Liberal financier George Soros is a major democratic supporter. He is also a person that strongly supports open societies. An open society is a culture or system of government that allows people certain rights and privileges without interference from the government.
One of the major benefits of an open society is the institution of education. George Soros knows how important education is to a person’s success in life. Back in 1991 he opened the Central European University (CEU) within the city of Budapest, Hungary.
This university has been around a little over 25 years and it has been providing a top-quality education for thousands of Hungarian people who reside in and around the Budapest area. The university also educates people from across the world.
While CEU is located in Hungary, the university is registered and accredited within the United States. In other words, the University is considered an American institution and not so much a Hungarian campus for education. This of course has some Hungarian people up in arms.
Soros was born in Hungary and he lived through the Holocaust while it took place. The experiences that he encountered during those days have helped to shape his future. Soros had eventually become an American citizen and enjoys a dual-citizenship status between Hungary and the U.S.
When he opened up the Central European University he decided to fund the place from the U.S. where he currently resides. However, some Hungarian government officials no longer desires for him to do this. Viktor Orban is the name of Hungary’s current prime minister. He is responsible for the push to remove CEU from Budapest.
Orban claims that CEU is not a real Hungarian university because it has been set up through the U.S. and just located within Hungary. He is now pushing to pass legislation that will require all Hungarian universities to be registered within the nation.
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This new legislation will also require any overseas registered Hungarian university to be a part of a bilateral education agreement. In other words, if another country can have an accredited university within Hungary; then Hungary can have one of their campuses located within the U.S. Also, the degrees that are valid within the U.S. must also be valid within Hungary. Any university that does not agree with these changes must alter their name.
Keep in mind that Soros set up an American version of CEU and it allows degrees for Hungarian and American students. Many people in Hungary are protesting this move by the prime minister because they really value the education that CEU provides. At least 70,000 people showed up to join in a protest against this action. Soros plans to keep fighting to keep CEU in Hungary. He certainly wants the people to get the education that they need and desire.
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