New campus signals another Chinese foothold in Europe

Budapest is to host the first foreign campus of a Chinese university in Eastern Europe after Hungarian Innovation and Technology Minister László Palkovics signed a memorandum of understanding with Xu Ningsheng, president of Shanghai-based Fudan University, writes Florin Zubascu for Science|Business.

The agreement signed in December marks the establishment of yet another Chinese foothold in science and technology in Central and Eastern Europe, and also points to increasing politicisation of higher education and research in Hungary. The Hungarian government cites the “outstanding research record” of Fudan, saying the new campus will “enhance” the educational standards of Hungarian universities, teaching internationally competitive knowledge and skills that are vital for Hungary’s economy.

The plan to establish the campus has raised eyebrows among academics who were directly affected recently when the Hungarian government limited academic freedom at the Central European University (CEU) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. After an amendment to Hungary’s higher education law was passed in 2017 requiring foreign universities to maintain a campus in their home country, CEU was forced to retreat from its Budapest base. In November it officially opened a campus in Vienna in Austria, from where it now offers more than 80% of its courses.
Full report on the Science|Business site