Hungary Targets Soros-Founded University in New Law

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A legal change in Hungary means that a university founded by George Soros to foster democratic thinking in this Central East European country will be shut down.

Hungary’s parliament on Tuesday voted 123–38 in favor of the measure, approving it the same day legislators were first given an opportunity to debate it. Under the change, foreign universities can only exist under a bilateral agreement between Hungary and the institution’s “home country,” where they are required to have a campus.

Many see the new law as targeting Central European University, the Budapest-based university that was founded by Soros in 1991 to train democratic thinkers as the country emerged from decades of communism. The accreditation of American institutions is in the hands of the states, not the federal government. (CEU has accreditation from the state of New York and Hungary.) It’s unlikely the U.S. federal government would hash out an agreement with Hungary to allow American universities to operate there, Michael Ignatieff, CEU’s president and rector, noted. (It is also somewhat economically and practically infeasible that a university that quite literally has “Central Europe” in its name would open a campus in, say, Poughkeepsie.)

Perhaps not coincidentally, the legal change comes as Hungarian organizations funded by Soros are also under threat of legislation that would make “foreign-funded NGOs” meet more stringent funding-registration requirements.

Reports about the…

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