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U.S. Urges Hungary To Suspend Implementation Of Controversial Higher-Ed Law

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (file photo)

The United States has urged the Hungarian government to suspend implementation of its amended higher-education law that could lead to the closure of the Budapest-based Central European University (CEU).

In a May 23 statement, the Department of State said the amended legislation places "discriminatory, onerous requirements on U.S.-accredited institutions in Hungary and threatens academic freedom and independence.”

The government should "engage directly with affected institutions to find a resolution that allows them to continue to function freely," it added.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said the amendments passed in April seek to put all universities in Hungary on an equal footing.

But critics say the changes are aimed at closing the CEU, which was founded by U.S. billionaire philanthropist George Soros, whom Orban has harshly criticized.

Hungarian officials have previously ignored U.S. concerns over the new legislation.