The threatened Central European University in Budapest has signed a memorandum of understanding with a US college, a move that it hopes will lead to an agreement with Hungary’s government that allows it to stay in the country.
Negotiations between the Hungarian government and New York State over the CEU’s future in Budapest have now “created the basis for an agreement”, according to a CEU spokeswoman.
The law was seen as a further move against liberal institutions in Hungary that might oppose the government, and the CEU claimed that it specifically was being targeted.
On 3 October, the CEU said that it had agreed with Bard College to “provide educational activities in New York”.
“We hope that this MOU, which does not preclude future agreements with other New York-based institutions, helps to provide the basis for a speedy conclusion to this affair,” the spokeswoman said.
“We await the Hungarian government’s signature of the agreement and parliament’s ratification in order to enable the CEU to continue operating in Budapest, which has always been our goal,” she added.
However, reports in the Hungarian press quote László Palkovics, the education undersecretary, as saying that the government would not necessarily sign an agreement on the CEU’s future this year because the university’s programmes in the US still needed to be accredited.