Hungary's parliament has passed new legislation that could force a respected university founded by U.S. billionaire George Soros to leave the country.
Lawmakers on April 4 adopted the law, which would require foreign universities in Hungary to have a campus and provide similar courses in their country of origin.
Many in Hungary and abroad believe the law is aimed at Budapest's Central European University (CEU), which the nationalist government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban sees as a bastion of the liberal opposition.
Shortly after lawmakers adopted the measure, thousands of people took to the streets and formed a human chain around the university.
Orban's human affairs minister, Zoltan Balog, told lawmakers that Soros's organizations were "faux-civic, agent organizations."
"We are committed to stamping out such activity," he added.
WATCH: CEU Says Hungarian Law Attacks Academic Freedom
On April 2, thousands of students, faculty, and CEU supporters took to the streets to protest the new legislation, which the CEU has vowed to resist.
Under the law, the CEU could be forced to stop accepting students in 2018 and to shut its doors in 2021.
A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Budapest was quoted as saying Washington was "disappointed by the accelerated passage of legislation targeting Central European University."
Founded in 1991, the CEU has more than 1,400 students from more than 100 countries.
Based on reporting by Reuters, Bloomberg, and AFP