Eine von der Orban-Regierung geplante Gesetzesreform würde den Betrieb der von dem Milliardär George Soros gegründeten Central European University in Budapest unmöglich machen. Vor allem österreichische Medien berichten.
„Die Verachtung, die Ungarns rechtspopulistischer Regierungschef Viktor Orbán für den amerikanischen Milliardär und Philanthropen George Soros empfindet, kommt aus tiefstem Herzen. Denn das Lebenswerk des gebürtigen Budapesters, die Open Society Foundation (OSF), propagiert eine Geistigkeit, die die Antithese zu Orbáns Politik- und Machtverständnis bildet. Sie hat sich der Förderung von Toleranz, Weltoffenheit, rationalem Diskurs, offener Kritik verschrieben. Nun soll es nach Orbáns Willen dem Kernstück der Soros-Institutionen in Europa, der Zentraleuropäischen Universität (Central European University), an den Kragen gehen. Wie aus dem Nichts brachte Sozialminister Zoltán Balog am Dienstagabend eine Novelle des Hochschulunterrichtsgesetzes im Parlament ein. Diese formuliert formal-bürokratische Bedingungen für das Betreiben von Hochschuleinrichtungen, die die CEU nicht erfüllt“ (Standard).
Immerhin schreibt die SZ etwas zu Orbans Plänen:
Ich dokumentiere die englischsprachige Pressemitteilung der CEU aus der Archives-L:
„Budapest, March 28, 2017 – Central European University (CEU) expresses its opposition to
proposed amendments to Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education, tabled in
Hungarian Parliament today. After careful legal study, CEU has concluded that these
amendments would make it impossible for the University to continue its operations as an
institution of higher education in Budapest, CEU’s home for 25 years. CEU is in full
conformity with Hungarian law. The proposed legislation targets CEU directly and is
therefore discriminatory and unacceptable. CEU calls on the government to scrap the
legislation and enter into dialogue to find a solution that allows CEU to continue in
Budapest as a free and independent international graduate university.
“Any legislative change that would force CEU to cease operation in Budapest would damage
Hungarian academic life and negatively impact the government of Hungary’s relations with
its neighbors, its EU partners and with the United States,” said CEU President and Rector
Michael Ignatieff. “I call on the government to enter into negotiations with us to find a
satisfactory way forward that allows CEU to continue in Budapest and to maintain the
academic freedoms essential to its operation.”
The 2004 joint declaration between the Hungarian government and the State of New York
confirmed the parties‘ joint agreement to support CEU’s goal of achieving Hungarian
accreditation, while at the same time maintaining its status as an accredited American
university. Following the 2004 joint declaration, a special law namely Act LXI of 2004 on
State Recognition of Közép-európai Egyetem, established Közép-európai Egyetem (KEE);
literally translated, this means “Central European University.” KEE was established as the
Hungarian entity which then allowed for Hungarian accreditation of 10 graduate and
doctoral level programs at the University. CEU/KEE is one higher education institution with
one campus in Budapest. The dual identity of CEU/KEE enables the University to comply
with both Hungarian and U.S. laws and award both Hungarian and U.S.-accredited degrees.
This is a common model. CEU is one of many American-accredited international
universities that do not operate any academic programs within the U.S.
In addition, the amendments would require CEU to open an additional campus in the state
of New York. Forcing CEU to do so would have no educational benefit and would incur
needless financial and human resource costs.
The section of the amendment that most clearly illustrates discrimination against CEU is
the provision that prevents Hungarian universities (in this case, KEE) from delivering
programs or issuing degrees from non-European universities on behalf of CEU. Existing
legislation allows for university programs and degrees from OECD countries (including the
U.S.) to function through joint Hungarian entities, as CEU/KEE currently does. Hungary itself
has been a member of OECD since 1996, and as such, should not discriminate against
other OECD countries.
Another clear example of discrimination in the proposed amendment is the elimination of
a good-faith waiver that currently allows academic staff from non-EU countries to work at
the KEE entity without requiring a work permit. The change would create additional and
unnecessary barriers to hiring and recruitment. Given that CEU relies particularly much on
professors from outside of the EU, the new regulation would place the university in a
The proposed amendment also forbids the American entity CEU to continue its program
under the current name of “Central European University” unless “Közép-európai Egyetem”
(KEE), the Hungarian entity, changes its name. This would require both entities to change
the names that were established a quarter of a century ago.
CEU celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016. It has no other desire than to remain in
Budapest. It is deeply embedded in Hungarian academic life, collaborating with other
institutions of academic excellence in Hungary from ELTE to the Hungarian Academy of
Sciences, sharing research projects, teaching, knowledge, and enabling student exchanges.
Of the nearly 1,800 students CEU educates each year, Hungarians make up the largest
group. The majority of CEU staff and nearly half the faculty are Hungarian. CEU contributes
to the Hungarian economy through tax, social security, and health insurance contributions
as well as payments to local suppliers.
CEU is a private and independent institution. Many of our degree programs in the social
sciences and humanities rank in the world’s top 200, and many in the top 100, some in the
top 50. CEU faculty are remarkably successful in earning research grant funding from the
European Union and other grant-making organizations in competitive tenders held across
Europe or across the globe. From 2011-2016, CEU received €6,955,221 in ERC grants. For
2017-2022, the University will receive €14,988,163 in ERC grants. CEU has a reputation
which should make Hungarians proud. We employ Hungarian professors; we have
recruited many notable Hungarian scholars back home from posts overseas; our largest
component in our student body consists of Hungarian students.
We are proud of our reputation, proud of our contribution to Hungarian academic life for
the past 25 years and we will defend our achievements vigorously against anyone who
seeks to defame our work in the eyes of the Hungarian people. The combined entities of
CEU/KEE, which deliver 8 master’s and 2 doctoral degree programs accredited in Hungary,
is deeply embedded in Hungarian academic life and society. It employs over 600
Hungarians and enrolls, on average, 400 Hungarian students per year – the largest national
group among our students. These are just a few of CEU’s rich contributions to Hungary
and to the world. Any legislation that would make it difficult for CEU to operate in Hungary
would destroy this fabric of cooperation with Hungarian institutions and the Hungarian
public and would damage Hungary’s long-held reputation as a center of innovation,
academic excellence and scientific inquiry.“