EU education, research and mobility schemes must be guaranteed to everyone participating in Hungarian university life, regardless of who runs the university, the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference (MRK) said on Saturday.
Fully 63 higher education institutions operate in Hungary, run by either the state, churches, private institutions or public foundations, the MRK statement said. Any political debate that ends up curbing participation of Hungarian university students or lecturers in the EU’s education, mobility and research programmes is “unacceptable”, it added. These schemes must be available equally to all university students, lecturers and researchers of all EU countries without exception, the statement said.
The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has proposed convening parliament’s cultural committee to discuss the European Union’s withdrawal of Hungary’s Erasmus higher education funding, DK MP Olga Kálmán told an online press conference on Saturday.
Kálmán said the European Commission had warned the Hungarian government in advance that “Hungarian universities cannot be controlled by foundations associated with ruling Fidesz”, and insisted that “neither Prime Minister Viktor Orbán nor Fidesz politicians sitting on the boards of trustees of universities care.”
Kálmán, a deputy head of the committee, said she wanted the body to hear the interior, regional development, and justice ministers on the matter of “how many researchers they have destroyed and how many dreams of students they have smashed”.
“DK wants to know when all Fidesz politicians have resigned from their positions on the boards of trustees,” she said. DK is working to ensure that Hungarian universities can again participate in the international higher education programme and Hungarian students have access to student exchange schemes, she said.