A renowned Hungarian institution has condemned a government rule that forbids gender studies programs as a ‘major infringement’ on academic liberty. The decree, authorized by Prime Minister Viktor Orban and is already in effect has removed the subject from a selection of masters degree programs given to official certification and monetary assistance.
Schools are likewise now prohibited from starting new courses in the said discipline. Nevertheless, students who already have commenced their courses may carry out their studies, based on the decree.
Central European University (CEU), an institution based in Budapest stated that:
‘This is a major infringement on academic freedom and university autonomy. Eliminating this programme will be a significant loss to the Hungarian scholarly community and for democratically-minded public policy,’ said the CEU, one of only two universities in Hungary that offered gender studies degrees.
The decree is perceived by critics as the most recent offense by Orban’s right-wing administration on both university freedom and political oppositions of its socially conservative regulations.
Orban’s rough rhetoric and anti-immigration actions worries critics but have tremendously increased his populist support at home and earned him compliments from various other hardline European political figures.
Zsolt Semjen, the deputy of Orban stated that gender studies ‘has no business (being taught) in universities,’ because it is ‘an ideology not a science’.
Last June, a magazine operated by a close affiliate of Orban released a list of researchers at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, indicting them of doing work on ‘gay rights and gender science’.