Orbán: Universities with controversial model will be Hungary’s ‘locomotives’

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. [EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ]

The mission of the model-changing universities is to pull the Hungarian economy forward as the locomotives of the country and to strengthen its competitiveness, the Prime Minister emphasized, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the meeting with minister of innovation and technology László Palkovics on Tuesday (4 May), according to MTI.

Hungary’s parliament last week passed legislation setting up foundations to take over the running of 70% of the country’s universities, as well as cultural institutions and other state assets in a move critics say extends the imprint of Fidesz.

Bill handing over billion in public wealth to foundations passes

Hungary’s parliament passed legislation on Tuesday (27 April) 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.

Currently, most Hungarian universities are owned …

Viktor Orbán said that the legislation created not only a new management system, but a completely new Hungarian university system.

The universities that have seceded from the state are the real masters of the foundations’ boards of trustees, according to Orbán.

The expected list of board members and chairmen has already appeared in the press close to the government, and includes ministers, state secretaries, Fidesz mayors.

Orbán has previously said that he would not be able to “wholeheartedly nominate an internationalist, globalist-minded person for such a board of trustees. Because in that event I’d also be taking universities in that direction”.

“Universities are national institutions, so they’re the custodians of national sovereignty, national self-knowledge and consciousness, national learning and national culture. And we don’t want them to become globalist institutions of some kind that have lost their national character,” he added.

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