The Venice Commission on Friday endorsed a preliminary opinion about Hungary’s law on higher education which stated that the law meets current European practice but includes several “extremely problematic” stipulations regarding foreign universities operating in Hungary.
The plenary session of the body’s constitutional experts said states have the right to regulate international higher education institutions in their territory but called for making already operating institutions exempt from the stipulations that require the education institution to have a campus in the origin country and ban the use of the same name for the institution in Hungarian and in the foreign language.
Commenting on the opinion, Laszlo Palkovics, secretary of state for education, said that the Commission’s position was “clearly favourable”, because it acknowledged the member states’ right to raise requirements against institutes on their territories. The government is, however, of the opinion that laws should apply for all those wishing to operate in Hungary. Exempting higher education institutions already in the country would harm the principle of equal opportunities, he said.
Hungarian media reacted differently to the Commission’s opinion: pro-government media stressed that the Hungarian law meets current European practice, while opposition media emphasised that it’s “highly problematic”.
Source: MTI, Hungary Journal