Students protest university law despite compromise

Thousands of Hungarian students marched on parliament late last Wednesday despite the government suggesting a compromise to keep open a university founded by United States financier George Soros, writes Marton Dunai for Reuters.

Central European University, or CEU, found itself in the eye of a political storm after Hungary's parliament passed the new law recently setting tougher conditions for the awarding of licences to foreign-based universities. Critics said the new terms would hurt academic freedoms and were especially aimed at CEU, founded by the Hungarian-born Soros after the collapse of Communism and considered a bastion of independent scholarship in the region.

In an apparent change of tack, Education Secretary Laszlo Palkovics said CEU, which specialises in social sciences, could continue to operate if it delivered its teaching and issued its degrees through its existing Hungarian sister school. Despite this, thousands of Hungarians protested in central Budapest against what they said was a crackdown on free thought.
Full report on the Reuters site