Billionaire George Soros opened the new main campus of his Central European University or CEU in Vienna on Friday after the university had been expelled from Hungary by Viktor Orban. The conservative Hungarian Prime Minister had earlier made it clear that CEU did not comply with Hungarian law on education and, as a result, would be forced to leave the country.
CEU’s decision last year to move the bulk of its courses out of Hungary came following a long struggle between Hungarian-born George Soros, who promotes pro-migration policies through his Open Society Foundation as well as numerous other NGOs ,and Viktor Orban’s anti mass-immigration government.
”CEU has steadfastly defended the principle of academic freedom against a concentrated attack by the corrupt government of Viktor Orban, who was hell-bent to destroy it. CEU’s epic struggle against the repressive regime generated worldwide support. That struggle is still ongoing”- says George Soros.
Founded by Soros in 1991, CEU has been a gateway to the West for thousands of students from eastern Europe, offering U.S.-accredited graduate degree programmes, promoting progressive values. However, Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party changed the law in 2017 to ban foreign-registered universities that do not also offer courses in their home country. The decision led to some courses provided by the university being banished from the state’s capital. The university has moved its U.S.-accredited courses to Vienna. It has maintained some presence in Budapest, which Soros said was in recognition of the support shown by other academics.