Student quarter and campus of China's Fudan University to be built in Budapest

The government is offering cooperation and full transparency to the local and the metropolitan councils on the project.

László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology, has confirmed a student quarter and the campus of China's Fudan University will both be built in Budapest's 9th district.
Following talks with Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony and Krisztina Baranyi, the district mayor, Minister Palkovics said the government was offering cooperation and full transparency to the local and the metropolitan councils on the project. He said the government interpreted the project, originally launched in 2017, as containing four elements, “university development, student housing development, student community spaces and research institutions”. “This is where we differ,” Palkovics said, adding that Karácsony insisted university construction had not been part of the agenda. “The presentation of the talks where the project was approved made it clear that a university quarter, rather than a student quarter would be built,” he said.

During the talks, the government pledged to build the university and the student quarter both, as well as “all facilities serving the students’ wellbeing,” Palkovics said. Preliminary estimates put the costs of the construction of the university alone at HUF 440 billion (EUR 1.25bn), with an additional HUF 100 billion for “generic facilities,” he added.

Minister Palkovics said government representatives offered to make the entire process establishing the local campus of China’s Fudan University transparent and invited the councils and the conference of student councils to sit on the board and a professional consulting body. Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony did not answer to those proposals, and insisted on his interpretation of the original agreement, which did not include the construction of the university. One advantage of agreements is that they can be reconsidered,” the minister added. At the same time, Palkovics said it was a “step forward that we could brief Gergely Karácsony and Krisztina Baranyi on how the agreement should be interpreted.”

Concerning the financing of the project, Minister Palkovics said the government will review offers from European as well as Chinese investors, and decide “how the Hungarian government can best finance the project”. The government wants the student quarter and the university to be built simultaneously, he said. Fudan will offer studies in liberal arts, economics, engineering and medicine, he said.