Orban's Hungary drives out university founded by George Soros
Orban's Hungary drives out university founded by George Soros
Soros-founded Budapest university 'forced to move to Vienna'
05 December, 2018, 19:25
A European university headed up by former federal Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff says the Hungarian government is forcing the school to relocate its US -accredited degree programs out of the country.
Michael Ignatieff, the CEU president, described the move as a "dark day for freedom in Hungary" and said that it was "unprecedented that a USA institution has been driven out of a country that is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally".
The U.S. government was disappointed that the Hungarian government and CEU failed to reach the agreement that would allow the university to continue its U.S. -accredited programs in Hungary, according to a statement issued by the State Department.
United States billionaire Soros, who promotes liberal causes through his charities, has been locked in a bitter disagreement with Hungary's conservative anti-immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orban's right-wing government.
"Despite our consternation at being forced to leave Budapest, we are excited to offer our students the opportunity to study in another great central European city", he said. Mr. Ignatieff said all new students will attend classes in Vienna, but he hopes to maintain a Budapest campus.
A university founded by the billionaire philanthropist George Soros says that it has been driven out of Budapest by a state-orchestrated campaign of "low tricks, propaganda and lies".
Michael Ignatieff, the institution's president and rector, said the situation was unprecedented.
"The departure of these USA -accredited programs from Hungary will be a loss for the CEU community, for the United States, and for Hungary", Nauert said. In a statement, the university described it as a dark day for Europe. "It is now for the Court (of Justice of the European Union) to clarify this matter".
The EU's executive commission past year referred Hungary to court in the CEU case, saying that amendments Hungary made to its higher education law - some of which clearly targeted CEU - were counter to academic freedom and other EU rights.
"Nevertheless, the Hungarian government has made it clear it has no intention of signing the agreement that it negotiated over a year ago with the State of NY, which would ensure CEU's operations in Budapest for the long term", the university writes.
Hungary's government dismissed the university's move on Monday as a "Soros-style bluff".
However, CEU will keep its Budapest campus and those students who have enrolled there will be able to complete their studies.
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