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Tim Crane @timcrane102
, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
The press release by @CEU has emphasised the establishment of a new campus in Vienna and it might appear to the casual reader that this is a mere development of its academic activities. So I would like to just summarise the main points for those who have not followed the story
In April 2017 the Hungarian government introduced a law that required all foreign universities to have (i) an agreement between their home country and Hungary; and (ii) academic activities in their own country 1/?
Central European University, chartered in New York State in 1991, did not satisfy these requirements and so would become illegal in Hungary. It was the only foreign university in Hungary which did not meet these conditions. 2/?
Despite the fact that this arbitrary and pointless law was obviously targeted at CEU, the University made the effort to meet the conditions -- academic activities were established in New York State, and an agreement was drafted by New York and Hungarian negotiators 3/?
All that was required was for the Hungarian Government (in effect the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán), to sign the agreement. For over a year now he has declined to sign it. If he does not sign it by the end of 2018, then CEU will not be able to take any more students in Hungary 4/?
Because of the Government's inability to sign this document, drawn up by its own negotiators in response to a law that they invented, the Board of the CEU has decided that the University will move its operations to Vienna unless they have a response by December 1st. 5/?
it is very unlikely that they will sign, so the University will move. This is a tragedy for higher education in Hungary, for the city of Budapest, and civilised life in this country. 6/?
As @M_Ignatieff said today, this is not ultimately about the CEU but about what will happen to Hungary: to education and intellectual and academic freedom here. CEU will survive and flourish in Vienna. 7/?
But what about the people who work here, who may not be able to move to Vienna? What about the academics in Budapest who use the CEU's libraries and resources? What does this mean for people who want to do research or collaborate with researchers in Budapest? And so on. END 8/8
I would ask whoever monitors the feed of @ukinhungary to spend a few minutes reading this thread and explain why the UK embassy has said nothing.
I really would welcome it if @ukinhungary just said 'sorry we don't make statements about things like that any more, that's what the UK used to do, but times have changed'. That would clarify matters.
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