A new bill has been submitted to the Hungarian parliament amending the National Higher Education Act. This follows a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last October that ‘lex CEU’ violated European law.
The government’s proposed new law changes nothing for CEU. We believe the government has no intention of creating the conditions in which international institutions like CEU can operate freely in Hungary. Under the new draft legislation, it remains a political decision—certain to be taken at the highest level—whether to allow foreign universities to operate. The government has already made it perfectly clear how it proposes to use its powers. It threw out an institution that abides by international standards of academic freedom and has invited instead a university which obeys the ultimate authority of the Chinese Communist Party.
These are the choices the government has already made. CEU will remain in Austria, a country where basic standards of academic freedom are respected. We will maintain a non-teaching, research presence in Budapest and will never abandon the city, but we will not subject ourselves again to the political whims of one man and his regime.