For more information check out our article in the June issue of World Education News and Reviews
The Hungarian government proposes an amendment to the National Higher Education Law. The amendment introduces new requirements for foreign-accredited higher education institutions (HEIs) that operate in Hungary. The amendment is perceived by many as targeting Central European University (CEU). Michael Ignatieff, the President and Rector of CEU, calls on the Hungarian government to withdraw the bill and start a discussion with CEU. In the following days, academics, students, and public figures in Hungary and abroad critique the bill, and issue public statements in support of CEU.
When debating the proposed amendment to the National Higher Education Law, the Hungarian Parliament invokes a rarely used legislative procedure that allows a bill to be introduced to the Parliament and be voted upon the same day. The Parliament, where the governing party has 67% of the seats, passes the bill.
A crowd of 70,000 people peacefully marches through downtown Budapest to protest the amendment and to ask Hungarian President János Áder to refer it to the Constitutional Court for review.
President Áder signs the amendment into law, but calls on the government to start discussions with CEU to find a solution that would allow the institution to continue operations in Hungary.
The European Commission debates Lex CEU and determines that the amendment is not compatible with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.