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

Australia Might Lose Int’l Students if it Focuses Only on Economic Contribution, Study Group Australia Says

A reset button needs to be hit if Australia wants to prevent Canada, the US, and the United Kingdom from attracting more...

Boston University Requires Faculty & Staff to Be Vaccinated for Fall Term

Boston University has now decided to ask its faculty and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 2, 2021, when the...

Central Michigan University Launches Vaccine Incentive Program, Offers Fully-Vaccinated Students Full-Year Scholarships & Gift Cards

Central Michigan University has launched a vaccine incentive program with prizes, encouraging more students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the university...

Student Union Worried About Unvaccinated or Partly-Vaccinated Students Attending Universities in Scotland

The National Union of Students Scotland (NUS) has raised deep concerns over thousands of potentially non-vaccinated students who will attend Scottish universities...

Australia: Supermarkets in Locked-Down Regions Permitted to Employ Int’l Students for Over 40 Hours per Fortnight

International students in Australia will be permitted to work at supermarkets located in States and Territories subject to COVID-19 lockdowns for more...

Related Stories