The design plans for the student quarter – Photo: BFK

PM's office: University foundations registered

LMP: Planned spending on Fudan should be spent on higher education more broadly

The opposition LMP has slammed the government for planning to spend 450 billion forints (EUR 1.3bn) on a Chinese-Hungarian project to set up Fudan University in Budapest without releasing the details of the investment.

The money could be used instead to create high-quality higher education in the entire country, LMP national board secretary Peter Ungar told an online press conference.

It is still unknown what rate of interest would have to be paid on the loan that the government plans to take out for the Fudan project or whether the contract could be cancelled.

Ungar complained that the western Hungarian city of Szombathely had recently lost 3 billion forints in central financing because Fidesz argued that the current level of economic growth did not justify such spending.

He said that if Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony were to become Hungary’s next prime minister, then part of the 450 billion forints in question would be channelled to Szombathely while the rest would broadly spent on higher education throughout the country, he said.

PM’s office: University foundations registered

Hungary’s university reforms have reached a new stage with the registration of nine public trust foundations this week, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Istvan Stumpf, the government commissioner for reforming higher education, said in the statement that the foundations would put the country’s competitiveness “on a new footing”.

The process transforming the sector will continue as the foundations’ trustees and university senates work together to turn opportunities arising from the model change into tangible results, he added.

Foundations will be able to rise above administrative constraints, create their own strategies, and run performance-focused operations, the statement said.

The foundations are public trust funds with a public function, providing guarantees for the state and the universities, since they must stick to designated goals and use their assets exclusively in the public service, it added.

Following a Constitutional Court ruling, the new model must guarantee the sustainability of the higher education system and its institutions as well as their autonomy, the statement said.

When it comes to the day-to-day application of the legislation, interventions by trustees regarding issues such as an institution’s budget, annual report, organisational and operational rules, asset management plan and business arrangements must allow sufficient time for the university’s senate to form an opinion and a substantive proposal while making sure decision-making is transparent, it said.

This week, seven of the nine foundations have been fully registered, while the courts have requested additional information in two cases, Stumpf said.

Further fresh information on the model change can be found at

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