United States 'concerned' about Hungary's university law

Rawlings, Pollack voice support for Central European University

"The two new laws impose conditions on the activities of foreign higher education institutions in Hungary: they do not violate the constitutional rule of global treaties, nor do they conflict with European Union directives", Ader added.

This was the second large-scale demonstration in Budapest in as many weeks - with protesters turning out en masse to challenge recent amendments to the national law on higher education that have been adopted by the Hungarian parliament. He says that CEU is "cheating" because it doesn't have a US campus but issues diplomas recognized in both countries. "The legislation targets Central European University and threatens the ability of the university, an important American-Hungarian institution, to continue operating in Hungary".

Orban has for years criticised Soros, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor and philanthropist who has spent billions of dollars campaigning for an open society at odds with the more authoritarian social model the prime minister favours. It comes after controversial legislation, which has sparked protests against the right-wing government, was signed by the country's president. "This is the first protest I have ever participated in". "We don't want to have universities that are just issuing diplomas based on any kind of accreditation without any control".

The bill has led to criticism from hundreds of leading academics worldwide as well as from the U.S. government and the European Union (EU).

The Central European University (CEU) represents everything the current Hungarian government sees as a threat: critical thinking, liberal values, and academic freedom. "In terms of the trend in Hungary, we're still very close allies..." Yee is also expected to meet with authorities from the university.

"We are of course... quite vigilant about what Russian Federation is doing in the region or more broadly in the Balkans...", he added. "I think that he understood that what's going on in Hungary has nothing to do with the university autonomy".

Orban, who has increased Hungary's dependence on Russia with a long-term nuclear energy deal, may also be doing a favor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he has hosted in Budapest twice in the last two years.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the issue had wider implications. "That is its mission".

Manfred Weber, the EPP's chair, has said he expects the Hungarian government to comply with the European Commission's assessment of the CEU law.

The English-language CEU has 1,800 students from 100 countries and is ranked in the top 50 universities for political and worldwide studies in the World University Rankings list.

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