Yesterday the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities sent an open letter to the government of Hungary. The letter was written in response to the risk of closure faced by Central European University (CEU), founded by George Soros in 1991, as a result of the actions of the Hungarian government. The Hungarian government asserts that CEU is illegal as it is not formally a Hungarian university and has no independent campus in the United States, which is the source of its funding.
Central European University conducts high-quality research in the arts and social sciences and has stood out among the universities of eastern Europe for many years. But now the government of Hungary is threatening to close CEU, as well as another 27 foreign-linked universities. We oppose these actions. They represent a major threat to academic freedom in a country which has already experienced various interventions against the freedom of the press. The legislative proposal has already led to large demonstrations and protests. As a university and a member of The Guild, we wish to clearly register our own disapproval and draw attention to the letter sent by the network.