Hungary and a university

 

Sir, – Contrary to what The Irish Times asserts, the Hungarian government has not “refused to sign a deal” with the Central European University (“‘Dark day for Europe’ as Soros-funded university quits Hungary”, World News, December 4th).

In fact the legal requirement to have such a deal will come into effect only as of January 1st, 2019. Thus the American CEU is not forced out of Hungary, as at this stage the CEU simply decided to quit voluntarily.

Let me correct the words of CEU rector Michael Ignatieff as well. There is no European institution being “ousted from a member state of the EU”. The European (and at the same time Hungarian) CEU is staying in Budapest and is operating permanently. Academic freedom is not violated, as the Hungarian CEU will keep running its locally accredited studies in Hungary. Hungarian degrees will still be provided. Few people know that there are actually two CEUs. The American CEU in New York on the other hand still has the time and opportunity to comply with Hungarian legal requirements to launch courses in the country. The CEU-Bard College co-operation (established 2017) entitles the university to apply to Hungarian authorities for the accreditation of their US programmes in Hungary.

However, the CEU in New York decided to do otherwise. – Yours, etc,

ISTVÁN S PÁLFFY,

Ambassador of Hungary,

Fitzwilliam Place,

Dublin 2.