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The Innovation and Technology Ministry on Thursday said it submitted bills to parliament that would transform another ten universities from state-run institutions into ones operated by foundations.

The government has introduced the foundation model for universities with the aim of establishing a more flexible, more predictable operating environment, while boosting universities’ competitiveness.

The bills would add the Budapest Business School, the University of Debrecen, the University of Dunaújváros, the Hungarian Dance Academy, the University of Nyíregyháza, Óbuda University, the University of Pécs, Semmelweis University, the University of Szeged and University of Physical Education to the list of existing foundation universities from the autumn.

The ministry noted that the transformations had been backed by the governing bodies of all of the universities.

The government will sign long-term strategic agreements with the universities’ foundations for periods of 15-25 years, while signing financing agreements for periods of 3-5 years, the ministry said.

It added that a performance-based financing system for higher education would be introduced from September 1.

Academic Employees Protest Government's Higher Education Reform
Academic Employees Protest Government's Higher Education Reform

The forum of academic employees on Thursday rejected the government’s bill of higher education reform, citing lack of wide-spread consultation and the circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic. “It has become clear that certain universities … voted in favour of the restructuring while its true content was not known, and will not be published until […]Continue reading

If the legislation is passed, more than 180,000 students, almost 70 percent of university enrollment, will study at foundation universities from the autumn semester, the ministry said.

featured image: Innovation and Technology Ministry leader László Palkovics at the University of Debrecen (illustration); via Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI