Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary, famously spent a few months studying at Oxford University. His then-mentor has now shared some memories.
Orbán’s mentor at Oxford, the Polish Professor Zbigniew Pełczyński, told Blikk that he considered the Hungarian PM an extremely talented student back in the day but was disappointed in him in recent years.
Pełczyński organised study programs at Oxford for Polish and Hungarian students in the early 1980s, and Orbán was one of the participants in 1989 when he received a $10,000 scholarship from the Soros Foundation to study at Oxford University. Although he is proud to announce this experience on his website, according to Index, he fails to mention the fact that he attended the training with a Soros Foundation scholarship.
His interview at the famous university was allegedly so successful that he was not only admitted to Pembroke College in Oxford but was also offered mentorship by the Polish professor.
According to his classmates, he was an easy-going, charismatic student with
a characteristic accent and the personality traits of a rock star.
Professor Pełczyński claims that Oxford did not really mean much to Orbán, it was merely a tool for him in his political career. At the very beginning of their acquaintance, the current prime minister stated that he would immediately head back to Hungary if elections would be announced. This is exactly what happened, so he ended up completing only one trimester at the prestigious university. According to Pełczyński, there was not much to evaluate during that short period, so Orbán left without any certificate.
Before suddenly leaving the university, Orbán met his mentor regularly, and the professor considered him a talented, bright student. When Fidesz won the election in 1998, he gladly accepted Orbán’s invitation to Hungary, and it was not until around 2010 that he expressed his disappointment in the illiberal turn of the Prime Minister.
Pełczyński claims he would feel embarrassed to meet his former student now.
Source: Blikk, Index