December 11, 2018
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European Union

Soros-funded degree programme to move to Austria from Hungary

Budapest, Dec 3 (efe-epa).- A private university founded by Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros on Monday announced it was moving its United States degree programmes to Austria after the government in Hungary blocked the institution from accepting any students for its Sept. 2019 intake.

The Central European University said in a statement that following 20 months of bureaucratic measures and adjustments including the launch of a US campus in order to comply with Hungarian legislation, the government has failed to sign an agreement that was negotiated with the State of New York that would have ensured the academic institution could have continued offering its services in Budapest.

"CEU has been forced out," said CEU president and rector, Michael Ignatieff in a statement. "This is unprecedented. A US institution has been driven out of a country that is a NATO ally. A European institution has been ousted from a member state of the European Union."

As a result, the university will move its US accredited degree programme to Vienna whilst continuing to teach and research in Budapest.

"Arbitrary eviction of a reputable university is a flagrant violation of academic freedom. It is a dark day for Europe and a dark day for Hungary," a statement on the CEU's website added.

CEU is a graduate institution accredited in the US and Hungary with 1200 master's and doctoral students in the humanities, social sciences, business, law, cognitive and network science.

According to the institution, it employs 770 staff amounting to a yearly contribution of 25 million euros ($28 million) in taxes, pensions and health contributions.

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