President János Áder has signed the amended law on higher education which governs the operations of foreign universities in Hungary.
The president signed the bill on Monday, and said he had reviewed the bill’s constitutionality as well as its compliance with international treaties. He determined that the bill was not in violation of the right to the freedom of education or the passage in the constitution granting autonomy to higher education institutions. He said the bill was not in violation of international treaties or European Union directives, either.
According to MTI, President Áder also called on the government to begin talks with the institutions affected by the law on its implementation.
“I am convinced that with mutual good will … this can be done within the deadline specified in the law,” President Áder said. “It is in all our interests that the values created over the past years at foreign universities operating in Hungary can continue to be enriched and the academic work can continue uninterrupted,” he added.
Among the measures, foreign universities must be subject to a bilateral agreement between Hungary and their state of orgin.
A last-minute change to the bill moved forward the date for revoking the licences of institutions that fail to comply with the new rules to January 1, 2018 from September 1, 2018.
It was passed in a fast-tracked procedure with 123 votes cast in favor by lawmakers of governing Fidesz and the Christian Democrats in the 199-seat assembly on April 4.