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Central European U Suspends Programs for Refugees

August 29, 2018

Central European University, in Hungary, has suspended its programs for registered refugee and asylum seekers in response to what it says is new Hungarian legislation on refugees and immigration that took effect Aug. 24.​

CEU said it is suspending both its Open Learning Initiative for refugee and asylum seekers, known as OLIve, as well as the administration of a European Union-funded research grant on migration policy in Central and Southern Europe.

“CEU’s action follows advice from our tax advisors in respect of potential liability for a 25 percent levy on our immigration related programs. We are suspending these programs while we await clarification of our tax and legal situation,” the university said in a statement.

“CEU takes this opportunity to emphasize, once again, that the OLIve programs have provided educational training only for persons legally admitted to Hungary. We are proud of this work and of our research on refugee and migration issues in Europe and will seek all possible ways to continue this work in the future.”

​CEU -- an American-accredited graduate institution founded by the liberal financier George Soros -- has come under heavy pressure from Hungary’s right-wing government since the introduction of a new higher education law in 2017 that was widely seen as intended to force the university's closure. The university remains locked in a standoff with the government over its long-term future in the country.

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Elizabeth Redden

Elizabeth Redden, Senior Reporter, covers general higher education topics, religion and higher education, and international higher education for Inside Higher Ed. She has more than a decade of experience as an education journalist. She holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.

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