Hungary’s leader Orbán bans gender studies

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is facing a backlash over a government decree effectively prohibiting gender studies courses in all universities across the country. Orbán’s administration believes the courses are rooted in “ideology”, rather than science, writes Chantal Da Silva for Newsweek.

The prestigious Budapest-based Central European University (CEU), which is one of just two Hungarian universities to offer gender studies degrees, has condemned the decision, calling it a “major infringement on academic freedom and university autonomy”. The decree, which was signed by Orbán and brought into effect on 13 October, sees gender studies dropped from a list of masters degree programmes entitled to official accreditation and financial support from the government. It also bars schools from starting new courses on the subject, but it does allow students who have already begun such courses to complete them.

Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén asserted that gender studies “has no business [being taught] in universities” because it is “an ideology, not a science”, according to Agence France-Presse. But the CEU, which was founded by liberal United States billionaire George Soros, has warned that eliminating its gender studies programme will incur a “significant loss to the Hungarian scholarly community and for democratically-minded public policy”.
Full report on the Newsweek site