Budapest, April 10, 2017 – Central European University (CEU) strongly disagrees with the decision by President Janos Ader to sign the amendments to Hungary’s national higher education legislation. Accordingly, CEU will immediately seek all available legal remedies.
The legislation was introduced without consultation with CEU or with necessary Hungarian authorities and thus violates elementary standards of due process observed in any democratic country.
The legislation is targeted at an American institution in a flagrantly discriminatory manner.
The legislation seeks to make it impossible for CEU to offer American-accredited masters and doctoral degrees, as it has done with the full agreement of Hungarian authorities for many years.
The legislation imposes a punitive deadline which would make compliance impossible.
On these and other grounds, the legislation constitutes a premeditated political attack on a free institution that has been a proud part of Hungarian life for a quarter of a century. We will oppose this legislation to the full extent of the law.
President Ader calls for “mutual good will” and “negotiations without delay.” From the beginning of this sorry episode, CEU has been ready to discuss this matter with the government. All our efforts so far have been rebuffed and the good name of our university has been attacked. If the government genuinely wishes to solve this problem, they will need to show the good will that the President has called for.
“As I have said before, we are willing to sit down with the Hungarian government to find a solution to enable CEU to stay in Budapest and operate as we have done for 25 years,” CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff said. “However, academic freedom is not negotiable. It is a principle that must form the basis of any future agreement.”
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