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| Dániel Végel

Canada concerned with Hungary’s education law

D&T
May 5, 2017

“Canada is seriously concerned by amendments that stand to endanger academic freedom in Hungary and the operations of the Central European University [CEU]," according to a statement by Canada's ambassador to Hungary, Isabelle Poupart. The Ambassador was summoned to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry.

The statement issued regarding recent amendments to Hungary’s 2011 law on national higher education is as follows:
“Canada is seriously concerned by amendments that stand to endanger academic freedom in Hungary and the operations of the Central European University [CEU]. While we welcome the commitment of Hungarian leaders on Saturday to engage about amendments to the education law, we urge them to quickly move from words to meaningful action.
“In Hungary and abroad we have witnessed strong and sustained mobilization in support of academic freedom and the CEU. In Canada, academics and educational institutions such as the University of Alberta, University of Quebec in Montréal, University of Toronto, Western University, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers, have expressed their concern for the future of the CEU. As a long-time friend and ally of Hungary, Canada encourages a constructive dialogue that could pave the way for a timely and effective resolution of this issue.
“The CEU is an institution of great international repute and includes a number of Canadian students and faculty in its academic community, comprising people from 130 nations. Canada strongly supports the essential role that universities, NGOs and a free press play in fostering open, prosperous, inclusive and democratic societies.”
Foolowing this statement, Ambassador Poupart was summoned to the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which dismissed the Ambassador's words as 'false', claiming that academic freedom is not in danger in Hungary.

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