Budapest, April 4 (MTI) – Budapest’s Central European University (CEU) will appeal to President János Áder for a constitutional review of higher education amendments passed into law on Tuesday, CEU head Michael Ignatieff said.
Speaking online from Washington, DC, at a press conference by the university, Ignatieff voiced disappointment over the new law, which he said had been “forced through” parliament hastily and without any debate.
Ignatieff confirmed CEU’s earlier position that the university would go on with its courses “under any condition” and added that continuing in Budapest, “home to the university”, was a top priority.
CEU Condemns Passage of Amendments to Hungary’s Higher Education Law Restricting Academic Freedom, Plans Legal Action
CEU also regards the new legislation as a violation of the clear constitutional provisions in Hungary’s basic law that protect the freedom of scientific research. “We will contest the constitutionality of this legislation,” said CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff. “In the meantime, we call on the government to enter into dialogue to see whether an agreement can be reached to resolve the issue. Such an international binding agreement must allow CEU to continue its operations in Budapest and safeguard its academic freedom.”In reacting to the new law, Rector Ignatieff said, “This legislation has been rammed through Parliament in a single week following a tide of defamatory attacks on the university and its degrees. These attacks have not succeeded. We are deeply grateful for the support we have received from Hungarian faculty, students and institutions of learning. “
CEU will continue to maintain the integrity and continuity of its academic programs throughout this period and assures all current and prospective students that CEU will remain in continuous operation whatever the circumstances.
Expressions of support for CEU and condemnation of the legislation include:
• 17 Nobel Prize winners and more than 500 European and American academics
• Over 1,000 cognitive scientists including 2 Nobel Laureates
• Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber
• The United States Department of State
• László Lovász, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
• Hungarian National Conference of Student Unions
• Eötvös Loránd University
• University of Szeged
• University of Pécs, Faculty of Business and Economics
• Andrássy University Budapest
• Academia Europaea
• 18 Hungarian Colleges of Excellence
• The British Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities
• The Regius Professors of Oxford and Cambridge Universities
• Oxford University Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson, recently elected to CEU’s Board of Trustees
• The European Society of Cambridge University
• The Canadian University Teachers Association
• European University Association
• Indian Academy of Sciences
• Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
• Others to be found on https://www.ceu.edu/category/istandwithceu (as news stories) and here https://www.ceu.edu/istandwithCEU/support-statements (listing)
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