The president of a Budapest-based university founded by investor and philanthropist George Soros said in a letter to faculty, students, alumni and staff that legislation has been proposed that imperils the university's future operations in Hungary.
In the letter, Central European University President Michael Ignatieff wrote that the proposed legislation “would make it impossible for CEU to continue its operations as an institution of higher education in Hungary authorized to grant degrees accredited in both Hungary and the United States. As we see it, this is legislation targeted at one institution and one institution only. It is discriminatory. It strikes at the heart of what we have been doing at CEU for over two decades. We are in full conformity with Hungarian law and have been for more than two decades.”
Ignatieff wrote that the university's board and administration "will contest this legislation through every means possible" and that "CEU has no other desire than to remain in Budapest."
CEU, which opened in 1991, offers graduate programs taught in English in the humanities, law, management, public policy and the social sciences. Scholars took to social media Tuesday to express their support for the university -- and their dismay at the Hungarian government, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.