George Soros-backed university is 'forced out' of Hungary

Soros-founded university says 'forced out of Budapest'

Soros-founded university says 'forced out of Budapest'

Returning students will finish their studies in Budapest, while new enrolments on CEU's US-accredited degree programs will begin their studies in Vienna in September 2019. "This is unprecedented. A USA institution has been driven out of a country that is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally".

"In the case of the CEU we are being forced out of the country", said Liviu Matei, the CEU's pro-rector, at a press conference.

USA billionaire Soros, who promotes liberal causes through his charities, has been locked in a bitter disagreement with Hungary's conservative anti-immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orban's right-wing government.

The United States said it was "disappointed" that CEU was unable to remain in Hungary.

The Budapest school's ousting marks another step toward autocracy in Hungary and the region.

Michael Ignatieff, rector of the Central European University gestures during a news conference in Budapest, Hungary, on December 3, 2018. But the Central European University and the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban failed to agree.

"CEU has been forced out", said CEU president and rector Michael Ignatieff, and the institution "couldn't wait any longer" to start its student recruitment for 2019. "It is a dark day for Europe and a dark day for Hungary", Ignatieff added.

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In addition, in accordance with the law of the foreign educational institution has to operate not only in Hungary but also in the country where it was established.

Orban's government has conducted massive billboard and media campaigns against Soros blaming him for Europe's migrant crisis, a charge that Soros denies.

According to the university, the Hungarian government has "made it clear" it will not sign an agreement it negotiated in 2017 with the State of NY, which would ensure CEU's operations in Budapest for the long term.

Ignatieff said the Orban government imposed a host of new requirements for the university to meet in order to keep operating as an worldwide graduate school in Budapest.

The CEU will keep its Budapest campus and those students who have enrolled there will be able to complete their studies.

A university funded by George Soros has warned of the "beginning of repression in Hungary" after being "forced out" of the country by the government.

CEU is a graduate institution accredited in the USA and Hungary with 1,200 masters and doctoral students in the humanities, social sciences, business, law, and cognitive and network science.

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