Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister proposes expedited procedure for higher education bill
Budapest, April 3 (MTI) – Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén has submitted a proposal aimed at speeding up the procedure concerning the higher education bill now before parliament, requesting that parliament discusses and votes on the bill first thing on Tuesday instead of Wednesday as originally proposed.
In an expedited procedure, parliament could vote on and accept the bill on the same day. An expedited procedure proposal is accepted with a simple majority.
A faster procedure in necessitated by “government interests”, Semjén said.
The bill submitted by the government stipulates that foreign universities would only be allowed to award degrees in Hungary if they also operate campuses in their countries of origin and if there is an inter-state agreement on the university’s activities in Hungary.
The proposed bill sparked protests from notable scientists worldwide and a demonstration of students and teachers in Budapest on Sunday.
On Monday, a hundred ethnic Hungarian scientists and researchers in Romania signed an open letter to human resources minister Zoltán Balog, asking him to withdraw the bill, saying that the CEU “is an important centre of international scientific life”.
On Monday evening, parliament’s legislative committee modified the text of the bill.
Accordingly, if the headquarters of a university is located in a federal state where the recognition of the mandatory effect of international agreements does not fall in the federal government’s scope, the international agreement required for awarding degrees should be based on a preliminary accord concluded with the federal government.