- 18 Oct 2017 9:00 AM
Hungarian lawmakers approved amendments to the higher education act in the spring that require foreign colleges and universities in Hungary to operate on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement and to have a campus in the country in which they are based. Should parliament accept the amendment submitted on Friday, the deadline for concluding such agreements would change to January 1, 2019.
CEU said it interpreted the lack of such an agreement between the government and the State of New York, where CEU is based, as discrimination on the part of the government. “CEU calls on the Government of Hungary to sign the New York-Hungary agreement without delay and re-affirms its commitment to fulfill all obligations,” the university said in a statement.
CEU said it would defend its academic freedom and continue its operations as a respected member of Hungarian and international academic life. It said the agreement that would secure its future was ready to be signed. The solution to the matter now rests in the hands of the government, the statement added.
The extension of the deadline and the failure to sign an agreement is a step backward, CEU said, adding that its interests lie in moving forward.
The European Commission had launched an infringement procedure against Hungary over the amendments to the higher education act because it believes the legislation runs counter to the right of academic freedom, the right to education and the freedom to conduct a business, as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.