Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday a Budapest university founded by financier George Soros had “cheated” in awarding its diplomas and violated Hungarian laws.
Orban, outspoken critic of liberal civil organizations funded by Soros, said the Central European University’s fate depended now on talks between Hungary and the United States.
The U.S. State Department said in a statement that CEU was a “premier academic institution” that promoted academic excellence and critical thinking.
In an interview on state radio, Orban said the CEU violated rules by issuing diplomas recognized both in Hungary and the U.S. as the university operates exclusively in Hungary and has no campus in the United States.
“Not even a billionaire can stand above the law, therefore this university must also obey the law,” Orban said.
The CEU said it operated lawfully and was accredited to award Hungarian and U.S. degrees.
“We have been lawful partners in Hungarian higher education for 25 years and any statement to the contrary is false,” the university said in a statement.
Earlier this week, his government submitted a bill to parliament to regulate foreign universities, which could force the CEU founded by Soros in 1991 out of the country.—Reuters