Hungarian Parliament Passes Bill to Establish China Fudan University Campus in Budapest

The Hungarian Parliament has passed the bill on China Fudan University’s establishment in Budapest, despite the capital’s opposition and thousands of Hungarians protesting earlier this month against this decision.  

Lawmakers gave the government a mandate to establish a local campus of China’s Fudan University in Budapest, reports.

The vote took place on Tuesday, while the bill was passed with 132 votes in support, 25 against, and no abstentions. The MSZP, the Democratic Coalition, LMP, Párbeszéd, and pro-Momentum independent representatives did not participate in the vote.

The last-minute legislation modification expects the government to report to lawmakers regarding the next steps of the establishment of Fudan Hungary University, as well as the budget allocated in this regard no later than December 31, 2022.

In April this year, Hungary signed a strategic agreement with Shanghai’s Fudan University to establish a branch campus in Budapest. The agreement was reached between the Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology, László Palkovics, and the President of Fudan University Xu Ningsheng, while teaching at Fudan University Hungary is expected to begin in 2024.

Following the deal, the local district mayor Krisztina Baranyi while addressing Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government expressed concerns that the decision to establish the Fudan University’s campus in the capital has been taken without consulting with anyone

“I was shocked when I found out. Everything is opaque. No one was consulted,” Baranyi added.

Earlier this month, around 10,000 Hungarians protested against Prime Minister’s plans to build the university campus in the capital. The majority of Hungarians said they do not want to pay for the construction of the university in Budapest at a site that was dedicated for affordable housing for Hungarian students coming from rural areas.

It was also reported that half of the state universities in Hungary have been privatized by the government and will be controlled by the Fidesz party-controlled asset management foundations.

70 percent of Hungarians will study at a privately-funded university after the Hungarian parliament adopted the law submitted by the Minister of Innovation László Palkovics to transfer universities from public to private foundations. 

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