The CEU’s Soros-style political ploy

At a press conference in Budapest this afternoon, Central European University Rector Michael Ignatieff claimed that because the Hungarian government will not sign or ratify an agreement concerning CEU in Hungary, the University plans to move parts of its operations to Vienna.

“If no solution is found by December 1, we will move our degree programs to Vienna,” Ignatieff said.

This is little more than a political ploy. Let’s take a step back and recall what this is all about in the first place.

CEU has enjoyed undue privilege by operating what was essentially an “offshore university,” issuing 2-for-1 Hungarian-American degrees without offering genuine educational programs in the US where it was accredited. That’s the CEU in New York state.

But the university has its registered university in Hungary. It’s called the Közép-európai Egyetem (also known as KEE), and its fully accredited here. KEE has been delivering courses as a Hungarian institution of higher education. It continues to do so today and, as far as we know, will continue to do so in the future.

Technically, then, the rector’s declaration of an intent to relocate the CEU’s issuing body to Vienna only affects the US-registered CEU and leaves KEE intact. Taking that into consideration, one sees that this has nothing to do with “academic freedom”—and never has – it’s another wily maneuver, a Soros-style political ploy.