The opposition Jobbik party on Saturday slammed the government for funding the Budapest branch of China’s Fudan University with 821 million forints (EUR 2.2bn), and called for the support of modern, autonomous Hungarian universities instead.
Party lawmaker Koloman Brenner told an online press conference that “turning a Chinese university loose in Hungarian higher education” and allocating it special government funding was a “new level in [ruling] Fidesz’s anti-knowledge and anti-intellectual politics”.
He insisted that the university’s high international ranking was “because academic freedom was not among the indicators of such lists”.
Brenner said Jobbik agreed with the government that Hungary should nurture its ties with China, in cooperation with other European Union countries. However, they protest against the operation of a university in the country that is “controlled directly by the Chinese Communist Party”, he said.
The government should support modern Hungarian universities rather than Chinese ones, he said.
Featured photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI