Statement of President of the Republic János Áder on the amendment of Act CCIV. of 2011 on National Higher Education

On 4th April 2017, the National Assembly voted to adopt the bill submitted under T/14686 on the amendment of Act CCIV. of 2011 on National Higher Education.

In recent days, different concerns have been raised with regards to the constitutionality of this bill.

In the time available to me, I have studied the constitutionality of the law and its adherence to international treaties. I have ascertained that the proposed amendment does not infringe on the freedom of learning and teaching as stipulated in Article X. of the Fundamental Law.

Nor does it infringe on the provision of the Fundamental Law granting autonomy to higher education institutions in terms of the content and the methods of research and teaching.

The law introduces two new criteria for the operation of foreign higher education institutions in Hungary. These do not violate any constitutional rule, nor are they contrary to any international treaty or European Union directive.

The bill does not impact the continuity of research and teaching at state recognised and accredited universities in Hungary. Courses that have already commenced in Hungary may proceed without a change of conditions. Therefore, I have instructed today that this Act be promulgated.

The fast-track adoption of the law – albeit in accordance with the provisions of the House Rules – and the imposition of the two new legal preconditions have sparked negative sentiments in many. A good many of them fear for the future of their university.

In order to ensure that there isn’t even a shadow of doubt in anyone that the conditions for high-quality work at foreign universities in Hungary will be continuously assured, I call on the Hungarian government to commence negotiations forthwith with the relevant parties with a view to implementing the new legal provisions.

It is my conviction that given mutual benevolence and shared will, all this will be possible within the time allocated by the law. It is in all our interests that values created by foreign universities operating in Hungary during the recent years are preserved and enriched, that academic work may continue undisturbed.

János Áder
President of the Republic of Hungary

The Press Directorate of the Office of the President requests that the text of this statement be used in its entirety without editing.

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