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Party cronies take control of Hungary’s universities

Monday, June 14, 2021


The Orban government, under the slogan of increased efficiency, has established 34 public-interest trust foundations and outsourced almost the whole of the higher education sector to these new entities. The boards of trustees of these foundations are staffed mostly by government loyalists, who will probably work to quell dissent and counteract liberal values.


  • The foundations will be exempt from, or fall under only limited, public oversight and scrutiny, encouraging mismanagement.
  • There is a risk of indirect enrichment, where contracts are awarded to associates or friends.
  • Political loyalty will erode standards, although capable leadership and merit-based selection could improve some universities’ performance.

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