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Hungary's Orban extends dominance through university reform

April 27, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 30%. 1 min read.

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban gives a joint press conference with Czech Republic's Prime Minister, Poland's Prime Minister and Slovakia's Prime Minister after a meeting of representatives of the Visegrad Group (V4), focusing on measures in response to the new coronavirus COVID-19, on March 4, 2020 in Prague. (Photo by Michal Cizek / AFP) (Photo by MICHAL CIZEK/AFP via Getty Images)

Hungary's parliament passed legislation on Tuesday setting up foundations to take over the running of universities and cultural institutions in a move critics say extends the ideological imprint of the ruling right-wing government.

Budapest, HungaryHungary's parliament passed legislation on Tuesday setting up foundations to take over the running of universities and cultural institutions in a move critics say extends the ideological imprint of the ruling right-wing government.

His government will appoint boards of trustees to run the foundations, which will control substantial real estate assets and benefit from billions of euros worth of EU funds, while also having considerable influence over universities' everyday life.

In reply, Orban said state-run universities were not being privatized and that his government was investing in higher education by giving these foundations substantial assets.

The opposition said with supporters of Orban's ruling Fidesz party, and even government ministers, sitting on the boards, Orban could retain a degree of control over universities beyond the 2022 election and could undermine their autonomy.

Gergely Arato, an MP from opposition party Democratic Coalition, said the bill would take away "the property, traditions, community, knowledge" of Hungarian people and give them to government allies controlling the universities.

by summa-bot

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