HUNGARY

New deal with US college may save elite university

The prestigious Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, seems to have found a way around a threat to close it down. The university had been affected by a law change that is widely thought to be politically motivated, writes Alison Abbott for Nature.

The threat arose in April, when the government rushed through an amendment to its higher education law, requiring that all international universities operating in Hungary had also to operate as higher education institutions in their countries of origin. The law change seriously affected only the Central European University, which is legally registered in New York state. The university was founded in 1991 by Hungarian-born philanthropist George Soros, whom Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has described as an enemy because of Soros’s statements in support of refugees, which run counter to Orbán’s policies.

A university spokesperson said on 3 October that the university has now signed a memorandum of understanding with Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, to provide educational activities. She added that negotiations between the State of New York and the government of Hungary, which opened at the end of June, have now concluded, although the agreement still has to be signed off by Hungary’s government and parliament.
Full report on the Nature site