The recent approval from the Hungarian Parliament of a restrictive law on foreign universities can severely affect the functioning of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. This law forces all foreign universities operating in the Hungarian country to have a campus in its home country. This university, is accredited in New York and has valid studies in the United States (and Hungary), but it does not own a campus in the United States. The new law can therefore prevent the University from operating. The University of Barcelona, like other Catalan universities, holds agreements with the Central European University which so far have always developed successfully.
The University of Barcelona firmly believes that the university activity can only be active in a legal framework which respects the essential rights and freedom, among which are freedom of speech, assembly and association, media, and academic freedom. Moreover, the universities have to contribute to defend and promote these civic, individual and collective rights.
University institutions bring knowledge, dialogue and thought to society, and contribute to respect diversity apart from promoting free debate on their ideas. There is no wonder Budapest, Hungary and Europe would lack a piece of knowledge, debate and civism such as the Central European University.
The University of Barcelona shows its support with the teaching staff, students and all members of the Central European University, as well as its concern about the implementation of the new Hungarian law and its consequences in the eventual disappearance of CEU, which can only have negative effects.
We wish CEU to continue developing its valuable task and to remain as one of the institutions that build the European university community up.