107 other countries.