Central European University, founded by US Democratic donor and Hungarian-born billionaire financier George Soros, will enroll new students in degrees accredited in the US at the university campus in Vienna if its legal status in Hungary doesn’t become resolved by December 1, Reuters cited three sources as saying.
The sources pointed out that the university’s rector, Michael Ignatieff, had informed students and staffers at a meeting that the government had made it clear earlier that it would not ratify a contract with the State of New York, where CEU was originally accredited, that would enable the university to operate unhindered on Hungarian soil.
Two weeks ago, the right-wing Hungarian government issued a respective decree that pulls accreditation and state funding for two institutions, including CEU, which offer students social science studies on human gender. Responding to backlash from university academics claiming that gender studies are incredibly promising in the field, a spokesman for Prime Minister Viktor Orban told CNN that the government maintains a clear stance that “people are born either male or female.” “We do not consider it acceptable for us to talk about socially-constructed genders, rather than biological sexes,” he pointed out.
A similar point of view was expressed last summer by Orban’s chief of staff, Gergely Gulyas.
“The Hungarian government is of the clear view that people are born either men or women,” he noted in August, adding that people can lead their own lives the way they choose to, but “beyond this, the Hungarian state does not wish to spend public funds on education in this area.”
Gender studies "have no business in universities" because they are "an ideology, not a science," Agence France-Presse earlier quoted Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen as saying.