Controversy over Chinese University for Budapest

The Shanghai-based Fudan University plans to open a campus in Budapest in 2024, with a capacity of around 5,000 students and 500 teaching staff. Hungary's Minister of Innovation and Technology, László Palkovics, signed a corresponding agreement with the university's president in Shanghai in 2019. Hotly debated in Hungary, the decision is also causing consternation in neighbouring Austria.

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Der Standard (AT) /

Just to Orbán's taste

The Hungarian PM won't be bothered by the fact that teaching and research at the university won't be free of political influence, Der Standard puts in:

“Old-style ideological indoctrination is certainly not the goal. But at the same time it's clear [according to Hungarian China watchers] that China is seeking to establish a university institution of not inconsiderable clout in the heart of Europe. It is also clear that topics such as the oppression of the Uyghurs or the democrats in Hong Kong as well as human rights will be taboo at such a university. Naturally, this is entirely to the autocrat Orbán's taste. In 2019, he chased the highly renowned Central European University (CEU) out of the country to Vienna.”

Magyar Hang (HU) /

Another step toward colonisation

Journalist János Reichert warns in Magyar Hang:

“The university is an important institution of the Chinese communist state, which, among other things, produces material for the highest political circles, and does so in the Marxist spirit. The planned location of the Fudan University campus in Budapest seems to be within the city, exactly where the Budapest-Belgrade railway line [also a Hungarian-Chinese project] ends. ... The whole affair looks like another step forward in Chinese colonisation.”

Magyar Demokrata (HU) /

One of the best universities in the world

Demokrata says the university's reputation speaks for itself and should be trusted:

“In 2024, one of the best universities in the world will open a campus in Budapest. ... What counts is that the results of its research are generally of high quality and attract the attention of the scientific community at a global level. This will certainly be no different in the case of Fudan Hungary University.”