CEU Refutes Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Statement in the European Parliament

April 26, 2017

Budapest, April 26 – The Prime Minister claimed, referring to a letter written by President and Rector Michael Ignatieff to the students and faculty of CEU, that Ignatieff is not worried that CEU, operating in Budapest, may be closed down. This is false. Ignatieff assured the CEU community in that letter that the university will continue operating under any circumstances. This does not mean, however, that the survival of the university in Hungary is not under threat. Unfortunately, the opposite is the case, due to the actions of the Hungarian government.

The Prime Minister also claimed that the new law abolishes privileges and loopholes and distributes rights across universities in an equal fashion. This is also false. For weeks now, we have been asking the government to name the specific privileges possessed in the past by CEU and the rights given now to all Hungarian universities. Unfortunately the Prime Minister failed to answer these questions again. CEU worked hard to gain accreditation -- issuing diplomas is not a privilege. The measures claimed to benefit the Hungarian universities met with robust protest across the entire Hungarian education sector. This is because the new law and the way it was adopted shows disrespect to Hungarian higher education and to academic freedom.