European University Association EUA has stated its concern over the decision taken on 4th April 2017 by the Hungarian Parliament to adopt the recently proposed amendments to the Hungarian Education Law, targeting the Central European University in Budapest. Universities Finland UNIFI shares EUA’s concern.
Should this amendment be signed off in law, it will make further operations of the CEU in Hungary in practice impossible. European universities have called on Hungarian president not to sign the legislation targeting the CEU.
UNIFI would like to underline the importance of universities as independent and open communities of scholars and to express its concern about the increasing tendency of national governments to interfere in university autonomy and academic freedom.
UNIFI strongly condemns such measures which go against fundamental university values, create mistrust, undermine the critical role universities play in society and ultimately prevent universities from fulfilling their mission. Critical thinking and independent judgement are the foundation of university activities. It is of utmost importance that governments, universities, their scholars and students, and other university stakeholders, remain committed to these internationally-recognised principles.
UNIFI calls upon governments to refrain from undue political interference in university matters, to respect institutional autonomy and to safeguard academic freedom, and to establish a dialogue with the sector that is based on mutual trust and the rule of law.
In Helsinki, 7th April, 2017
Universities Finland UNIFI