Hungary approves controversial law to close university

Indo Asian News Service

Budapest, April 5 (IANS) The Hungarian Parliament approved a controversial law that would result in the closure of a university despite country-wide protests, media reports said.

The law was approved with 38 votes on Tuesday, against and 123 in favor, most of which came from Prime Minister Viktor Orban's right-wing Fidesz party.

The Central European University, founded by Hungarian-American philanthropist and investor George Soros in 1991, is the only university that would be affected by the new law, which demands that all higher education institutions in Hungary funded from abroad have headquarters and programs in their country of origin, Efe news reported.

It would also require that a deal be signed between the American and Hungarian governments, which would be difficult as in the US, higher education is organised at a state level.

Orban, a declared ideological enemy of Soros and outspoken critic of his liberal organisations, has assured that the university's future would depend on negotiations between Budapest and Washington.

A protest was organised for Tuesday afternoon on Facebook, and demonstrators are preparing to form a human chain around the CEU in Budapest to defend it.