Earlier today Hungary’s parliament approved legislation that is forcing the close of a university founded by George Soros called Central European University, or C.E.U. The university in question is partly an American-run university that generally operates without Hungarian oversight. Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused the college of being fraudulent saying “in Hungary, one cannot be above the law-even if you’re a billionaire.” This was an obvious dig at the founder, a famous financier. The fact that the university is located in Hungary and was handing out American degrees was the cause for this accusation. Prime Minister Orban’s government has been accused of failing to uphold democratic values, recently recieving the lowest democracy score in central Europe, and has recently been going after many nongovernmental organizations.
With this legislation, it has caused many to question the link between education and the government. Many are outraged saying that the law is an “attack on academic freedom” and “Political and ideological struggles should have nothing to do with the world of universities, scientific quality, free education and the centuries-old tradition of inviolable autonomy in research.” This raises question on how much the government should be involved when it comes to education at any level. With the huge amount of opposition to this bill it will be interesting to see if this legislation will really go into place.
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