Brussels (MTI) – Budapest’s Central European University (CEU) will not close down under any circumstances and the institution will do everything it can to make sure that it can continue its operations in Budapest, CEU’s rector said at an event discussing the future of the university, in Brussels on Tuesday.
It cannot be allowed that a university is “taken hostage” in a European Union member state, regardless of differences of opinion or political goals, Michael Ignatieff said at the event focusing on the recent amendments to Hungary’s higher education law. The law stipulates that foreign universities operating in Hungary must also pursue educational activities in their country of origin and an intergovernmental contract should be signed to regulate their operations.
Ignatieff said that although Hungary’s constitution guarantees academic freedom, the amendments had been passed in a hurry, without warning or consultations with the universities affected by the law.
The event, held in the European Parliament building, was also attended by Gianni Pittella, president of the EP’s Socialists and Democrats Group, Guy Verhofstadt, head of the liberal group, European People’s Party MEP Sabine Verheyen, Gabi Zimmer, leader of the left-wing GUE group, and Philippe Lamberts, co-leader of the Greens-EFA group.