Thousands of Hungarians Protest Planned Construction of Chinese University in Budapest

Nearly 10,000 Hungarians protested on Saturday against Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s plan to build an elite Chinese university campus in the Hungarian capital, some of them holding banners declaring “Treason.”

“Fidesz is selling out wholesale the housing of Hungarian students, and their future, just so it can bring the elite university of China’s dictatorship into the country,” the organizers of protest wrote on Facebook.

For the Shanghai-based Fudan University campus, which will be the first Chinese university in Europe to be constructed, Hungarian taxpayers will be paying an amount of €1.5 billion ($1.8 billion). Nearly €1.3 billion of this money will be provided in the form of a Chinese loan, according to Hungarian investigative news site Direkt 36.

Polls have shown that the majority of Hungarians are against the plan as they do not want to pay for the construction of a foreign university at a site in Budapest that was expected to be dedicated to affordable housing for Hungarian students coming from rural areas and low-income families, reports.

“I do not agree with our country’s strengthening feudal relationship with China,” Patrik, a 22-year-old student, said during the protest.

At the same time, the opposition and economists have criticized the government about the project’s high costs and the lack of transparency.

The liberal mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karacsony, who has publicly opposed the plan, required the Prime Minister to cancel the project and announced there would be renaming of streets around the planned campus, including “Free Hong Kong Road,” “Dalai Lama Road” as well as “Uyghur Martyrs’ Road.” The latter will be named after the Muslim ethnic group declared a victim of Chinese genocide by the world’s capitals.

Nevertheless, Orban’s government said Fudan University would provide high-quality education to thousands of Hungarian and international students.

The deputy government minister Tamas Schanda was quoted by Hungary’s MTI news agency saying that the protest was unnecessary and dismissing “political hysteria” based on gossip and media reporting.

Hungary reached the strategic agreement with Shanghai’s Fudan University in April, which deal was signed between the Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology, László Palkovics, and the President of Fudan University Xu Ningsheng.

The local district mayor Krisztina Baranyi said that nobody was consulted about the plan to establish the new Campus of China’s Fudan University and that the decision has been taken without anyone in Hungary agreeing with it. 

Get The Latest Higher Education News Sent Directly To Your Inbox

Recent Articles

Victoria University of Wellington to Introduce Mandatory Vaccination for Students & Staff in Halls of Residence

Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand will introduce a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students and staff living...

Trade Minister Says He Hopes International Students Can Return to Australia Before Year Ends

Australia will open borders for the returning Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their family members as of November 1, and the Australian...

University of Sheffield to Pay Employees Minimum of £10 per Hour

The University of Sheffield will pay all of its employees a minimum of £10 per hour starting November 1, 2021, the university has...

Three Arizona Universities to Introduce Mandatory Vaccinations for Employees as of Dec. 8

Three universities in Arizona, the University of Arizona (UA), Northern Arizona University (NAU), and Arizona State University (ASU), will require all their...

Top 7 Countries Offering Free Education to International Students in 2021

To study abroad means to have the opportunity to get to meet new people, know new cultures, taste new foods, visit different...

Related Stories